5 Tips for Moving to a Foreign Country
No one had to tell me that packing up your entire life and moving it an ocean away was going to be hard. But life is short and adventure is waiting so why not. Read below my 5 tips for moving to a foreign country.
However, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, there’s a lot involved in changing your county of residence. Fortunately a lot of paperwork and a hefty price tag later I was able to move from my beautiful Hawai’i nei to the hot and dangerous Australian outback…(insert shocked face)… OK, so we don’t really live in the outback, actually hardly anyone does, it’s primarily a country of coastal dwellers. A huge country and landmass with the majority of people living all around the perimeter of the country, with the middle portion made up of dry dessert areas, which honestly hardly any Australians I’ve met have even seen.
Changing your country of residence is no easy task and here are a few things I’ve learned over the years. I’ve now lived in Australia for 6 years.
1. Do your RESEARCH!
If you are planning on moving permanently to another country, then do your research. There’s a lot to think about such as:
- What type of visa will you need?
- Where will you be moving to?
- What types of jobs are available in that area (if you plan on working)?
- How will you move all of your possessions?
- How will you access your money/bank accounts?
- How will you get around (transportation)? Remember some places drive on the opposite side of the road!
- Who do you contact in case of an emergency?
- Are there any language barriers?
2. Don’t let the idea of material possessions weigh you down
When moving you realise how few of your material possessions you truly value. Many of the items I initially brought over have made their way into second-hand shops to fill someone else’s house with clutter. Travel light and make room for new memories.
Don’t hold on to the jeans that may fit again one day, or the parts of an old life you no longer connect with. Our lives are filled with too much of the “one day” items – One day we will use that again, one day that will fit, one day I will make something with it, one day I will find the right home for it…It can go on and on. Not only do these items clutter our life, let’s be honest – it’s EXPENSIVE carting them across an ocean. So use that opportunity to walk a bit lighter, carry a bit less and make room for new memories and experiences.
3. Find a way to connect with your FAMILY – You’ll need it!
I moved to a foreign country with no family insight. I had my husband and a few of his family near but it’s not the same as your precious ohana (family). International phone calls and postage are eye shockingly – heart skipping – bloody EXPENSIVE!
But loneliness kicks in and you just really need to have a good chat with mom or dad. I found my solace in my iPhone with FREE messaging and phone calls with Face Time (uses your data so jump on wifi for long or frequent calls!). The only downside is not everyone has an iPhone. But there are so many apps available now to connect. Find one that works for you and your family (it took me a bit of work teaching my parents how to use the app….) but TOTALLY WORTH IT!
Some of the apps that I currently use to connect with my friends and family in another country are:
- Facebook messenger
There are SOOOO many FREE apps available. Just have a browse and find one that works for you and your family.
I also have a landline International phone package that costs about $10 per month. I’ve never gone over the minute allotment on it and its a good back-up or alternative option. However, the phone reception is not the greatest in my area so I only use it as a backup or for emergencies. Look into the options in your area and ask around, it might not be as expensive as you would have thought.
4. Create a NEW family!
Get out there and meet new people. Struggle through understanding the accents and language barriers and you’ll meet some beautiful people. Some hopefully you’ll consider part of your permanent family… whether they like it or not…
5. Explore…as much as your finances allow
There’s so much beauty in the world and the only way to truly appreciate it is to experience it. Take a step out of your comfort zone and try new foods, visit new places, make wonderful friends and just enjoy life!