The Sounds of Your Relocation

“Australian birds are so noisy”, my sister, visiting from New Zealand, complained about the wake-up calls outside her window.  We helpfully ran through some of the potential culprits,

Kookaburra? 

Cockatoo? 

Currawong?

It emerged that her alarm clock was less musical - a crow!

The sounds of a location are something that often hum in the background.  A base track playing to our lives.  Yet when we move the new sounds can continually remind us we are far from home.  I have worked with assignees who have found it hard to sleep in Australia because of the absence of noise.  The city sounds they were used to in Shanghai or Singapore were gone and the comparative silence was not calming for them.  

Adjusting to sleeping sounds or noises that wake us is important because of the importance of sleep in helping us rewire our brains for the learning of the new location.  Ear plugs, soundproofing and sleep tracks can help with that.  

But even more important may be our instant response to those new sounds. 

When you hear the birds of Australia or the sirens or traffic noise of a big city, is your instant response “Wow –how different is that?” Or is it something unprintable?

It’s our knee-jerk reactions to the little differences that build our attitude to the new location.  And it’s our ability to strategically change negative responses to ones that are more positive (or curious, or open) that will set us up to succeed in adapting to our new home. 

What are the new sounds in your relocation and how are you reacting to them?