How to prevent the expat blues

There are many great reasons to move abroad. But like any major life decision, there are also potential downsides. Get ahead of these possible drawbacks by following our top tips to avoid the expat blues and make your overseas experience a positive one:

Video chat regularly

You will inevitably miss friends and family when moving abroad, especially in your first few months. Be sure to regularly catch up with loved ones on Skype or FaceTime, even if it means occasionally waking up early or staying up late to beat the time zones.

Take a few home comforts

It’s good to immerse yourself in the local culture, but make sure you have access to a some home comforts to prevent homesickness. These could be your favourite snacks from back home, some classic British box sets, or your entire iTunes library.

👉 If you’re already abroad, Pickfords unaccompanied personal effects service can bring a piece of home to you, whenever you need it.

Journal your experience

It can be easy to loose sight of why you’re abroad. Make a daily habit of documenting your time there, whether by video diary, a personal blog or paper journal. Read or watch back old entries every now and then to see how far you’ve come.

Practice, practice, practice the local language 

Learning the local dialect is the best way to feel at home in your host country, and constant practice is the best way to learn. Start with a tutor or a quality language app before your leave the UK. Keep up the lessons when abroad if possible, but more importantly, immerse yourself in the language every day by talking with the locals.


Handling a foreign currency and experiencing different living costs can become overwhelming. Make sure you understand the exchange rate, and keep a strict budget that covers everything you need, as well as the occasional treat.

👉 Whether you’re about to move or are already settled in, manage your money safely with Pickfords’ foreign exchange service.

Get involved

To meet new people with shared interests, join as many clubs and activities as you can. Hanging out with other expats is OK, but get to know plenty of locals to really help you feel at home.

Ready for your move overseas? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

Pickfords powerboat finishes 3rd at SuperStock!

Well done to Glynn and Lee Norvall, driver and navigator of the Pickfords powerboat (powered by TorFX), for finishing the 2017 P1 SuperStock Championship in 3rd place! Following a dramatic season, Pickfords’ navigator Lee Norvall gave us his perspective on the final race weekend in Milford Haven on 15 – 16 July:

“The crash in Greenock took its toll on both the boat and crew, so we hurriedly tried to fix both before the next round at Milford Haven, which was not far behind Greenock.

Losing points [from the crash] had a big effect and it left us in 8th position leading into Milford. After [the intended final race in] Scarborough was sadly cancelled, two more races where added to Milford with a total of six 20 minute races (three a day) and more points up for grabs. On Saturday all three races were back-to-back meaning over an hour of racing!

We had a simple game plan for the weekend to pick up points and were focused on racing just three [competitor] boats. After the first race, sea conditions left a number of boats damaged and we hopped ahead with points. Then, at the start of another race, Kissimmee span out and we took advantage of it. A seven-lap cat-and-dog game began between PickfordsFX and Kissimmee, until their 25-plus years of off-shore racing experience meant they undertook us on a corner. Many commented that this fight was the highlight of the weekends’ racing!

With overnight repairs to a number of boats [after Saturday], we knew [on Sunday] that we just needed to keep Typhoo behind us and to pick-off Kissimmee if the opportunity arose, which it did! The overnight repair to Kissimmee left their boat running slow and we were able to jump ahead of them for the weekend. As always Typhoo played a tight game and kept the pressure on with only six points separating us at the end of the weekend.

With a weekend of 5th, 4th and 3rd finishes, we ended up taking a well deserved 3rd on the podium and gained enough points to leap-frog from 8th in the championship to 3rd overall!”

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Thanks to our crew,  the other powerboat teams, our local  hosts at Aalborg, Greenock and Milford Haven, and Powerboat P1 Management for making a fantastic 2017 season. We look forward to doing it all again next year!

Powerboat crew stays strong after collision

The Pickfords powerboat crew remain a competitive force in spite an unavoidable collision holding them back in Round 2 of this weekend’s P1 Superstock Championship in Greenock.

Sunday’s second race saw the South Street powerboat hook towards Team Pickfords, causing us to slam into the side of the rival vessel. Thankfully, both boats stayed upright, leaving South Street relatively unscathed and our crew, Glynn and Lee Norvall, with only minor injuries.

The Norvall brothers and one of the South Street crew visited A&E for their cuts, bruises and aches on Sunday night, but were thankfully all discharged with a full bill of health by Monday morning.

The combination of high scoring races on the Saturday and early Sunday, and the disqualification of several other teams has kept Team Pickfords in 6th place overall at the halfway point of the Championship.

Can the Norvall brothers make up for lost ground and race their way to the top half of the table in Round 3 next month?


The Pickfords powerboat sustained some damage, but #69 was totalled and team South Street disqualified as a result of the collision.

Nail-biting first round for Pickfords Powerboat

An exciting weekend of racing for the overseas opener of this year’s P1 SuperStock Championship! Nine powerboats battled it out along the shores of Aalborg, Denmark in the first of four rounds in the 2017 season.

Helmed for the first time by experienced race siblings Glynn and Lee Norvall, the Pickfords powerboat had a hard fight to keep pace with the weekend’s highest scoring teams.

Scraping through the Saturday qualifier, Team Pickfords managed two 3rd-place finishes underneath glorious sunshine on day one.

The low-scoring qualifier left the Norvalls scrambling for a place in the Sunday Grand Final. Thankfully the brothers stormed ahead in the Plate, coming first and earning their spot in the concluding races.

Stiff competition left the boys in fifth place overall, sneaking into the top half of the table in front of Team Inverclyde on equal points.

The P1 fleet now head back to British shores ahead of Round 2 in Greenock over the 24 – 25 June weekend. Can team Pickfords notch up the points and secure a place in the top 3? Watch this space to find out.