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How to Live Abroad – Things to Know Before Moving

Hannah Michaelson November 25, 2019
Posted November 25, 2019 In Moving Tips&Tricks,
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

More and more Americans are deciding to give it a shot at living outside of the US. Even though around 40% of them have never left their home country, and would have no clue how to live abroad, it doesn’t stop the third of them from decidedly planning to leave the States. Follow-up research has shown that exploring the world is a huge motivator for those who want to move across the border.

Thinking of Moving Overseas

Many people would agree with the statement that they live an uneventful, routine-driven home life, with not much going on. But even though the reason behind this might partly be due to the system they’ve been brought up in, it ultimately depends on every individual to try and escape it. If you travel to different countries once or twice a year, some might say you should consider yourself lucky. But what if you think differently, and your adventurous spirit seeks more than occasional holiday travel? How can you make it like those two van life YouTubers you follow on their journeys around the world?

Tips on How to Live Abroad – Think About the Money and Break the Language Barrier

We can’t offer you a travel plan or give advice on which countries are nice this time of year, but we sure can provide you with a necessary confidence boost, some encouragement and plenty of tips that will ease your transition. If you’ve made your choice to work remotely, you might be wondering how do you move to another country. The only thing you really need is a list of general tips on how to live abroad, a suitcase, and some curiosity.

International Travel vs. Moving Abroad

There are various things to note when taking this big leap into the unknown. For example, international travel is nothing like actually moving across the border. If you’re still on the fence about whether you need to move there or go to an expedition in a far-flung corner of the Earth, we say take it easy. It’s always a good choice to find a community of expats that live in the said country and talk to them about actual living conditions there.

If you have a less than an ideal financial situation, knowing that international moving can cost heaps of money might be a strong determining factor. While many countries are, in fact, cheaper compared to the US in terms of the living costs, you might think differently when it comes to the price of the transition. And if you want the same standard of living, the money suddenly may become tight trying to tend to all of the different moving needs. The big tip here is to curb your expectations and devise a sound financial strategy, figure out when the best time to move is, and cut down on unnecessary expenses.

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Finding Work Abroad

Some countries out there are very strict about work licenses, and some are more lenient. Depending on the industry you belong to, there are various solutions that are more feasible in some countries that might give you the upper hand. For example, Spain is on the lookout for chefs, and will likely pay them more than, say, the UK. Do thorough Internet research before determining if your new home country has the availability to hire you or try and make inquiries at your current position if they can allow you to work remotely. Just keep in mind the most important relocation questions to ask an employer before you make the final decision.

Language Barriers

Living abroad has more challenges than, for example, a different price for the same product. That’s a nuisance you get adjusted to fairly easily, unlike some other issues. One of the biggest issues that people face when moving internationally is the new language. You can’t expect everyone to know English, much like you can’t expect the weather to be nice all the time. You will have more luck finding English speakers in bigger towns and countries’ capitals than in some more remote places. Ultimately, you will have to immerse yourself in this new culture and learn at least some of the everyday phrases, even if you find them awkward to say.

Make Backup Plans

You not only need to make plans for your future home, such as where you’ll live, where you’ll work, how to ship your car and what your daily life needs to be like at first. You might also need to plan your way back. We are not trying to say that things are not going to work out well for you, we are saying you need to carry a safety net just in case. No matter if you are going for a 6-month stay, moving your entire family there, or just visiting to gain more info, always have a backup plan. In the end, you might find out things aren’t the way you like, and you might change your mind.

Take a Test Run – Travel to London

We know this might seem a little unorthodox, but hear us out. We don’t want to send you to a specific place, just make you take a test run. No need to travel the world, just go on an extended vacation to, say, London first, and experience a different country that is still an English speaking territory. Why, you might wonder. You should have experience with living elsewhere just to see how wildly different it might be from your ‘norm’, even though they speak the same language. Culture shocks are a real thing, especially for unassuming American citizens who are used to things always running smoothly.

Take a Leap of Faith and Move Abroad

This new country might be everything you’ve ever wished for. The place you chose to be your new home might be the one from your dreams, the home you have always wanted. You won’t be sure what it’s like to live there until you make a trip there and see for yourself if it’s one of the best countries in the world to start a family. Ultimately, you want what’s best for them, and no matter where you find yourself next, we hope that these tips helped you get there and that you’ll be truly happy.



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