MOVING ABROAD: Here’s How
First and foremost, before we dive deep into this, I want to emphasis that moving abroad is a BIG DEAL. Most people probably view my experience moving abroad a little easier than most, and probably because I have family here. We won’t focus so much on that right now, but you can read about it on How We Moved Abroad.
Through our experience, and experiences of others I have read- the best advice I can offer you is to plan. If you’re moving abroad for over a year, I’d spend as much time planning as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple to just pack your bags, land in a new country and go about your life. There is formalities, documentation and of course money that is needed.
I’m offering you a simple, but detailed, guide on how to move abroad and some pointers to make. If you’re considering moving abroad this will help you decide on if you’re up to it!
Decide Why and Where
So obviously you probably need to know where you’re moving abroad otherwise you can’t really plan for it. Maybe you’ve visited a beautiful country, with the best little town that you fell in love with. You decide you want to move there eventually. But why?
It seems obvious that you would move there because of how quaint and cozy the town was. But is there a deeper why behind it? Are you seeking adventure? Wanting more out of life? Wanting to start over? Whatever your why is, let that guide you through the planning process.
Throughout the year and a half Kyle and I planned, we got frustrated quite often. At the end of the day, we had to remember WHY we are doing this otherwise it was all for nothing.
Related: Our Decision to Move to Chiang Mai
It’s so easy to just tell someone, saving is important. However, I can’t emphasis this enough. Even if you do plan on working, I’d suggest saving. You’ll be spending money on things you didn’t even realize when you started the planning process.
Here is just a general list of some expenses to account for and differs for everyone:
- Passport (If you don’t already have one)
- Visa (if you’re not being hired for a company who is providing one)
- Travel Costs in the airport, hotel fees if applicable
- Place to live- apartment, house
We’re all human beings and we live in a world where we all want, something. When it comes down to deciding that you want to move abroad, the ultimate mindset is being able to allow yourself to remember your why.
Let’s play it out:
*Shops in Target* *Fills cart full of mindless items*
*Walks around the store for an hour to decide if she really needs these items*
*Calculates cost in head: hoping for $25, but more than likely $124*
There are two options here people: “Do I NEED these things or would I rather be able to take a day trip to the mountains while I’m living abroad? If I buy these things I wouldn’t be bringing them with me anyways. *Hurridly pushes cart away and walks out of store* (Just wanted to be a little dramatic)
Second option: Purchase the items and immediately have buyer’s remorse OR have no remorse and reap the consequences of living on a tight budget while abroad.
Pinterest is every girl’s best friend and a blogger’s closest friend. In this case, Pinterest will help you learn a little about where you’ll be living if you’re not sure of some things. There are tons of bloggers out there, and chances are you’ll find one who lives in the country you’re moving to. If they offer tips and resources for living there- read em. If not, follow them on social media for a while and reach out to them. MOST bloggers should respond to you.
Research places to live, and consider if you’ll be needing transportation. Maybe there’s an apartment in the middle of town and it’s closer to everything so you could invest in a bicycle. Always weigh out and consider your options.
Not only research your destination and living accommodations, but the documentation required to actually live there. Remember that part where I said you can’t just seamlessly pick up and move to another country. Every country requires certain documentation, and you’ll have to figure out which Visa to apply for.
If you’re unsure of which visa to get after researching, call the embassy or consulate. They might be hard to get ahold of but that is why planning in advance is helpful. It gives you time so that they can get back to you. I was trying to reach the Royal Thai Consulate in Chicago for months- called probably twenty times and got a response back twice.
My point is, figuring out which Visa to live on is crucial. Do your research. Make some phone calls. Reach out to others.
Make Sure Your Affairs Are in Order
No, I don’t mean that kind of affair. I mean anything you’re leaving behind that would need to be taken care of while you are gone.
Bank cards and credit cards– don’t forget about these guys. Chances are if you don’t notify your bank you’ll be out of the country, your account will get flagged. Prior to our move, we spoke to the bank and they put a flag on our account. We are living off of savings, so we wanted to ensure that our bank cards don’t get compromised. Think this through and decide what your best option is.
Currently employed? Try to let your employer know in advance unless you really don’t want to leave on good terms. My office knew that I was planning my move, and they were happy for me. I let them know in January it was a for sure deal, and I quit in June.
Payments or debts. It’s ideal to have these paid off prior to leaving so that you don’t worry about it. Sell your car if you need to, pay off credit cards, any outstanding doctors bills etc. If this isn’t feasible in your situation, a budget for payments in your expenses.
Storage. Chances are you may need a place to store all your goods, that you won’t be taking with you. Decide what the best option for you is if that’s using your parent’s basement, a friends house, or renting a storage unit.
After determining why you’re moving, you’ll also have to figure out when of course. But that’s pretty self-explanatory. I wanted to touch on another subject of moving abroad. Everyone’s stories are different, everyone’s backgrounds are different. My husband grew up in a small midwestern town his entire life, whereas I moved around my whole life and experienced traveling. Luckily having an open mind, my husband and I have traveled out of the country 3 times, and now live abroad.
You will need a support system during this transition of your life, and the planning process. Of course, Kyle’s family was a little more upset than my family that we would be gone for a year. My family was used to us traveling, and we made time to see one another. Through it all though, we had the best support system. Of course, not everyone agreed with our decision, but that’s when *aha* the whole ‘why’ concept comes in.
Regardless we were set on moving abroad, but we, of course, couldn’t do it without our support system. You will get frustrated, and it will be hard but if you have support and encouragement it will make it easier. For Kyle and me we had to make the sacrifice of leaving our pups in the states, who live with their grandparents (Kyles parents). So yeah, we are extremely fortunate to have an amazing support system.
Related Post: How we Moved Abroad and Left Our Puppies Behind
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