So, you’ve decided to spice things up and experience a new country long-term. You’re ready for a new adventure and are certain to spread your wings. Making the decision is the easy part. Now comes the hard work. Any idea what to do next? You’ll want to check out our list of do’s and don’ts before making that big life change.
Do Get Your Papers in Order
The first and most important step when moving abroad is gathering all the necessary paperwork. Not only will you need an updated passport, but you will need some kind of visa in order to stay in your new county. Rules and regulations vary widely from country to country, so make sure you do your research when it comes to what kind of visa you are eligible for and how long it might take for that visa to go through.
Do Get a Health Checkup
One thing you might not think about before moving is your health. But many countries will require that you have proof that you are completely up to date on all of your immunizations. It’s also generally a good idea to make sure you are healthy before your big move. Bringing a foreign bug with you isn’t just bad for you, it’s bad for all your new neighbors as well.
Do Research of Housing Options and a Moving Company
Before you move, it’s also (obviously) a good idea to make sure that you have not only somewhere to live in your new country, but that your new home is safe and located in an area that is a good fit for you. Finding an apartment or a house before you move is ideal. Make sure to do some searches of the houses available in the area by simply searching “columbia sc homes for sale” if you are looking to move to that area, for example. But if you don’t have a home base yet, make sure you have a hotel lined up or friends that you can stay with for those first few days. If you’re in a pinch a site like couchsurfing.com may offer you a plan B. It’ll give you a place to crash for a night or two while you get your feet under you.
Another important thing you must do before moving abroad is researching moving companies that can help you get your stuff to where it needs to be. Professional movers have the resources that you just aren’t available to you. Which means they will be able to pack your things, transport them through customs, and have them arrive at the right location.
Don’t Move Blind
When you’re in the process of deciding to switch countries, don’t just pick a place on a map. Moving internationally is a big commitment that you can’t easily back out of. If you have the opportunity, it’s important that you spend time in the country beforehand, so that you can experience the culture and way of life in order to decide if it is a good match for you. Once you’ve immersed yourself in your new possible home, you will really know for sure if that is the place where you want to be.
Don’t Leave Your Pets Hanging
Moving with pets is always difficult, but when you’re moving to a different country, then it’s doubly difficult. If you’re taking your pets along on this new journey, then you need to make sure that you meet the health requirements of your new country. Many places require proper paperwork proving your pet has been vaccinated. Some countries also require your pet to remain in quarantine after they arrive in the country.
Don’t Leave Things to the Last Minute
Any type of move takes lots of planning, even if you’re just moving across town. But moving to a new country takes even more planning. The best thing you can do is not leave things to the last minute. Take care of all your paperwork, health needs, and housing issues before you take the plunge and start your new adventure.