How to deal with stress when moving to Indonesia

Moving abroad is no easy feat. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress, so we invite you to share some insights regarding this topic.

What are the main factors that contribute to stress when moving to Indonesia (cultural adaptation, moving with family, administrative and bureaucratic issues, language differences, etc.)?

What activities would you recommend to help deal with this type of stress?

What are some techniques that have helped you deal with stress?

Is there a way to avoid being stressed out or anxious when moving to Indonesia?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Don't try to import a car or motorbike.
The laws here (and in many other countries) are designed to make it a lot easier to buy one when you arrive.
The paperwork, tax, and general messing around just isn't worth the bother of importing.

Forget the fridge and furniture.

A container load of stuff is likely to arrive damaged, and the pain of trying to get it through customs is going to stress you out in a big way.
If you're coming in from the US, a lot of your electronics might not work anyway as we operate on 220v, not the US standard of 110v.
That means trying to buy transformers, and they aren't very easy to get here.
Clothes and personal items such as computers are fine.
Phones, if locked to a network, might be a problem to get working so perhaps it might be less hassle just to buy one here.

Time here is pretty much ignored by a lot of people.
An appointment for a guy to do some work on your house might well be at 3pm, but 3pm means late afternoon here, so learn to chill when people don't turn up on time.
Rain makes times impossible, so be prepared for that one. Locals know, if it's raining, time is whatever o'clock.

This doesn't apply to big business, but it does to everyone else.

No stress at all. Only thing is immigration being a pain sometimes.

Try forget emotional things just focus only your goal and thinks about your resposibility

No expectations, just go with it

The stress comes later....

Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is meditation, or mediation, depending on the kind of problems you have. I try to meditate at least twice a day, once in the mornings and once before I sleep. I just bought a new meditation mat online and it works a treat. If you don't have a mat, then I recommend talking about your problems. Even talking about your every day things here can help, I believe.  Keeping it bottled up like ain't gonna solve nuthin.

Meditation is effective, if you can meditate.
It is't as easy as it seems to many as you  have to have the right sort of mind to manage to do it properly.
Some prefer alcohol and a good chin wag.

Avoid driving if possible - the roads are generally pretty bad and drivers aren't trained properly.
If you can't avoid driving, make sure you aren't in a rush (EVER) or you'll stress out like mad because much of your time is sitting in traffic jams or not being able to get any speed up because of the road humps and lousy drivers.

I agree with Fred, Travel can contribute to the stress, I always use Go-jek no stress of driving or finding new address..

That's amazing, I have to direct gojeks and grab riders or driver's how to get to the toll or my house because more often than not they don't look at their maps unless they are in a long line and not in a hurry so will just stop where they like.
I use Grab cars and bikes all the time as well and still have to show them the way.

Haha I am mostly lucky then to get better drivers or it may be just that my places are too common not to know...Like MOI or Klapagading Mal

Paperwork is a mess in most countries but Indonesian officials love loads of it, or they have to because they rules say they do - I'm never sure which.

To avoid stress, keep all your papers in folders, all filed so they can be got to easily.
My advice is to scan the lot into a computer, then keep two sets printed out ready to give to whoever wants them next, keeping the colour copies in separate folders so you just have to get them out when asked, and you will be asked sooner or later.
When visiting immigration or whoever else needs papers, take the whole lot with you in a nice case and you're set up for anything, that meaning you usually only have to make one trip to get the whole lot sorted.
Colour copies aren't essential as black and white will do, but officials seem to appreciate the effort so tend to smile on your application.

Apart from keeping copies available when you visit an office, be sure to pack and use a smile and a set of good manners. It doesn't matter how much extra stuff the want, always remain polite and things will get done.
An angry word will leave you stressed out as you'll likely be given a hard time every visit.

Priscilla, when are you moving to Indonesia? I think many of the posts here make Indonesia sound like the most stressful place in the world, but actually it isn't. If it was then we wouldn't choose to live here. Of course it's not really stressful to drive a car unless you are in the Jakarta traffic. Driving in Bali never makes me stressed. So perhaps you should consider to live in Bali and not places like Jakarta where it's a bit boring and too many traffic jams. Places like Yogyakarta and Bali are really nice.

abdulkhalil :

Priscilla, when are you moving to Indonesia?

The lady is one of the site's senior moderators, these topics intended to stimulate forum activity.

The rest of your post makes a good point, avoid stress by avoiding the big cities.

The main thing is to 100% keep your cool and be polite at all times. Generally speaking the culture in Indonesia is very non-confrontational (at least Javanese and Sundanese) and the easiest way to lose people's respect is to blow your cool. Sure, there are many sources of frustration and stress but that's just the way it is and blowing your cool won't change it and will most definitely make matters worse. Bear in mind that Indonesia does not have a single integrated culture but is more a conglomeration of cultures from the various different ethnic groups (in the main Javanese, Sundanese, Batak, Balinese, Chinese, Dayak, Minahasa and Papuan)... sorry if I missed a few as there are over 17,000 islands. Each of these ethic groups have their own different (sometimes extreme) ways of dealing with the same situations. The best approach is to understand exactly who you are dealing with before you engage your mouth. Dealing with the stress itself is simple enough... find some activities to engage in and enjoy life in Indonesia. It can be very enjoyable if you allow the experience to happen.

If you can change it, change it don’t stress about it, if you can’t change it stop trying to change something you can’t and move on

Thank you so much for the information and help. A really important thing to remember. Will remember and put it into action when time comes  Thank you

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