A new year will bring new prospects, and, if like many in 2018; you’re going to be relocating with your family for work opportunities; you’ll want to make it an adventure for everyone involved, and a positive experience. However long you’re going to be living in a new country; you’ll want to make the most of your trip, and ensure that you prepare as much as possible regarding your time there, the things you want to see and do, and the everyday living essentials that will become part of your new life. Many English speaking families and workers move to Asia each year; international companies are setting up offices in the ever-expanding market in Asia and taking advantage of the growth in business and industry. Malaysia is no different and has seen a significant rise in commercial success over the last ten years, making it a destination for many from the US, UK, and Australia.
If flying over to Malaysia to spend a long period of time is on your list of things to do this year; it’s worth learning a little about your new home beforehand so that the transition is smooth for you and the kids. There will be plenty of fellow English speakers, along with a major dose of western influence; however, there will, of course, be a lot of things to get used to. The living costs in countries like Malaysia can work out cheaper than what you’re used to back home, depending on what you normally spend as a family. Planning your escape early on will give you the best chance of making the most of everything, and choosing the decisions to save you money, time, and effort on arrival. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those about to take their loved ones overseas for a long-term travel adventure, and begin a new life in the beautiful Asian country of Malaysia.
Settling In For The Foreseeable Future
As parents; your first priority will be to sort out suitable accommodation for the whole family. If you’re going to be in Kuala Lumpur, the surrounding areas, or elsewhere in Malaysia; it’s vital to the success of your arrival and adjustment, that you have somewhere to call home as soon as possible. Many will look into long-term letting options so that they know they have at least three to six months in a property before they need to decide if they are going to stay longer, move on, or go back home. Try to ensure that you’ve organized reputable rental accommodation before you land; you don’t want to waste valuable cash in an expensive hotel during the first few days or weeks that you’re there, and it would only take your little ones longer to adjust. Bear in mind that there are plenty of amenities in city centers like Kuala Lumpur, but these will come with a more expensive price tag in regards to rent. It’s worth seeking the advice and help of those who are in similar circumstances to yourself, before you go, through the internet. You’ll get a better idea of the surrounding areas and suburbs that are safe, family-friendly, and have a community of expats that you can befriend so that they become part of your time there.
If you’re feeling confident when you’ve spent some valuable time over there, getting to know the area and the places which are developing further for family living; you might want to invest in property. Make sure that you find where there are suitable childcare and schooling options available, and stores, supermarkets, parks, and cafes will all be plus points to family life. If you do decide to utilize a mortgage calculator to work out your options; it’s always worth doing so after you’ve learned enough about particular areas, and worked out what housing would be a wise investment. You may move on in the future, and property that will rent out to other families much like yourself will always give you a great return on your money. Countries like Malaysia are only expanding for the foreseeable future; making them a smart choice regarding buying some real estate now and reaping the rewards further down the line. However, your main priority will always be the comfort, security, and happiness of your kids and loved ones, so put those first, and find somewhere that will be everyone’s cup of (Teh Tarik) tea.
When you feel you have somewhere to move into when you arrive in Malaysia; it’s worth looking at a detailed map, and working out the routes you’ll need to take to get everyone to work, school, and to the local amenities. The best thing you can do after landing and getting over jet lag with your kids is to find some recreational places where you know you can all spend some quality time together, and potentially meet some other families. Fellow parents will provide a huge source of comfort and will be full of local knowledge and advice, and the more buddies your little ones can make, the better. You can get online and arrange to meet up with people before you set off on your Malaysian adventure so that you’ll have familiar faces and voices when you get there. Take some time to simply walk around and explore with your family as soon as you’re all able; this will help you to get your bearings, and you’ll find the best spots for shopping, play, and relaxation. If you’re looking for places to start researching; Kuala Lumpur is full of the hustle and bustle of city life that you’d expect from a capital. If the idea of a busy city doesn’t fill you with much joy for your family; look into places like Penang or Malacca).
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A New Way Of Life To Embrace
As previously mentioned; there will be an array of western familiarities and everyone will speak English, making communication easy. However, there will also be cultural and physical differences to prepare your family for so that have the best experience possible. The heat in Malaysia lasts all year round; January tends to be the coolest month, and March the warmest. However, there isn’t to much difference in temperature from month to month, and you’ll need to get used to constantly feeling warm and hot, not to mention the humidity. Make sure that you pack plenty of breathable fabrics like linen and cotton for yourself and the kids, and the more lightweight garments you have, the better.
There is also a lot of rainfall in Malaysia, which can make a refreshing break from the constant heat; therefore, you’ll need clothing with hoods, and perhaps lightweight, water-resistant outerwear, that you easily pop into a backpack. It’s worth getting used to not doing much exercise between midday and early afternoon, around three or four o’clock; this is the time when Malaysia is at its warmest, and it might be overwhelming, especially for little ones. Don’t worry; you’ll find plenty of air-conditioning and cool spots to hang out inside. Getting your kids (and yourself) into the habit of constantly drinking water throughout the day so that you’re all hydrated is the best way to prepare for the somewhat muggy conditions; you’ll stay healthy and keep the risk of dehydration to a minimum. Kids are very adaptable, and once you’ve all been there a few weeks; they’ll soon get into the swing of what to wear when to go outside, and how much they need to drink (you just need to make sure that you’re doing the same).
You will need to factor in the costs of childcare or potential international schools for your kids. If you or your partner are being taken over to Malaysia within a company; they will often factor in the cost of your children’s education, and sometimes, the cost of your accommodation too. However, you may still need to pay the excess, as international schooling is always going to be expensive, and you’ll want your kids to settle in as soon as possible with a new school, play, and life routine so that you can do the same. It will be a challenge to go over to Malaysia on a tourist visa and find work and sponsorship when you’ve arrived, and you don’t want to put that stress on your family. Therefore, it’s best to ensure that you have a job set up before you get there, or the reason behind your big move is because of a company transfer and the potential for a better quality of life for the family. If you’re going to stay longer than 182 days; you’ll be regarded as a resident, which can bring security and benefits, but you’ll also need to pay income tax, so bear that in mind. Tax rates are low in comparison to the US, so hopefully; things will weigh-up and balance out in regards to how much leftover cash you have to spend and save at the end of each working month.
The more you accept and embrace the changes, the better it will be for your family, and you’ll be able to concentrate on making lifelong memories together on your trip of a lifetime!
*This is a collaborative post.
Embrace the changes that may come,