How to Move to a New Country
Moving is never easy, even if it's across the road. All the work that is needed and the sense of organization required makes me tired just to think about it. And moving of materials is just another aspect of the process. The actual work you need to do starts when you have the idea, desire, or need to move to a new place. Then you go through the whole process of searching either in your head or over the internet: "is it worth it" - will I make more money, will I be happier, will I be able to adapt, is this a good idea in general, will I progress in my career/studies, do I really need a change of scenarium?
The reasons you can find for moving are endless, but a good part of us move because of work/school related or because of a search for a better place to live. Some of you may be forced to move, such as when you are following your family, or because of your career (like if you are a diplomat or work for a company where you have to relocate). In any case, moving is a voluntary action we take instigated by a desire to explore the unknown.
And not a lot of us have the courage to face this fear of the unknown. Moving is definitely an action of getting out of your comfort zone, and you may have many fears of what could go wrong, which stop you from doing so. It is definitely not an easy task. So I hope this post helps you with understanding the steps of moving, as well as helps you make this important decision or guide you through the process. For tips o how to find a job in a new country click here and for Living in London after Brexit click here.
The first step of moving is:
Know where you are going and research about the place
*Ask people who have been there to advise you on where to stay, how the city is like, etc.
*Research the internet about the country, culture, what there is to do there, economic situation, etc. If you can speak the local language you will find how locals write about it as well, which will give you a different outlook.
*Research about the areas that you should move into and possible places, where it is closer to your work/school, where has better facilities, easy of access, etc.
*Check if there are online groups where people from your country or others share their experience living there (such as blogs like mine ;)
If everything sounds reasonable and if this step hopefully didn't put you off, you would then move on to the next step which is:
Take care of your life at home, organize your situation so that you don't leave anything outstanding and set a date for moving
*Close bank accounts if you have to, or set everything up for you to be living abroad.
*Take care of any paperwork or documents.
*Start thinking of what you want to take with you and how you are going to bring it. Remember that on a flight there is a limit amount of weight/luggage you can take, so if you need to take more than that you will have to search for shipping services for example, or call the airline and ask what you can do.
*Know where you are going to stay when you get there (and how to get there), which will be discussed on the next step.
*Say goodbye to the loved ones, give them your contact, or even organize a going away party :D (don't just disappear as people will be worried about you ;).
The next step is a continuation of all your research, which hopefully you were doing before you get to the country:
Find a place to live
*For those of you who already have accommodation set up for you before you move due to work, school, family - great! In any case, it is still a good idea to be a little familiar with the area you are moving to (such as search on google maps what is near you etc) so that you don't feel like you were dropped somewhere in the world out of a parachute.
*For those of you who don't have the previous prestige, I would suggest moving to a temporary place before you move to a permanent one. The problem with setting up a permanent place before you move there is that you may be unpleasantly surprised when you get there (either the place is dirty, your housemates are shady, the area is not good, etc).
*For that matter, if you know anyone who lives there (family, friends) it would be great if you could get to stay at their place until you find your own. If not, stay at an Airbnb spot until you find a permanent one.
*Ask the locals what are the best websites and ways for finding a room or house/apt/flat. They will know it better than when you just google it, then start applying for the places you like.
*Find out the documents or information you will need to provide to landlords so that you are all set when you find a place you are happy with.
*This step will probably be the most stressful one of all because finding a place is never easy, especially in some cities (like London), where it can get really tricky and you have to be prepared to pay deposits and other fees. Some of you may also not be able to find that perfect spot for your budget, but this is all part of the experience and adapting to a new country.
Once you found that place that you are hopefully happy with, you get to the next step:
Organize everything in your new home:
*If your place comes furnished or if you are bringing in your own furniture, that helps a lot. If not, you will have to buy new ones. In this case, if you are trying to save money, I would suggest finding your nearest IKEA store and start from there, or you can also find cheaper furniture in large supermarkets/superstores or even second hand shops. Each country has its bargain furniture shops so don't hesitate to ask around.
*You will probably need to buy a lot of the household items, such as cutlery/plates, towels, linens, cleaning products, etc, so be prepared to spend with those as well.
*And obviously you will explore the local market and start trying some of the new country's food - yum (or not :)!
If you have survived all of the previous steps and you still have some money in the bank, congratulations! You have reached the last step:
Understand where you are living and get inserted into society:
*The first thing a lot of us do is start exploring our surroundings and become familiar to where the nearest market is, transport stations, restaurants, etc.
*Then our knowledge of the area starts to widen as we go further and further in our exploration.
*I hope that before you have reached this step you already have a phone where you can be reached by others :D (ps: some countries make it very difficult to get into a plan, so you can either buy chips or pre-paid options).
*Then you start making friends through work, school or through the people you already know. If you need an extra help in that department you can always check for groups or clubs in your city or school that have people with similar interests as you, and you can find more tips here. Also, nowadays, there are a ton of apps that can be used to meet people as well, so check if there is anything that would suit you.
And that is it, welcome to your new home! How exciting! Well it is indeed a ton of work and you need to be a person who will take the initiative to follow through each step of the way. Sometimes there is not a lot of help out there and you need to be aware that you will be doing a lot on your own, which may include having to carry heavy furniture/luggage, getting lost, meeting some strange people, etc. But it's all worth it once you are settled and don't forget that it's all part of the experience. Trust me you will learn a lot from it and it will make you a better/more independent person. Good luck!