Things You Didn’t Know About Moving To a Foreign Country

Moving Abroad

We’ve all dreamed of quitting our 9 to 5 jobs, throwing everything in a couple boxes, hiring a moving company, and saying goodbye the life we left behind.  Tuscan sunsets and Balinese beaches.  A tango in Argentina or perhaps a vegemite on toast in Australia.  But before you pack your bags and pursue a new life abroad, remember there may be some unexpected hiccups along the way.  Prepare yourself first so you don’t end up with any surprises.

You May Need a Visa

Depending on which country you go to, you may need a specific visa to overstay your initial visit. This can range in time that they grant you.  Generally, even in third world countries, you need to be able to prove why you are an asset, and that you have a specialized skill that would not be taking away the job of a citizen of that country. Say, rocket scientist, or lion tamer, things that not just anyone can do.  Alternatively, you could get married to a local which usually does the trick, but that’s a bit permanent, no?

It May Be Difficult To Find Housing

Many places are hesitant to enter a lease agreement with a non-citizen. If you are a tourist they may fear that since you aren’t bringing in income, and you’ve only come with your travel savings, they can’t exactly get proof that you’ll be able to keep the payments coming long term.  In France, for example, many landlords require a specific long term work contract issued only to citizens or work visa issued foreigners. It may not be impossible to find a place to rent, but it could certainly be a challenge. Prepare before you go to find out the rental situation of your specific destination.

Not Everywhere Speaks English

This may come as a surprise but…. not everyone speaks English!  Many Americans set off to become expats only to arrive and realize that it can be extremely disheartening and isolating not having anyone to speak to.  Simple tasks like going to the market or getting a haircut are an everyday struggle just to understand and be understood.  Before you hop on that plane consider a few language courses, or invest in a computer program.

comforts of homeYou Will Miss The Comforts of Home

When you first arrive at a new place everything is so exciting and new.  The food tastes better. The drinks taste cooler. The air even smells better! After some time has passed, however, particularly if you are in a rural area, there will come a day when you want those potstickers from Trader Joes.  Or your favorite pizza from that local spot down the road.  Perhaps Amazon Prime doesn’t even exist where you are.  (The horror!) Something to keep in mind is that even though far away seems like perfection, you will someday miss the familiarities of home.  Really take some time to appreciate it before you depart.


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