Travel is one thing, but what about if you want to actually make a more drastic change?! Moving abroad is a huge, life changing decision, but it’s one that will undoubtedly enrich your life with a wealth of experience. There’s no point in sugar coating it and pretending everything will be perfect – after all, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. With that said, it’s certainly something for your bucket list, so rather than waiting for someday – why not just take the plunge? Here are a few ideas on how best to make the most of your time away – and how best to cope if something goes wrong.
Before you move abroad, you’ll have to sort out changing some of your cash into the currency of the land you’ll be going to. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s toy money – it will probably always look that way to you, but luckily, it will actually work where you’re going! As soon as you arrive, you’ll want to sort out a bank account, as your salary will need to be paid in here. In case things are tough in the first few weeks, you can always get family and friends to give you a bit of a helping hand. Using services like Azimo, they can send you money from and to anywhere in the world, even over Facebook.
Things may either be comparatively cheaper or more expensive in your new country – usually the cost of living is reflected in the wages there, so once you start earning, things should improve if you’re finding it a little tough! You’re probably always going to mentally convert the money in your mind, though!
The likelihood is that you’ll have already found a job before you move, due to visa restrictions which often say you have to. However, in case you haven’t, it’s obviously for the best to start looking immediately. Many countries will want to see evidence that you can sustain yourself before you actually clear their customs, but this isn’t just for their benefit, it’s for yours, too. Tiding yourself over whilst you wait for your first payment can be tricky, especially when you’ve had to pay out-of-pocket expenses in order to establish yourself. If you’re struggling, you should go immediately to seek advice – whether it’s at an employment agency or at your home country’s consulate. Government websites (for example for the UK, EU, Australia, USA, and Canada) can also be of great help.
Look up information about taxation, too – you’ll want to make sure you’re paying your share, if you are required to. Some countries take this automatically, while other countries ask you to calculate it yourself. This will vary from job to job and place to place, so do your research. Finally, it goes without saying – only find employment that is allowed for your visa category. If you’re not allowed to work in certain industries (or indeed, at all!) then you must always stick to this, otherwise you can open yourself up to deportation or even incarceration… not exactly the adventure you’ve always dreamed of!
Integration is going to be key in your new home! The social side of things is often a massive draw, so you’ll want to ensure you get the best of the lovely people who live in the country of your choosing – they’ll help make the best memories! If you’re lucky enough to already know somebody out there, make the most of them! Everyone they can introduce you to is a potential connection – or better still, a potential friend. They can help you improve your language skills, your cultural knowledge, or even just ensure that you are happy and settled. After all, you presumably came to immerse yourself and discover new experiences – and who better to show you how than some natives?! When you’re looking for friends outside of your circle (whether that’s at work, or just generally), you might want to think about getting active either in a club, a gym, or a volunteer group. If you’ve got a hobby, get out there, meet people and live like a local. If romance is what you’re looking for, online dating is a great way to meet people in the community – websites like eHarmony or Plenty of Fish have members from everywhere, so you’re bound to find someone to spend some time with!
Insurance & Healthcare
Insurance is important, because it can literally be the difference between life and death. Healthcare, for example, varies dramatically from country to country, with some offering free benefits to all, whilst others deny treatment to those who cannot pay, particularly those who are foreign. Protect yourself, know your rights, and make sure you invest in the right insurance to treat yourself should something go wrong. The last thing you want is ridiculous bills.
Although the practical sides of your move may seem like the most boring, they’re the aspects which will keep your journey as smooth as possible. Good luck in your new life!