Working Abroad: How To Cope When Your Family Remain At Home

Sometimes in life you have to make difficult decisions, and many of these might originate from your career. It isn’t unusual for people like you to travel abroad for business, but a lot of the time this is just on a short term basis. Yet sometimes you are required to move abroad for a year, two, or even more – and this can be particularly hard if you have a family that wants to stay put. This is a difficult position to be in, but ultimately you know that there are also rewards to be had, whether a higher salary, a promotion, or something else along the same lines.

However it can be stressful, and even emotionally draining, so it is important to find ways for you and your family back home to cope. Here are a few things you can consider which should hopefully give you the clarity you need to better handle the situation:

Communicate frequently

Thanks to the Internet, it is possible to stay in touch with people overseas on a daily basis. There are social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, but there are also video conferencing tools such as Skype or FaceTime (on the iPad or iPhone). It is really nice to see people’s faces whilst talking to them, especially if it is a spouse or one of your children. Of course nothing can really come close to seeing them in person, but it should help you to fill in all of those empty spaces of your heart until you can go home.

Travel home when possible

It can be quite expensive to travel home to see your family, especially if you are working in a faraway country such as China or Australia. Therefore it makes sense to join a travel rewards scheme either in conjunction with your credit card company, or through your usual airline. This means that you can accumulate points with every trip, which should allow you to travel for free or a reduced price at a later date. See whether you can get home for key events such as birthdays, Christmas, and your anniversary; these are all occasions where you would feel homesick if you weren’t able to make it.

Reach a financial arrangement

Another bone of contention when not properly arranged if the family finances. If you are working overseas, your wage will probably be paid into a local bank account, rather than yours back in the UK. However in order to support your family you will want to ensure they have access to enough money, which means you will have to transfer the correct currency to their current bank account. Have a look at Peer FX services to cut out the middle man, which could result in fewer charges.

Create other plans

Sometimes you may just find that you can’t cope overseas overall. See what opportunities are available in the UK to see whether it makes sense to move back in the coming months. You could also speak to your employer to see whether they can offer you any flexibility.

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