I’ve moved around quite a bit in my life – as a kid, my family and I relocated a few times, and as an adult, I’ve spent most of my time away from my hometown. But it wasn’t until I met this girl in Estonia who was freaking out about moving to Paris that I realized just how stressful the process can be for some people.
Even though we were complete strangers, she randomly came to me for advice simply because I’ve done a bit of traveling. I like to think I gave her some good tips that helped her settle in, and now she’s probably sipping coffee and munching on croissants like a true Parisian.
Anyway, that experience got me thinking that maybe I could help other people who are planning to move to another country. So, whether you’re ready to take on a new adventure or just curious about how to move to another country, I’ve got some info and tips to make this relocation as stress-free and easy as possible. After all, moving to another country can be an exciting, life-changing experience – let’s make sure it’s a positive one!
What to Expect when Moving to Another Country?
Moving to another country is an exciting experience, but it can also be a rollercoaster of emotions! I would say that there are 5 main stages most people experience when moving to another country. Of course, everyone’s experience will be different, and there may be additional stages or variations in the order of the stages, but these stages of moving to another country are often the same.
First, there’s excitement, the anticipation of a new life and all the possibilities it holds. You may start to plan your adventure, to organise everything and to project yourself.
Next, as your departure date dangerously approaches, you may start to feel some nerves and jitters. On the day of departure, there will certainly be some last-minute details to deal with, and you may find yourself rushing around trying to get everything in order. It’s completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed, just take things one step at a time. You’ve got this!
Then comes the frustration stage, which may arise upon arrival when things don’t quite meet expectations. Perhaps the place doesn’t seem as exciting as you had imagined. And this is completely normal! After all, you’ve spent weeks building up an image of what your life will be like in your new home, and reality may not always match up. But don’t worry – these feelings are just part of the journey and don’t necessarily reflect the reality of your new life.
Finally, there’s the adjustment stage, where you may take a few days or weeks to get used to your new surroundings, establishing a routine, and starting to feel at home. We can also mention here culture shock and homesickness, but these are totally normal and just part of the adjustment phase. Nothing will ever be exactly the same as before, but that’s all part of the change, isn’t it?
Speaking from personal experience, every time I have moved to a new place, I have experienced this strange feeling – waking up to the sounds of my previous home and feeling disoriented until I remember that I’m in a new place. These sounds seem so real every time, whether it’s someone’s voice or the sound of a coffee machine. Crazy what your mind can do, uh? But eventually, I get used to my new surroundings, learn the streets, the shops, and establish new routines. It takes time, but it always all falls into place eventually.
Before you know it, you’ll be proudly calling your new city or town “home”, feeling a sense of belonging and joy that comes with exploring new places and meeting new people. You’ll have made new friends, discovered exciting hobbies, and created your own unique routines that make this place yours.
Trust me, the process of integration happens faster than you may think. And soon enough, you’ll be eager to show off your new home to friends and family, excited to share all the wonderful things you’ve discovered about this new place.
So if you’re feeling anxious or unsure about your decision to move to another country, know that you’re not alone. It’s completely normal to have doubts and fears about such a big change. But I also want you to know that the rewards of living in a new place or country can be incredible, and I hope that the following tips will help make your transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
How to Move to Another Country Smoothly?
#1 Do your research on the destination
If you’re planning on moving to another country, whether it’s for work, school or just to spice things up with a change of scenery, you better start doing some homework before making the big move. You may not want to land in a foreign land without a clue of what’s going on. Start by researching the culture, climate, language, and cost of living of your destination. This will help you prepare for the adjustment period and ensure a smoother transition.
Don’t be afraid to dive into the local language and culture, it can be so much fun! You could learn a few basic phrases in the local language to show your commitment to integrating into the culture. And when it comes to packing, checking the climate and weather in advance will help you pack accordingly and avoid any surprises. Although it can also be a good excuse to go shopping! Like, oops I have no warmer clothes, time to hit the stores!
For example, if I was meant to move to Mexico, I would know that the climate is tropical, so I would pack lots of summer clothes – bring on the beach days! – and practice my Spanish a bit. I would have also found out that Mexico is relatively inexpensive, which means a bigger budget for a nicer accommodation and a few more margaritas! And I would also want to check any warnings or alerts about my destination and join Facebook groups to get an idea of what to expect.
