How NOT to Freak Out about Moving to the USA

In February 2015, I got accepted as the top candidate for the Director-level job I applied for. It was great and felt like a leveling up of some of the things I worked on over the past 5 years.

But here’s the rub: I need to move to the United States for this position.

It was a whirlwind application process. I applied for the position toward the end of November 2014, filled up some forms, wrote an essay, and then got interviewed.

It’s a different feeling when you “potentially” need to move to a different country because you’re applying and actually knowing that you will need to move there within the next 2-3 months.

For the rest of the day when I learned about the news, all I could think of was “Oh God, this is it!” excitement followed by some worry “What in the world have I gotten myself into?”


I broke the news to my wife and we started making plans for our transition out the Philippines, and into the United States of America.

With our transition in full swing and a super-energetic 2-year old boy, we started to plan, pray, and pack up our stuff.

If you’re also about to move to another country, here are several tips on how NOT to freak out:


For those of us who belong to a faith tradition, prayer helps us get centered on the will of God. It’s also a great reminder that we are not making this journey by ourselves; God is looking over us. We prayed when I applied to this position. And we also prayed when we got the news that we will indeed be making the move.


There were a lot of factors we needed to consider. Where do we put all the belongings we will leave behind? Who will get our car? How about my books? Who will inherit the toys of our son? The fridge and washing machine?

Do we secure an apartment or rent a house in the United States? How much are we going to spend on our needs every month? What car to buy?

There were a gazillion questions in our minds. So we sat down and talked about all the things we needed to do and we planned.


A big move like this will not just affect you and your family, but also your circle of friends and networks. So start telling your friends about your upcoming move, to help prepare for that oh-so-difficult process of saying goodbye.

Don’t announce it on Facebook for all the world to see. Inform your family and closest friends before posting your big announcement on Social Media.

It’s okay to freak out.

If, after doing all these things, you still feel like freaking out, it’s fine.

Moving out of the country and starting over in a new one is really a big move. And it’s okay to feel worry and anxiety as you prepare for the big move.

I found that writing on my journal is a helpful way to deal with the anxiety. I wrote down my fears, worries, and anxieties for myself, for my wife, and our son.

But in spite of fears, worries, and anxieties, you still need to take the next steps: put one foot after the other and move. One way or another, you’ll make the move and you’ll be fine.

It’s been a year since we made the big move. There are still some anxieties and worries, but as a family, we’re fine.

Are you about to move out of the Philippines and into the United States or any other country? What’s your biggest fear or worry?

Share them in the comments below.

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