There is going on holiday, there is long-term travel and there is moving abroad. All involve getting on a plane (probably) however all mean different needs and preparations that need to take place.
Here are a few things to think about when moving abroad for a long time, and by long time I mean 6 months upwards. A length of time that means you probably need to move your belongings into storage or take them with you and saying goodbye might be a big party, not just an away message on your emails.
So this goes for all kinds of travel, for a weekend, a week, a month, a year… Pack your stuff then halve it and perhaps even halve it again. Moving abroad is a chance to remove clutter, to clear out and prepare for a new clearer you abroad.
I have twice moved to America and ended up packing as much as I can physically fit into two huge suitcases only for half of it to move from my shelves in the UK to my shelves in the USA, gathering dust and looking pretty rather than serving a purpose. You are bound to pick up new things or all kinds when you are in your new destination so only pack the essentials and you will be surprised just how well you cope!
Say farewell (or don’t)
OK so this really depends on you and how long you are going for. I love a good excuse for a party with all my nearest and dearest. In fact why not have a leaving party every time you go on holiday. OK perhaps not, but for anything longer than a few months its a good excuse to catch up with people before you leave.
Leaving for a while is a great way to cut back too. I found when I left London for a while it was only a few people who I kept in touch with and other people started to slowly fall off the radar. It sounds quite clinical cutting back on friends but I honestly think it is a natural part of growing up and when you’re living halfway across the world it is always going to be harder to keep in touch with everyone and you start to realise who your true friends are.
Transfer your money
I’m not an expert in this matter but if you are moving abroad you probably want to look into starting a new bank account or if you are moving to family, transferring money to them in advance. Check out the exchange rates and look for the best time to transfer your money, it can make a big difference on how much it is worth abroad.
Cancel Direct Debits
Alongside sorting your finances in your new home, you need to sort everything out at home. Are there direct debits you can cancel, do you still need your UK phone or will you get a new one abroad? Cut back on your expenses in the UK to a minimum so you can fully get into your new life abroad.
You will probably need to make sure your insurance covers living abroad. Most countries don’t have the luxury of free healthcare, so do your homework and make sure you are covered in case of an accident.
Build connections in advance
Start building your new support network before you go. Are there expat groups you can join to talk together about the things you miss back home or is there a new skill you can learn to meet the locals or a club you could join? Start reaching out to people before you leave so you won’t be completely alone when you arrive.
It always amazes me when I go away that I almost always know someone or know someone who knows someone in the country I am visiting so I can get tips and have a number to call if needed.
Everyone is different and the things you may need to do could change depending on the country, but hopefully, these hints and tips offer some advice for you pending adventure abroad.
Do you have any more tips for people moving abroad?