If feasible, you can also consider doing a trial run by visiting the destination beforehand. This can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision. Sometimes, a quick visit can give you a good gut feeling about a place.
#2 Secure a job or income source
Moving to another country can be both exciting and daunting, especially if you don’t have a source of income lined up. So, before you make the move, it’s important to secure a job or find a way to make money.
If you’re moving for work, congratulations! Your job is already sorted. But if you’re making the move for other reasons, start by checking out job search websites like Indeed or reaching out to local recruiters. Don’t forget to brush up on your resume and cover letter skills, and highlight your willingness to relocate.
Another option is to work remotely. With so many digital jobs available, you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a stable internet connection. Check out this blog article for some remote job inspiration.
And if you have saved up some cash or have a passive income stream – well done! Take some time to enjoy your new surroundings before jumping into work. But if you’re planning to start your own business, do your research and make sure it’s both viable and legal in your new country.
#3 Find a place to live
Tip number three on how to move to another country: find a place to call home sweet home! To start, do some research on the different neighborhoods and areas you might want to live in. Think about things like how close you are to public transportation, grocery stores, schools, and healthcare facilities – because you’re going to need all of those things!
If you’re moving for work or study, your employer or educational institution may be able to help you find housing! But if not, there are plenty of online resources to help you out, like real estate websites and social media groups. It’s also a good idea to reach out to people in your network who may have connections or suggestions for housing.
When looking for a place to live, make sure you keep your budget in mind. The cost of living in your new country or city might be way different than what you’re used to. Consider the cost of rent, utilities, and other expenses such as food and transportation.
One option that many people including me find helpful is to temporarily rent an Airbnb or similar accommodation for a week or so when you arrive in the new country. This can give you the opportunity to explore the area and get a feel for different neighborhoods before committing to a long-term rental. It’s a great way to test the waters and see which area feels like the best fit for you.
And before you sign any contract or make any payment, make sure you do your due diligence. Look for reviews from previous tenants, keep an eye out for any red flags such as sketchy hidden fees or unresponsive landlords, and if you can, go check out the place in person.
#4 Get your paperwork in order
Before you start packing your bags and moving to another country, it’s time to get down to business and tackle your paperwork documents. Don’t worry, it’s not as boring as it sounds!
First things first, ensure you’ve got all the right paperwork to enter or stay in your new country. You don’t want to get turned away at the border because you forgot to bring your passport or visa.
Speaking of visas, there are a ton of different types, including tourist visas, work visas, student visas, and permanent residency visas. Just make sure to have all required documentation – some countries may require proof of income, criminal background check, etc. – and to apply early because the process can take some time. And if you’re feeling lost in the process, no worries, you can always seek the help of an immigration lawyer or consultant.
Aside from visa, don’t forget about your personal documents like your passport, birth certificate, and even your marriage certificate if applicable. They may seem like just boring pieces of paper, but they’re actually worth their weight in gold in this process.
Oh, and if you’re bringing your furry friend with you, make sure to research the pet import requirements. Many countries have specific rules and regulations regarding pet importation, such as mandatory vaccinations and quarantine periods.
Lastly, financial documents are also important. Make sure you have copies of bank statements, tax returns, and investment records. These will come in handy for opening a bank account or applying for a loan. And researching the tax laws in your new country will help you avoid any surprises come tax season.
#5 Manage your finances
Money, money, money – it’s on everyone’s mind when it comes to moving to another country. But don’t worry, managing your finances like a pro is totally doable!
Start by opening a local bank account in your new country. Not only will this save you a ton on international transaction fees, but it’ll also make it easier to manage your money. Take a look at the different banking options available and choose one that fits your fancy.
Now, if you’re planning on making a permanent move, you’ll need to transfer your funds from your old account to the new one. And no, you don’t need to bring a suitcase full of cash like in the movies. Consider using a money transfer service or consulting with a financial advisor to help you transfer your funds in the most cost-effective way possible.
Next up, the cost of living. As said earlier, it’s important to research the cost of housing, food, transportation, and other expenses to make sure you can actually afford to live within your means. Make a budget to help you stay on track and avoid any financial headaches.
