If you are thinking of moving abroad, then you need to be realistic about the whole thing. It’s not like you see in the movies where someone packs a bag, jets off to set up a new life, and lives happily ever after – far from it.
Moving abroad takes lots of planning and organization and might not be the picnic that you envisage. If you do your homework and think about it logically and carefully though, there should be no reason why it can’t happen. Here are 6 things to consider if you are thinking of moving abroad.
Where will you move to?
One of the most crucial questions you need to ask yourself is where you intend to move to. Whether you want to move to the hilly landscapes and changeable weather of Scotland in the UK, or like the idea of living in Costa Rica with its fabulous climate and affordable cost of living, there is lots to consider.
One of the first things you should do is create a list of pros and cons for each of your chosen destinations and narrow it down from there.
Can you speak the language?
If you intend to move to a non-English speaking location, then it’s always a good idea to try to learn the basics of their native language. Not only is this seen as a respectful thing to do even if the locals have a good grasp of English, but could help you immensely when you first move. The easier it is to communicate, the better you are likely to transition.
Have a look online for night classes in your local area or, if you prefer the idea of one-to-one tuition, local social media pages are a good place to ask.
Do you need a work permit?
Many countries are extremely strict when it comes to visitors working, so you must research the laws for the country you intend to relocate to and arrange for the relevant work permits before you arrive.
You may be tempted to go anyway and sort it all out once you get there, but that could land you in a heap of trouble. You may even be turned away at the border if you do not have the correct paperwork, so find out what you need and sort it in advance.
What will you do with your home and your belongings?
If you own a home or have lots of belongings where you currently live, you need to figure out what you are going to do with them. If you have no intention of ever coming back, you may decide to have your possessions shipped to your new residence. Although it could cost a fair amount of money, it might work out cheaper than starting over again, so it’s worth doing the sums and finding out which is the best option.
If you think that you may at some point return, then it might be a good idea to rent out your home and put your other belongings into temporary storage. If you do intend to do this, it’s worth finding out whether there are any tax implications so that you are fully aware of the financial impact it could have in the longer term.
Where will you live?
If you are moving as part of a relocation package with work, then it’s likely that they will help to sort accommodation out for you and your family. If, however, you are moving independently, it’s wise to have temporary accommodation sorted well in advance. If you intend to move with a young family, consider heading to your destination a month or so before they do so that you can sort things out in advance of their arrival.
All countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to renting a property so, if necessary, hire a property professional who can help you with the paperwork, particularly if there is a language barrier. They will explain the timescales, fees, and any other salient information relating to your rental agreement, which will give you peace of mind that you are not signing your life away.
Health and medical
Before heading abroad, you must make sure that you have adequate health and medical insurance. If you or someone in your family become poorly or get injured, you need to know that you are covered. If you don’t take insurance, you could end up with astronomical medical bills. Read the small print and make sure that suitable insurance cover is in place before you go.
It’s also important that you check if there are any immunization recommendations or requirements before you depart. Many illnesses and diseases are more common in certain countries, so it’s worth minimizing the risks to ensure that you are well protected before your new adventure begins.