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Moving Across the World

Posted Moving Fundamentals / September 20, 2019

Packing up your belongings and leaving your current home is not easy, especially when you are moving across the world. Whether it is for work or love, the process is complex, and it takes time. 

There are many factors to think about when relocating to the other side of the world. Choosing the company to ship your items, bringing important documents, and making friends when you arrive, are all the things you should consider before making this life-changing step. Having a checklist can make this process less scary and more efficient. 

Research and Learn Things

Any relocation requires proper organization. You shouldn’t just pack your bags and leave everything behind. Moving, whether it is to another city or another country, involves a massive amount of planning and researching.

Try to learn as much as you can about your future environment and the unfamiliar culture. Check if there are some specific documents you need, like a visa. Try to learn the basics of the language that is spoken there, if it is not English. 

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Don’t Let Anything go South – Check Documents Before You Leave

When moving abroad, you should always check the necessary documents for entering and staying in the state. Before you can apply for a visa, check if your passport is valid. Depending on the country, you should have a passport that is legal for at least six more months.  

Make sure that you check the government site of the country you are going to. There you will find what documentation you should obtain when applying for a visa.

Register with STEP Before Moving

The US government offers its citizens a free service that provides up-to-date information about safety conditions. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) also helps US embassies across the world to swiftly alert you if there is an emergency of any kind. Using this service helps you keep in touch with your pals and family in case of an urgent situation.

Moving Across the World – Make a Timeline

Proper and thorough planning is everything when it comes to relocating to the other part of the globe. If you want to have a less stressful move, you need to create a time table and write down the steps of your progress. Every step is important.

This will give you an idea about the time you need to finish all the tasks such as packing, checking documents, and learning about the state you are going to.

Declutter Your Life

When moving away, you would not want to take stuff you don’t use with you. They would create clutter in the house, and if you are using a moving company, belongings you don’t need will raise the final shipping costs.

Sell Your Belongings to Reduce Shipping Costs

Where to start? Create a list of things you will keep, those you will store and those you will throw away. If you think that some of the things can be used, you can sell them, donate or recycle them. You might want to share them with friends as well. 

For the stuff that will go with you, you will need a good and trustworthy international moving company to transport them abroad. And if you wish to leave some belongings behind, hiring storage space might be the perfect solution for you.

Tips on How to Pack Things Before The Travel

It is the moment to pack everything properly. If you are not using a professional packing service, you will have to know where to start with packing before the move.

Fill boxes, but don’t overfill them. Try to wrap your fragile items and place them in properly labeled boxes. Keep in mind that they have to endure quite a long journey, especially if they are moved by sea.

If you are using a moving company, check what are the items they won’t transport. Some of those are flammable and hazardous items and food.

When you are done with packing, create a list of your boxes, so that you can know where all of your stuff is stored. This will help you if something gets lost or when you start unpacking.

Remember This: You Require International Driving Permit

Are you bringing your car with you? If you are, you will have to find a firm to do it for you. Therefore, finding a reliable company with international vehicle shipping is a crucial step.

Make sure to get an international driving permit and a license. You would not want to forget that if you are planning on using your car.  

Find a Job and a Home

When moving across the world, you should have some stability. If you’re not relocating for work, you will have to look for a job. Looking for work abroad is not that different from looking for employment in a different city. You should:

  • Look into potential transfer possibilities offered by your current employer. This might be possible if you work for an international company.
  • The Internet can save the day – if you spend most of your working hours on a computer, there might be a chance that your current firm allows you to work remotely.
  • Using a professional employment service
  • Browse job sites

It would not be the best solution to travel to a place and have nowhere to live. That’s why it is smart to look into houses before you move. Research the city, and find the area that best suits your needs. You might want to be close to your new workplace or you prefer suburbs to urban streets. Browse through retail ads and find what you desire.

You Really Should Get A Physical Before Leaving

If by any chance you have to deal with the health care system while abroad, you will need to have the necessary documents with you.

That is why you should have a health check before you move. If would help if you asked for copies of your medical charts. When abroad, US embassies offer you the list of doctors and hospitals. Check how the health system works in your future place. Some countries require foreigners to pay for their own health care.

Before you hit the road, acquire travel insurance. If you have a job lined up for you, check to see if the firm offers you medical coverage as well.

Banking and Electronics

You should update your bank about relocation and think about getting an international credit card. It can help you avoid any transaction fees. 

Don’t forget to research banks in your new neighborhood and check to see what paperwork you will need to set up the account.  

Another useful tip is to get the currency of a country you are moving to. 

Moving to another state means you should have your phone internationally unlocked. Or maybe you will get a phone and a number from a provider in the place you are going to. Don’t forget power converters and adapters, since the voltage can be higher or lower than in the US.

Make a Party – Say Goodbye

Now comes the hard part. Saying goodbyes to many people in your life that you love and care about is painful. But keep your mind focused on exciting adventures that are ahead of you.

Before you leave, throw a party. It will help you lower stress levels, and it will be a perfect opportunity to say goodbye and share your feelings without forgetting somebody.

Say goodbye to the city you lived in, take a walk around the hood, visit your favorite places. Try to let go of any feelings of regret. Process your feelings in a healthy way, so that you can enjoy new experience overseas in peace. 

Dealing with the Cultural Shock and Making Friends

Being in a new country will not be easy. Be prepared for shocks. Different cultures and customs can take you by surprise. Keep an open mind, that’s how you will fit in easier.

Learn about the new home by walking around, eating out in restaurants with traditional cuisine. There is no better way to experience life just like a true local.

Try to meet people. Start at work, invite your colleagues to share a drink after work. Join groups. There are usually many meetups for foreigners. The best way to find out about them is online. New friends can be a good support system in the period of adaptation to life, and culture as well.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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