Moving abroad can be an exciting albeit stressful time in anyone’s life. No matter whether you’re moving to Monaco or Malaysia, Australia or America, there is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration. If you want to give yourself the best chance of a smooth transition, what are the essential steps that you need to take care of before your move? Read on to discover some useful tips that will help you no matter where in the world you’re moving to…
Collaborative post, written by Joe
Get rid of the clutter
This is a good place to start when you’re planning a move. Now is a perfect time to sort out all of the belongings you have in your current home. You need to be brutal and have an extreme declutter. After all, do you really want all of that stuff you don’t really need to follow you? Not only will this mean that your new home ends up being flooded with too many possessions, but it also means that your move will end up costing you more money because you will need to spend more on sending your items abroad.
Download free messaging and video call apps
A simple but important step, because you still need your support network and at home. Gone are the days whereby you need to spend a small fortune in order to keep in touch with people at home. Nowadays, you can do this free of charge thanks to the free messaging and video call apps that are available – set aside half an hour to do your research so that you can choose which ones will work best for you.
Join expat forums
Lots of countries around the world have large expat communities, and so you can certainly learn a lot by joining forums online. You will gain tips from people who have already made the move, and you may even make some new friends in the process. It always helps to connect with people that were once in your position, and it’s a good idea to make some contacts before you leave home so that you’ve already got some go-to people if you need help with anything.
Save up more money than you think you will need
The last thing you want to do is blow your budget when moving overseas. However, this is something that a lot of people end up doing because it’s so easy to underestimate the amount of money you’re going to need. Moving to another country is never cheap, especially if you don’t have a job lined up to walk into. The best thing to do is make sure you have enough money to last you for three – six months without work in your new location. It sounds like a lot, but having that safety net will really help you to relax while you get settled in, and mean that there’s something set aside if there’s an emergency.
Learn the language
You don’t need to become a pro, but making an effort to learn the local language will definitely make your life easier. It’s not something you should get stressed out about, but you should certainly try to learn some of the essential phrases – just take it one day at a time and consider doing an online course or going to lessons. Not only will this make things easier for you in your new location, but you will make a positive impression on the locals too! Don’t be self-conscious or worried about mistakes – generally people just appreciate the effort, and it will make it easier to make new friends too.
Understand the culture
On a similar note, it’s important to research the culture in the country that you’re moving to so that you know what to expect. Depending on where you are moving to, the culture may be similar to your home country or it could be worlds apart. Either way, do not assume that you won’t experience some kind of a culture shock – most people do.
Sort out health insurance before you move
Another important area that needs to be sorted out before you move away is your health insurance. In most countries, expats are not entitled to free healthcare, and so insurance becomes a necessity. Even if you are entitled to public healthcare in the place that you’re moving to, you need to research it to ensure it’s of a satisfactory standard – in many cases, private health insurance will be the best option. This is something you need to sort out in advance so that it comes into action from the moment you get on the plane. The last thing you want to do is suffer a misfortune on the flight or in your first few days and have no cover in place. All of the money you have budgeted for the move itself (and possibly more) will end up going on medical care.
Notify the right people that you are leaving
Another step you need to take when moving abroad is to notify the right people. This includes your doctor, as well as the Department of Work & Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, and the Social Security Office, or whatever the equivalent organizations are in your current country. It’s also a good idea to seek some independent legal advice so that you can fully understand the laws of the country you are moving to.
Rent before you buy
It’s always a good idea to rent a property overseas before you go ahead and commit to buying one. You should also keep abreast of the latest news in the area – you can easily research ‘Malaysia property news‘ and such like on the internet to ensure that you make a smart investment. Renting will enable you to discover what you like and dislike about a property in your new country, as well as enabling you to get familiar with a specific area before you commit to it.
Don’t go back to your home country in the six months
While it can be very tempting to return to your home country, you should try to avoid doing this in the first six months to a year. Going back for a visit can really unsettle you and/or certain members of your family. Instead, you need to focus on getting settled in your new home, and doing that might take a little time.
Prepare for the unexpected
Last but not least, it does not matter how thoroughly you plan, there are always going to be some surprises along the way. The best thing to do is accept the fact that you can’t control everything! Some of these surprises can be good and some might be bad, and it may take a little while until you feel settled enough to take it all in your stride. Generally speaking, most expats feel that it takes around six months for them to completely feel settled in their new home, but take things at your own pace and be kind to yourself.
Moving abroad is a massive leap to take, so don’t underestimate the emotional toll it can take. Make sure to look after yourself. Part of that is making sure that you do everything you can to prepare properly before you leave. That way you stand the best chance of making this a move to remember… for all the right reasons!