Last but not least, prepare for the unexpected. It’s always a good idea to have a financial safety net for emergencies, like unexpected medical bills or job loss. Set aside some money in an emergency fund to help you weather any financial storms that may come your way.
#6 Prepare your family for the big move
Preparing yourself and your loved ones for a move to another country is essential for a smooth transition. Whether you’re leaving alone or moving with your family, here are some tips to help you prepare:
If you’re leaving behind friends and family, it’s important to talk to them about your decision. Explain why you’re moving and what your goals are. Talk about the opportunities that the move will bring, and be honest about your feelings.
Don’t forget to listen. Give them a chance to express their feelings and concerns. And then make a plan to stay in touch after you move, so you can maintain your relationships even when you’re far away.
On the other hand, if you’re moving with your family, it’s important to involve everyone in the planning process. Assign tasks to different family members, and give them a sense of responsibility. Research schools in your new city if you have children, and find out about admission requirements.
Moving to another country can be a big culture shock, especially for kids. Prepare your family by researching local customs and traditions, and talk to them about what to expect. Plan fun activities for your family to enjoy before and after the move to make the transition more exciting and enjoyable.
No matter the situation, it’s crucial to communicate effectively. By taking the time to prepare, you can make the move a positive and successful experience for you and your family.
Moving to another country is a big move, and it’s important to be mindful of what you’re taking with you. The less you bring, the easier and cheaper your move will be. Here are some fun and practical tips to help you declutter before you go:
Sell or Donate: Don’t bring what you don’t need. Get rid of unwanted items by holding a yard sale, selling them online (like on Vinted), or donating them to a local charity. This will help you clear out your space and reduce the amount of stuff you need to pack and transport.
Pack Smart: Packing is like playing Tetris – the key is to pack smart. Use small to medium-sized boxes and label them clearly. This will help you keep track of your belongings and make unpacking a breeze. Also, avoid overpacking boxes to prevent them from becoming too heavy to move.
Be Selective: Be picky about what you bring. Consider the climate of your new home and the size of your new space. Downsizing may be necessary if you’re moving to a smaller place. Also, be mindful of the weight and size of your belongings, as this can affect the cost of shipping or transportation. Sometimes, it is also cheaper to give your stuff away and buy new in the new country.
Ask for Help: Decluttering can be overwhelming, so don’t be shy to ask for help. You can call your friends, family or even hire professional organizers to assist you in deciding what to keep, sell or donate. Remember, two heads are better than one!
Get Creative: Think outside the box and get creative. You can repurpose items or find new ways to use them. Turn old t-shirts into cleaning rags, or use an old suitcase as storage. This will not only help you save money but also reduce waste.
#9 Connect with locals, expats, or people you know who live there
One of the best ways to adjust to your new home is by connecting with locals, expats, or people you know who already live there.
To meet new people and make friends, you can for example join social groups. You can join local clubs, hobby groups, or even expat groups on social media. By doing so, you can get to know people who share your interests and learn about all the cool things happening in your new city.
If you have friends, family members, or colleagues who already live in your new home, reach out to them before you move. They can give you valuable tips and advice, help you navigate your new city, and even introduce you to their own network of friends.
Volunteering is another great way to meet people and give back to your new community. You can look for local volunteering opportunities that match your interests and skills.
And why not learning the local language? You can take language classes or even practice with language exchange partners. Not only will you impress the locals with your skills, but you’ll also gain a better understanding and appreciation of the local culture.
#10 Throw a nice goodbye party
Saying goodbye to your friends and loved ones before moving abroad can be hard, but throwing a goodbye party can make it a lot easier! So why not throw a party to celebrate your time together and create some great memories before you go?
In any case, don’t wait until the last minute to plan your goodbye party. Pick a date and location that works for everyone, and send out invites well in advance so that all of your friends can make it. You can even enlist a few close friends to help you with the planning and make it a team effort.
Make your party even more memorable by choosing a fun theme! From a beach bash to a costume extravaganza, pick a theme that you and your guests will love. It’ll give everyone a fun excuse to dress up and let loose.
And consider creating a memory book! This is a fantastic way to remember your time together and capture the memories of your goodbye party. Set up a photo booth with some props and have your guests take fun pictures. Then, have everyone write a little message to you in a book or on a poster board. It’ll be a fun keepsake to look back on when you’re feeling homesick.
