Everyone who has ever attempted moving from the mainland U.S. to Guam will readily admit that it is quite a daunting task. However, sometimes it can’t be helped; it could be because of a new job, a change of station, aging family members, and many more reasons. Despite the odd and demanding nature of this type of move, there are certain things you can do to help make it bearable.
– Treat the entire experience as an adventure
– Pare it down
– Embrace your new tropical island location
Treating the movement as an adventure
A move across the Pacific Ocean will require weeks or even months to plan and complete. If you moved with a modest size family and flew, it would take you almost 24 hours to get to this paradise. This sounds grueling in just about any context, but if you’re willing to do a little exploring along the way its not all that bad. Regardless of the route (via Hawaii or Japan) you’ll be taking, there is almost always something wonderful to see along the way.
Make sure you plan out your journey well ahead of time too. Finding cost effective and adequate accommodations can be difficult last minute. Also, don’t forget there are plenty of websites and apps available to you for finding the best possible deal you can.
Pare it down
Moving can be very easy and even enjoyable if you simplify the entire process. Flying always limits check-in luggage weight, so pack only what you consider essential. Take things with you on the plane that you feel you have to have in your hotel to take your family through your first few nights. Everything else, leave to the moving company and always consider that shipped household goods could arrive on island later than anticipated. So take things you feel you would need on your first few weeks on the island.
You might even want to consider taking a short planning trip out to Guam before moving everything here. This trip will also let you see what might not be a good fit for your new home. Meaning you’ll know what you should consider selling and what you should consider keeping. Its much easier and cheaper to sell or donate items before your move than it is to sell them when you’re settled, one less thing to worry about.
Also, once you’ve managed to sell the items you wish to part with, you’ll not only pay less for moving everything, but the money you make will help fund your move and transition.
Embrace your new island home
When you move across the ocean you’ll most likely be moving somewhere with no friends or family. When you’re finally settled and you find yourself with some time on your hands, go out and explore the island. The locals are very friendly to visitors and newcomers. Research the highlights of your new community and participate in some of the local activities. Attend events, eat out, visit parks and social community gatherings like fiestas or any other social activity that might interest you.
It also helps to take your family everywhere you go, the kids especially. Going with them to restaurants, malls, supermarkets and parks and other parts of the island, helps them embrace the idea that the new location is their new home and community.
Even consider browsing through community pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These serve as great outlets for finding local events, as well as meeting local people. They are a great way to discover more about the local scene and and all its offerings. Aside from social media, check out the different community pages and see what you can find on there. Like Guam Facebook pages similar to “Living On Guam” that would give you a feel of what life on Guam is about. An app and site commonly overlooked in a case like this is Yelp. It helps you find out what locals are saying about all the different events and places you’re considering.
Make sure your kids develop a new social circle as well; encourage them to take part in any extra curricular activities that are offered at their school. This type of move is always much easier when your kids have plenty of opportunity to interact and make new friends.
When you and your family make a move this big its important to remember that perception is key. It’s easy to focus on your old home and the people you knew, but try to focus on the new memories you’ll make and the new people you’ll meet. A cross-ocean move can be difficult but more often than not its always a worth while experience. Welcome to Guam!
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