Thinking of Moving Abroad? Here's What You Should Know

31 March 2020

Disclaimer: This is a contributed post. LipsnBerries Blog cannot guarantee the accuracy, reliability and completeness of the information presented below.

No matter who you are, there will likely be a time in your life where you decide it's time for you and your partner to move away from your town and start a new life abroad, whether for a few years or the rest of your lives.

There's something about living abroad that feels exotic. It's a risk, yes, but it's also exciting. You throw yourself into a brand new culture, and regardless of the reasons why you are over there, either for work or merely because you feel you need a change, it's something that you feel compelled to do.

However, before you embark on your new adventure, there are some things that you need to know, and here they are.

Start Saving Now!

Regardless of which country you pack up your life and move to, having enough money to survive the first few months is essential, especially if you've not yet organised a job before leaving. This money will be crucial for finding a beach hut for you to buy in Miami or to check out the properties for rental Malaysia has to offer. No matter where you are, you need a place to stay, and you can't do so in a hotel or Airbnb forever.

These savings will also be useful for helping you get around in taxis, as well as pay for meals or any administrative costs involved with you starting work and entering the country. If your partner isn't working yet either, savings will give both of you a buffer to enjoy the sights before the hard work begins.

Check Your Passport

There's no chance of you leaving or entering another country if your passport is out of date, and you'd be surprised at how many people are rejected travel every year. Typically, you require six months on your passport before it expires, so if you've not renewed it in a while, it's worth taking a look and sending it off for renewal to ensure you can, at the very least, get into the country.

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Do You Need a Visa?

While most countries don't demand you apply for a visa if you're only staying for a few weeks, anyone with aspirations of a more extended residence will need to make their application. The lengths of these visas can vary, but it is usually between 30 and 60 days, with the opportunity for extensions should you require it.
If you're moving for work, however, visa applications can be a little tricky. Often, if you've already been offered the job, your employer will organise everything for you, but sometimes they might ask you to come into the country anyway and sort everything else out later. While this can feel a little sketchy, especially when you get to Immigration, it may merely be a company policy as they don't yet know where you will be placed. This method is particularly true of TEFL schools and courses.

What About Healthcare? 

Even if you consider yourself to have the best immune system around and proudly boast that you have never broken a bone, researching healthcare is still useful. To get started, you must get travel insurance, as this will help pay for any medical bills in countries where universal healthcare is not a thing. Secondly, research the proper vaccines you need and get a certificate; otherwise, you may not be permitted entry to the country at all.

Do Your Research

Where are you staying? What is there to see? What is the currency? Are there any laws or cultural customs you should be aware of before arriving? And what language is spoken?

These are all questions you must ask yourself before you jet off on a brand new adventure. Not only will it help prepare for when you arrive, but it will also give you things to do and see. By knowing what options are available, you can decide what interests you, what doesn't, and even manage to get by in your general day-to-day.

Copy Essential Documents

Copy everything from your passport to your birth certificate 4 to your university degree (if you need it), and anything else that you don't want to use. Having spares of these documents could help you more than you expect, and while authorities will not always accept them, it can give you time to retrieve the genuine documents in their place.

Get In Touch With People Like You
It can be scary to leave everything you know back home, but you will not be the only one like yourself in their new country. Expat lifestyles are more popular than you might expect, and there will always be someone close by who you can connect with.

Often, ex-pats communities love to meet more people, welcome them, and help them adapt to life in a new country. You can use social media and similar platforms to seek them out so that you won't feel so alone once you finally land in your brand new home. 

Even if you can't find such communities, you will also meet people through work or even in your building.

Say Goodbye 

Your final step to take before embarking on your new adventure is to say goodbye to your friends and family. This will be bittersweet, but getting everyone together will give you the chance to say goodbye correctly. 

Depending on who you are, you might want to throw a massive party and enjoy a night on the town, or you can focus on something a little more modest at your home. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how you celebrate it, but instead who you celebrate it with.

A Broad Venture 

There are likely a lot of reasons why you shouldn't move abroad. However, if you've always been someone who loves to travel, the temptation to take it a step further could be too difficult to resist. As long as you know how to approach the next significant step in your life, you're going to do just fine. You might even wonder what took you so long to get away.

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