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Moving Abroad 101

When one tries to think of a list of decisions that cannot and should not be made lightly, moving abroad has to be somewhere in the top five places. This is a serious step that takes audacity and determinacy many people lack. But by the looks of it, you are not one of those people! If you are thinking about, or have already decided to become an expat, there are things to know, though. You can never be too careful or too prepared. So stalk up on moving information. And before you do, read this list of some basic stuff to think about before you step into the great adventure called moving abroad. Don’t worry, making such a decision was definitely the hard part. Now you can relax for a bit and try to prepare the best you can.

Moving abroad

Before your moving abroad day comes

Visit the country you are moving to more than once

Needless to say, before you move to a whole other country, you should do your research. Hopefully, you are able to visit the city/country you will be moving to more than once. It is definitely ill-advised to relocate abroad based on one seven-day trip you took a year ago. Your first impression of a new country is important, but get to know it as good as you possibly can before you actually move there.

Discuss and agree with your family

If you have a partner (husband, wife) and children, moving abroad should be discussed thoroughly. Each family member should agree with the decision to move. Also, everyone needs to start preparing for the expat life. And this can be tricky. Depending on the age of your children, try to get them as prepared as possible. It is never easy to leave your homeland and friends when you’re a child, so take special care of this aspect of moving.

Mother and Toddler

Don’t forget to get a physical

You and all your family members should have physicals before you move abroad. If you are taking any medications, make sure you bring a supply sufficient for the settling period. You don’t want to run out of any meds before you find a suitable physician for yourself abroad. Whether you plan to relocate to Europe or any other part of the world, find a new doctor as soon as you arrive.

Find a reliable international moving company

Make no mistake here – you are definitely going to need the assistance of professional movers. Moving to another country is complicated enough, find professionals such as Kokusai Express Japan who can help you go through relocating abroad with no issues.

Packing, a.k.a. the most tiresome phase of moving

When moving abroad, the best advice you can take is to pack only the essentials. However, this is easier said than done. You can easily find a moving company and shipping your belongings overseas can simply be completed in no time. But sorting through your belongings, categorizing and packing them can be quite a buzzkill. So try to do it with a certain order:

  • Clothes – make sure you only bring the very essentials. Piling on jeans and t-shirts isn’t helpful, declutter is your keyword during the packing stage!
  • Vehicles – perhaps it is a great time for you to change your car. Or to give away your old bike. There are shipping options, but opting to leave some of your bulkiest possessions behind could be reasonable.
  • Furniture and appliances – get a storage unit or sell. A yard sale is a fun way to let go of the things you won’t be needing after you move.
  • Paperwork and other unsorted household items – bring the stuff you cannot live without. Everything else can be safely packed and stored away.

Make new friends

Upon your arrival to the new homeland

This is a vital piece of advice before, after and even during your relocation abroad – keep on learning the language. Use any chance you get. Learning a second language is much easier once you get to use it on a daily basis. So, after you arrive, get to know your neighbors, talk to your local shop owner, never avoid a chance for small talk, and continue hitting the books every chance you get. Learning the language can help you alleviate the effects of culture shock by making friends and acquaintances. And aside from getting to know people around you, by talking to them, you will get a clearer image of how they live. This will enable you to adjust. The so-called “culture shock” may become just a “mild culture disturbance” for you.

  • Not to forget – keep your passport with you at all times. It may seem like common sense, but it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you are no longer in your old country.
  • After you find a physician, also get a hold of a local bank account
  • It’s not a bad idea to get an international driving permit before you move, this way you can find a car for yourself as soon as you relocate

And finally, stay positive. Moving abroad could be the best decision of your life. Take your time and do not rush things. Adjusting to a new country and new people can last for months. Accept the local customs that you find decent and respectable. You do not need to pretend to be local. Just be yourself and accept your new friends and neighbours the way they are. Being an expat will surely bring a breath of fresh air into your life.

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