Moving to Vanuatu with Kids: How to Make it Stress-Free
Before we can truly enjoy our new country and family life, there are myriad obstacles hindering what’s to be our forged happiness. Being a parent isn’t easy – but it’s worth all the sleepless nights, especially when relocating to one of the happiest islands and most beautiful places around the globe. Rejoice for what’s coming. In the meantime, let’s get to business. Moving to Vanuatu with kids is no joke; traveling overseas and accepting the unknown presents a challenge not only for our little ones but for us adults, too. It’s what we call “the big leap.” Moving across the state can also be unsettling, but without the culture shock consequences – treading unfamiliar ground with information overload can be extremely stress-inducing. So, let’s see what we can do to help our kids experience a smooth transition.
Falling in love with Vanuatu is instant. Few could resist its charm (after all, it has been ranked the fourth happiest country in the world). This tropical paradise is riddled with amazingness, the first being that it’s the birthplace of bungee jumping. World-renowned for its superior resorts, Vanuatu takes the “just right” trophy, unlike its neighboring, tourist-consumed island, Fiji. The perfect balance between quaint villages, world-class resorts, and the Port Vila upbeat rhythm is something people look for when contemplating relocation. Plus, the children are adored and cherished by the locals. No wonder you have picked Vanuatu.
Regardless of age, every child has an inherent need to rebel against externally-reached decisions. By not involving them, we’re robbing our kids of tangible control over their lives. To put it bluntly – the moving process enforces existential whirlwinds on every individual involved; the only difference is that our kids don’t possess an abrupt change mechanisms kit. That’s where we step in as parents.
You might feel the urge to shy away from a head-on collision and agree with your partner that it’s best not to consult or tell them immediately to prevent any premature anxiety. Still, it is crucial to include your kids in the very premise of moving (especially if they’re teenagers). Dropping the “M” bomb on them will cause more significant damage than involving them in decision-making from the get-go. Moving to a resort town might feel like a dream come true for us, but our children’s primary need is one of uncompromised safety. During planning, we ought to give it to them.
We understand our motives behind moving to another country. Do they? That’s why it’s essential to open the communication channel and ensure it stays that way until the settling-in part is complete. Dismissing their concerns, no matter how irrelevant or silly they might appear, will leave them feeling isolated and insecure. Any major event (without any control) could cause trauma and change our child’s behavior patterns (for example, extroverts may become introverts). Take time to hear them out and take their concerns seriously. Dialogue is the best tool for overcoming anticipation and anxiety.
Connect with fellow ex-pats
Before moving to Vanuatu with kids, establishing a sense of community before landing will alleviate any relocation-panic residue. Knowing you have support from other families who have moved to Vanuatu with kids will most definitely make all the difference. The mere cognition of not being alone (no matter the paradise!) and having someone to ask for advice will soothe your entire family and make the process much easier to cope with. We live in a digital era; use it, and make it your ally. Connect with fellow ex-pats via ex-pat groups through various media platforms. As for the long-awaited long-distance move from the US to Vanuatu, experts from Gosselin Moving can help with the practical side of things. You got this.
Familiarity is everything to our kids. Teleporting them across the globe to an unfamiliar country may cause them to withdraw and experience profound nostalgia (acting out is also a possibility). We must understand how devastating it must feel for a child to let go of their home and memories – it’s all they’ve ever known. Patience. Bringing familiar objects (toys, bedding, photos) with you and immediately arranging your kids’ room will make them feel more secure and at ease. Don’t forget to bring them with you, as waiting for your shipped belongings to arrive could take a while.
Vanuatu has three official languages: English, French, and Bislama. With English being one of them, becoming an integral part of the community will not be as time-consuming and challenging. By motivating yourself to adapt to your new home’s culture, you subconsciously help your children embrace your openness toward new things. Joy is contagious. If you love it, your kids will love it too. Show it! According to long-distance moving experts, Vanuatu’s population is expanding rapidly, at a 2,3% rate annually. And we are not surprised!
Vanuatu is home to happiness and down-to-earth life. After the initial culture shock passes, the best way to help your kids thrive in a new environment is to explore all it offers – and Vanuatu has plenty. Introduce your children to Vanuatu’s finest:
- Mt Yasur – accessible active volcano!
- World’s only underwater post office – excuse you
- WWII shipwrecks
And, if they’re old enough – bungee jumping. That’s a given. Vanuatu is an excellent option for a family relocation. The more they get familiar with its untouched beauty, friendly neighbors, and the island’s wildlife, the more they will appreciate it.
Moving to Vanuatu with kids is no task for the faint-hearted, but it is 100% worth it. Relocating to a resort paradise is the best future-oriented decision any family can make. We hope to see you soon.