What you need to know before moving abroad

Many of us want to be able to travel and possibly live overseas. We live in a big world and the more experience we gain from it, the better. We don’t only want one kind of life, in one place. But moving our entire life is difficult. So much of what makes us secure is about creating a space that is our own. Moving means undoing the foundations we create in our home cities.

To that end, we should consider what to do before moving.

Start saving now

Everyone should be saving what they can anyway, but focusing it toward the goal of travelling and living abroad matters, too. We must understand the exchange rates, what the cost of living means and how we can function. After all, if we are moving directly into a job, we will find it easier than if we don’t have one at all. If we plan on living off our savings, we need to start even earlier, saving even more.

Ideally, we will have savings as fallback in case things do not work out. We don’t want to be stranded in a foreign country with no money and no way to return home. Further, by understanding the value of money overseas, we can better plan how we save and spend. As one travel writer noted:

“Housing is where you may see the most dramatic drop, but you’ll also pay less for food, entertainment, transportation, and anything requiring human labor.”

Get your paperwork sorted

No one enjoys doing paperwork, even when there is a reward at the end. Inevitably, the rewards far outweigh the minor inconvenience of admin. But that boredom can lead to mistakes. Make sure you check your paperwork and have your documents in order – indeed, check it twice, possibly against a checklist.

Understand shipping

We must make the tough decision of storing and shipping. There are items we obviously need, such as clothes. But what about computers and exercise machines? This must be decided well in advance, since we need to take space into account.

Depending on where we’re moving to, shipping can be cheaper than storage. But these belongings still needs to be placed somewhere when they arrive. If we are certain we will have space in our new homes, then obviously shipping will ideal.

As one experienced traveller suggested: “As a rule of thumb, ask yourself: Do I love my stuff? Did I pay a lot for it? Can I not imagine living without it? If any of your answers are “yes,” strongly consider shipping.”

Take care of your health

Depending on our health requirements, we may need to prepare our healthcare situation well in advance. It could be the case that we must start considering a medical scheme before we even arrive. Ideally, the job we have overseas offers this as part of the package. If not, we should be inquiring, since health is more important than the paycheque.

These are just some of the very important considerations we should be dealing with, when moving overseas.

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