#11 Stay connected with loved ones
While moving to another country is certainly a great adventure, it can also be tough to leave everyone behind. Luckily, in today’s digital world, staying connected is easier than ever, no matter where you are in the world!
Whether it’s a weekly video call with your parents or a monthly catch-up with your best friend, scheduling regular calls can help you stay connected with friends and family back home. Make sure to find a time that works for both of you, and try to stick to the schedule as much as possible. You can even make it a fun tradition, like Sunday Brunch with Mom or Wine Down Wednesdays with your BFF.
Besides, in today’s digital age, receiving a handwritten postcard or letter can be a wonderful surprise. Take some time to write a thoughtful message and send it through snail mail. It’s a great way to show that you’re thinking of them and share your new experiences with them.
Let’s not forget social media! You can share updates and photos of your new life and keep up with what’s happening in their lives too. For example, post your adventures on Instagram or Polarsteps to make them feel part of your life.
And then of course the best way to stay connected is to plan visits back home. Knowing that you have a trip planned can help you feel less homesick and give you something to look forward to. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to catch up on all the latest gossip in person.
7 Advantages of Moving to Another Country
Many people who have made the move to another country describe it as a life-changing experience. For some, it’s a great way to challenge themselves and try new things, while others find it incredible to learn about new cultures and meet new people.
Moving to another country can offer you so many advantages, let me give you a sneak peek:
Moving to another country is like diving into a pool of new customs, traditions, and ways of thinking. You get to explore and experience new cultural practices, festivals, and rituals that you wouldn’t find in your home country. You can learn about the history and culture of the country, try their local cuisines, and engage with locals, which can deepen your understanding and appreciation for diversity. You may also find that you become more open-minded, adaptable, and culturally sensitive as you learn to navigate a new way of life.
No hablo Español? No worries, moving to a different country where they speak a different language can be a game-changer for your language skills. Not only can you immerse yourself in the language and learn it faster, but you also have access to native speakers who can teach you the nuances of the language and help you improve your pronunciation.
You may also pick up local slang and colloquialisms, which can make you sound more fluent and natural. Learning a new language can broaden your horizons, make you more competitive in the job market, and even improve cognitive skills such as memory and attention.
Moving to another country can open up a whole world of career possibilities! You may have access to new job opportunities, industries, and networks that you wouldn’t find in your home country. You may even find that your skills and experience are highly valued in your new country, which could lead to better pay and benefits.
Plus, you get to add an international experience to your resume, which can make you stand out to potential employers. So, why limit yourself to one job market when you can explore all the possibilities that the world has to offer?
If you want to challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible, moving to another country is the way to go! Living in a new culture, speaking a different language, and adapting to a new way of life can be tough at first, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
You may discover hidden talents and strengths that you never knew you had, and you may develop a greater sense of resilience and independence. Moving to another country can also broaden your perspective and give you a new appreciation for your own culture and values.
Moving to another country is not just a move, it’s a thrilling adventure! You get to explore new places, try exotic foods, and experience different ways of life. You can hike in the mountains, swim in the ocean, or take a road trip to a nearby town.
Every day is a new opportunity to discover something exciting and unexpected. And the best part? You get to create new memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Moving to another country is a chance to expand your social and professional networks. You get to connect with people from all over the world, who come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives. You can learn from their experiences, share your own, and build lasting friendships. And who knows? You might even meet your future business partner, mentor, or romantic partner.
Quality of life
Moving to another country can sometimes feel like upgrading to the deluxe version of your current life! You might discover that the healthcare system is top-notch, with doctors who actually take the time to listen to your concerns and treat you with care.
The education system might be a breath of fresh air, with innovative teaching methods and a focus on holistic learning. And who knows? You might even find that the safety standards are better.
Remember, moving to another country can be a bit like riding a unicycle – it takes practice, patience, and a willingness to try new things. It may not always be easy, but it’s certainly worth it. With these tips on how to move to another country, I hope I’ve helped you feel a bit more confident in taking that leap.
So go ahead, book that one-way ticket, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll have your own tips to share with a stranger in a new city.