While some of us talk about moving house as being one of the most stressful things possible, imagine how moving to a whole new country would feel. Emigration can be incredibly challenging, and is something that you need to prepare for, right from the very start.
Like anything in life, to do it well you need to be prepared and have as much knowledge on the subject as possible, and this is where we will begin:
Become an expert on your new country
If you’re going to live in a new country, either due to work, family or following a dream, it is likely you have agreed to go or chosen the destination. With this assumption, the country you’re moving to should be one that you approve of, as this is where you will call home for the foreseeable future.
With the internet nowadays, there is no excuse for not doing your homework. Get online and understand the country you are moving to. View their tourist information pages and understand the differences in culture you may face. It is always better to try and integrate yourself into a new culture rather than trying to pretend it doesn’t exist. People will be friendlier to you if they see you try to fit in. You may also be able to find what other ex-pats have done when moving there or if there is a community that will be able to help you settle.
If you are able, have a trip to the new country a good few months before hand, this way you can realistically gauge how it will be and what life is going to be like for you.
Like everything in life, moving is not cheap. There will be costs for relocation that you cannot avoid, whether this is using a storage company in the local area (or back home) or having to use a company for international removals.
However it doesn’t end with the expenses incurred during the move itself (or the travel, or indeed the rent or property costs), you can never be sure what life can throw at you. Do you have a job lined up, is it secure? Will you buy a car or need public transport? Are there local taxes that you need money instantly for?
So make sure you have set up a relocation budget, and then add a few more pounds to the total. The first few months after your move are likely to be the most expensive and to keep stress down, you want it to go as smoothly as possible.
If you are moving abroad you are going to have to let people know. In this country it’s not too hard, as it is the place you’ve been surviving in for however many years. Get all your utilities accounts closed, sort out your bank account, your phone, your internet and TV. You will also need to contact people regarding existing insurance policies and automobile taxes.
Then you need to do it all again when you move. If you’re well prepared you should research all this pre-move. Find out how you get connected for energy and communication needs. Is it better to bank locally than keeping your English account?
Of course it’s not all regarding money or services, you will also need to register with a local Doctor, also a dentist and perhaps optician? Once again, a little research pre-move will help no end. Speak to your current practitioners as they will no doubt be able to point you in the right direction.
Do you need a jumper in Africa?
One of the things we Brits are known for is being a nation of hoarders. We find it hard to throw things away, but, unless you are arranging some sort of storage with family or with a storage company, this could be the best time.
While you don’t need to strip back to the barest of essentials, it is unlikely that you will need everything that is your current home in your new one. Either get onto EBay to make some extra relocating money, sweet talk family members to ‘look after’ things or just accept that some things, nobody wants!!
To be honest, if you haven’t thought about where you might live, you’re either travelling with a rucksack or you haven’t thought at all!
If you’re looking to rent before you buy, again you can sort this out before you leave. You can then spend time in your new country learning about property value there before making a decision.
This is just a scratch on the smallest scratch of a large iceberg, but take it as food for thought. It is one of those times where you will be making lists and losing lists, but you can do it!