Let’s face it, moving abroad can be a nightmare. There tends to be hundreds of badly organised boxes, stacks of unfilled paperwork, and constant complaints from all members of the family. Nevertheless, moving countries is sometimes inevitable. Instead of whining about it, you need to come up with the perfect plan and execute it flawlessly.
If you’re thinking of moving abroad and you’re already dreading the process, don’t worry we’re here to help. Here are six of our best trips and tricks that will make your move abroad feel as seamless as possible.
Spend a Few Months Visiting Before Your Move
If your job allows it, we always recommend that people spend a few weeks or months visiting before they make the final move. Not only will this help you get your bearings, but you can also learn more about what area you would like to live in and the type of experience you will be having.
It doesn’t have to be a full month; you can even spend two weeks getting to know the place and its people. Think of your time there as a destination scout, perhaps you love the country, but you would feel more at home in a different city.
Don’t Settle, Compare Insurance Plans
When you start to think about moving, it can all get a bit hectic. One of the most important pointers we can share is to not panic. Take a deep breath and consider all of your options carefully.
Don’t rush into the first insurance plan you’re offered, instead, take the time to compare medical insurance plans and evaluate which suits your needs best. This same advice can be applied to processes such as purchasing a car, renting a home, and so on.
Speak to The Locals (and the Expats Too)
If you want to know what’s really going on in the country you’re moving to, you’ll need to do some groundwork. Get outside and start chatting with the locals. They will be able to offer priceless advice that isn’t available on the world wide web.
We also recommend that you chat to the expats, as, once upon a time, they will have been in the same boat as you. If you have visa queries, questions about legal advice, or just need tips about moving countries, expats are a good point of reference. You can find plenty of expat networking groups on social media sites such as Facebook.
Start Learning the Local Language
We don’t expect you to be fluent before you even step foot in the country. However, it is respectful to learn some of the lingo before you land. Simple phrases such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank you”, and “please” will go a long way in a foreign destination.
Once you feel more settled, we do recommend that you take some language lessons with a local. It will help you out massively and you’ll also feel more integrated with the community. If you’re on a budget, why not join a language conversation class. You can teach someone your native language in exchange for some local lessons.
Get Rid of Your Unwanted Items Before the Move
More often than not, people will pack all of their belongings into boxes, ship it to the other side of the world, and then get rid of most of it when they arrive. You should avoid this at all costs. It’s much more efficient if you get rid of your unwanted items before you move, not after!
We recommend that you go through all of your items and create a “keep”, “toss”, and “donate” pile. However, make sure anything you throw away is recycled as best as possible. Not only will you save money during the move, but you’ll also be able to donate any unwanted items to your local charity stores.
Stay Positive and Optimistic
Moving anywhere new can be tough, so it’s always important to keep your chin up. When you’re in a foreign country, you may feel isolated or alone. However, it’s crucial that you remain positive. It will take you at least a few months to get settled in, so don’t try to rush the process. You can make this transition easier by getting to know new people and learning the local lingo.
Just remember, it’s normal if you feel homesick, especially if this is the first time you’ve moved away. If you’re ever feeling down, just pick up the phone and call a friend. Although moving can feel extremely challenging, it’s also very rewarding. It’s all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and watching how you grow into a new person. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought was possible, so don’t forget to keep smiling.