Honest Advice That’ll Make Your Move Abroad Stress-Free


Have you always dreamed about moving abroad, but the mere thought of all the paperwork involved stops you in your tracks? You’re in the right place! Here are 5 hints that’ll help make the ordeal simpler. Plus 5 things that no-one tells you about the experience until it’s actually happening! 

There’s at least one time in our lives when we’ve considered moving to a new country. Everyone’s imagined waking up somewhere warm every day or exploring a landscape entirely different from our own. For a lot of people, it’ll stay as precisely that – nothing but a pipe dream. But if you’re seriously considering hauling your life somewhere new, the whole process can seem like a headache. 

There are multiple things to consider: where to move, the visa situation, is finding a job and home simple? All of the variables and spinning plates of the move are enough to put anyone off completely. Never fear, compiled into a neat little list are some key bits of information that’ll make that move a breeze. 

Be sure to have a pen and paper ready for this bit; you’re going to need it! 

Make Your Move Abroad Simpler

So you’re taking the plunge. You’ve decided it’s time to move to pastures new. Now all you need are some tips to make that move even smoother. 

  • Research the Visa process, thoroughly!

Your visa will be the most important document you own. Give yourself enough time to investigate the application process. You want to know you’re applying for the correct visa for your circumstances and how much it’ll cost.

Be realistic about your circumstances, as it’ll change what visa you need and how easy it is to get. Doing research early means you’ll know exactly how long it’s expected to take so everything stays on schedule. 

Some countries will require you to pass a citizenship test to get citizen status. Do a citizenship test practice run, so you have some idea of what the questionnaire entails. 

  • Declutter early!

Organizing and packing up your stuff is the bane of anyone’s life. Moving house is enough of a nightmare on its own. This is compounded when that move is abroad. 

You want to decide what is essential and what’s not; it’ll make your life easier if you do this early. Once you’ve got your visa and handed in your notice, the last thing you want to do is organize belongings when you leave in a week. 

Letting go of our things is hard. Take a leaf out of Marie Kondos’ book and become an organization idol.

  • Prepare your finances

When it comes to an overseas move, your finances will be more critical than ever. Taking the time to understand available options in your new home country will reap huge rewards down the line. Plus, it’ll be one less thing you spend stressing about when you arrive. 

Start off by looking into the process of moving your money to your new country. Specialist brokers are the way to go as you’ll get better exchange rates and can save yourself thousands. 

You can do things as simple as opening up a bank account before you even get to your destination country, so you’ll be up and running when you arrive. 

  • Give yourself a chance to settle on arrival

You might want to hit the ground running when you arrive, start your new job straight away and get into the nitty-gritty of your new surroundings. While that might be an exciting way to approach the move, you’ll end up burnt out a couple of weeks in. 

International moves are exhausting. Plan a holiday for when you arrive to give yourself time to settle and explore your surroundings. Exploring your new home as a tourist means you can find some beautiful destination spots, and there’s plenty of time to re-charge your batteries. 

  • Don’t procrastinate – do it now!

The biggest regret of people who’ve made a move abroad is that they wish they’d done it sooner. Many people will spend years thinking about the move but hesitate to take the first steps. 

Starting over in a new country is a big decision, and there are no two ways around it; it’s not easy. But life’s too short! Grab the bull by the horns and go for it. The sooner you move, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards of life in a new country.

If you’re still unsure, make a list of pros and cons to help with the decision. 

Stuff No One Tells You About Relocating Abroad

You’re doing it; you’re moving abroad. You’ve got all your finances in order. You’ve Marie Kondo-ed the hell out of your belongings. But everyone around you is saying all the same things. What about the stuff you never hear people talking about?

  • A new culture

There are so many new cultures and attitudes to discover. It’s part of the beauty of starting off somewhere new. But with new cultures come different perspectives too, and this can be difficult to navigate.

Something acceptable in your country might not be welcomed with the same vigor in another. It’s worth really researching the culture of your destination country to avoid putting your foot in your mouth. 

  • Making new friends is difficult

As kids, making new friends comes naturally. Sharing a bucket and spade in the sandpit will land you a friend for life. It’s a little different as an adult!

If you’ve landed a new job, you’ll be able to gain some new acquaintances pretty quickly. But how do you meet like-minded people? Joining groups for your hobbies is a sure-fire way to meet new people that share your interests. As adults, we tend to overthink interactions and may shy away from new people and new conversations. Remember to give yourself a break; it might take some time to create lasting bonds. 

  • Family and friends might not be as happy for you as you’d think

This is a bit of hard truth, but your loved ones may not be quite so pumped for your move as you are. While they’ll still support you every way they can, it’s important to remember that they’re invested in keeping you close to home.

You can’t condemn them for thinking like that. Keeping in touch will be more challenging. Make every effort to show know you’re still thinking of family and friends back home. Setting up regular Zoom calls and sending care packages lets them know that you miss them; and that it’s not as hard to keep in touch as they initially thought.

  • There’s a lot of paperwork. A lot

This one you could probably have guessed, but don’t underestimate just how much you’ll have to keep on top of. So much so that you may end up with a repetitive strain injury from it all!

It’s a great idea to have all this researched before the move. Don’t let any paperwork you’ve missed creep up on you; you may end up with an avoidable mess. Investing in a sound storage system for all your copies is a good idea too. 

  • You’ll get lost at least once

You know your hometown’s ins and outs and all the best shortcuts to your favorite stores. This isn’t the case when you first make the big move! 

There’s a lot of learning to do once you get there, including where the hell everything is. Researching in advance helps with this, but it’s not quite the same as figuring it out for yourself on the ground. Give in and get lost. You may just blunder across your new favorite spot. 

Plus, all smartphones have some sort of GPS, so how lost can you really get?

Final Thoughts

While moving abroad might not be on your to-do list just yet, it’s something everyone should consider at least once in their lives.

Travel really does help people grow, and living somewhere new amplifies that. Even if it’s only for a short time or you’re studying abroad, it can change your life for the better.

 

Here’s hoping that this little blog post has given you some useable hints, tips, and advice to help you through the difficulties moving to a new country provides. The biggest thing you can take from this is that you can’t do too much research or preparation. And enjoy it; it only happens once. Well, usually.

 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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