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8 Tips for Moving to Another Country: During the Move

Travel Oct 24, 2014

I was so happy to read last week that so many of you have taken, or are planning to take, the leap of moving to a new country. AMAZING! However for those of you thinking about it I would be wrong to pretend that everything about moving is great, one of the annoying things about it is the actual moving part. MOVING SUCKS! However, it’s clearly a necessary evil in terms of actually relocating. Here I share a few thoughts on things to remember during your move.

Square Stuff Away

Whilst the thought of running off to another country and leaving all your worries behind may sound appealing, trust me when you eventually come back (even for a trip) it will all be there waiting for you. Probably costing you money the whole time! So remember to square away memberships, mail, university debt, credit cards, phone bills and anything that’s going to mount up while you’re away. If you have outgoings that will continue while you are away make sure you leave enough money in your account to cover at least the first few months.

Pack Up Your Things (and cull)
Moving is the perfect opportunity to become the minimalist you’ve always wanted to be, I promise you you’re not going to need everything from your whole house in your new country. I moved with just a suitcase (twice in fact) and I honestly don’t miss any of the clutter I got rid of.

Ship some favourites
If you need to, ship some of your favourite pieces that will make it feel like home to your destination, just make sure you pack in your suitcase that climate appropriate clothing as you often have to wait up to three months for boxes shipped by sea (i.e. the cheap way).

Plan where you’ll stay when you arrive

Getting off a bus with only a suitcase and nowhere to go is only romantic in the movies, and having somewhere solid to lay your head when you arrive is key to feeling good. Hopefully you know someone who will let you mooch off them for a week or two (or three!) otherwise a short-term rental is your best bet

Take a trip before settling
If there’s one thing I regret not doing both times I moved countries is taking an extended trip away before settling in. In my experience those between jobs phases (hopefully) are few and far between in your life/career and as you get older the chances of doing a three month journey around Canada or wherever diminish as your responsibilities pile up. If money is tight, why not do a little working holiday where you go and do some casual work, my friend did a few months running the desk of a backpackers in Croatia as she moved countries and still dreams of her days at the Gecko hostel.

Practice your new language
I probably should have mentioned this in my last post because honestly, language is key and has always influenced my decisions about where I would live. If you’re going somewhere where the dominant language is different to yours, now’s the time to cram that phrasebook, it might help to put it under your pillow too!

Don’t forget your family
Your friends are going to want to have like 5o leaving parties but in reality your family are probably going to be the people that you miss the most while you’re away, so make sure to pencil in time for some TLC with them. Chances are your mum/dad are concerned you’ll go away and never come back, and now’s the time to tell them that you definitely plan on coming back in a year or so and settling down just around the corner from them (revisions can be made later!).

Say bye to that guy you fell in love with last week
Ok so invariably if you’re single and planning on moving countries you fall head over heels in love with someone in the few weeks before you leave, allowing just enough time to have an crazy whirlwind romance that will leave you in pieces on the plane. Trust me this is textbook, and sods law, and proof of the ‘when you’re not looking you find it’ adage. Don’t let that stop you going – you’re an independent woman! Being apart will be the perfect test of your relationship, leading to him perhaps moving too or you perhaps moving back sooner than expected and either way lots of meeting in the middle. Just go with it!

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