We’re starting to do more and more general pieces on Pikalily as we look to share more advice on the topics of food, travel and interiors. Over the past number of years I’ve been writing a lot of travel content for a former client, and it got me thinking – there’s a lot of great stuff we should be sharing with our audience here on Pikalily. With this in mind, I wanted to share a few tips on things to consider when planning to move abroad. It’s something we both considered many moons ago, and while in the end we decided to stay at home in Newcastle, we feel the following could be useful to those of you currently thinking about packing up and moving abroad for a while.
Preparing for the big move
Moving abroad is a huge decision that many people are faced with every year. Whether it’s for work, to move in with your significant other, or just to have the adventure of a lifetime – becoming an expat is something you should think through carefully before making the leap.
There are a lot of people who have done it before you though, and they will all have advice to help you when it comes to making your decision. They will be able to share things like, what to do before the move, and how to cope with the changes once you’re finally there. Here is a guide to everything you should try to remember before booking your flight so that you can feel a bit more comfortable and secure when you land on foreign ground.
Why become an expat?
First of all, it’s a good idea to think through your reasons for going. Deciding to move so that you can live with your significant other, is, in general, reason enough – but make sure that your relationship has what it takes before making any final decisions. It’s the kind of stuff you’ll be happy you considered properly when you’re there and feeling slightly homesick.
Moving for work is, of course, also a great reason but it doesn’t mean that you have to live there forever – or even for a whole decade, for that matter. Moving abroad for just a few years can be a great way to get a bit of change and even fall back in love with your home country; if there is a slight chance you’d like to move back, it’s better to not cut all ties with your assets back home. We know lots of people who have moved to Australia and America for a few years before coming back home. For a few though, the life in a new country became the norm, and they moved permanently.
Own a home?
Are you a home owner and considering moving abroad? Why not see if you can rent out your home, and keep some of your bills going such as your phone bill in order to keep your credit score up to date. That way, you can always move back into your old home when you’ve had enough adventure to last you a while.
The trick is to consider whether or not it’s more beneficial to keep some of your ties in case you’d like to move back one day or if it’s better to invest your assets in the new country you’re moving to.
What kind of visa should you stay on?
One of the first things you need to figure out before making any final decisions is how you’re going to be able to stay there legally for as long as possible. Unfortunately, staying in a country for a considerable period of time isn’t always straightforward, and Brexit could soon make it even trickier for us NI folk. So, unless you’ve managed to secure a working Visa or have found someway to stay for longer, your new life abroad could quickly be a short-lived one.
You do have a few options, though, and the route you decide to take is up to you. The only thing that’s certain is that acquiring a permit to stay in another country can be quite tedious and frustrating so prepare yourself for some paperwork and a long wait in rooms without air conditioning. Gov.uk has a great section on both living abroad and travelling abroad which is well worth looking at before you begin your travels. You can learn more at www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/living-abroad.
Where should you live?
Before you move abroad, it’s a good idea to think about your living situation as well. If for nothing else, it will at least give you a sense of security and comfort when you’re on the plane and heading somewhere completely unknown.
Like with your visa choice, you do have a lot of options in terms of accommodation as well. Before you do anything else, try to look up the different alternatives that are specific to the country you’ve moving to; if you’re going to Singapore, for example, you might want to check out the bto launches in 2018, or see if the Airbnb regulations are different abroad than in your home country.
That way, you’ll be able to cover all of your options – and you might find that getting great accommodation is a lot easier than you first thought. Most people try to find something before they move over, though, but this is quite difficult if you haven’t been there before. If you happen to already know someone who lives there, see if you’re able to convince them to check out a few flats for you.
They will probably know the best kind of neighbourhoods as well, by the way, so that you don’t end up somewhere shady. If you’re not able to rent a place before you move over, you should simply stay at a hotel or at an Airbnb for a week or two while looking for a permanent home. That way, you will at least be able to consider the place yourself before moving in.
How should you make money?
Finally, you need to consider your money-making options before heading off. As mentioned above, you can choose to work for a company abroad or simply stay in touch with a company at home – while the latter does not require a work visa, the former certainly does.
While working for a company in the country you’ve moving to can be an exciting and interesting experience, you should keep in mind that you might be able to make quite a lot more money if your salary is paid in your home country’s currency. Have a chat with your boss in the company you work for, at the moment, or consider setting up your own business for even more freedom – there are some travel bloggers who we really look up to that are going great guns travelling and working as they go.
If you’re unable to do this, you may want to see if you’re able to work with something else remotely. There are a lot of available jobs you can do from the comfort of your own laptop as long as you’re willing to do something different. Have a look at this article, for example, to learn more about the most sought-after jobs you can do online and from anywhere in the world.
Ready to make the leap?
While moving abroad is a big decision, on its own, you’re going to have to make a lot of other big decisions as well. Read up on all your options and keep in mind that you can always move back home if it should all become a bit too much.
Have you moved abroad before for work, pleasure or both? We’d love to hear your top tips. Share them in the comments section below.
Until next time, safe travels.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.