Finding your dream place to live is a lot easier when you decide that your home country isn’t enough for you anymore. A few years ago, I packed up and headed to Sydney, Australia, swapping my life in the cold, wet parts of Manchester to a healthier, happier arrangement down under.
Sadly, you can move to sunnier shores and live a nicer life, but it’s not always ‘nicer’ when you have to leave your friends and family behind. Which brought me back to cold, wet Manchester. But hey, home is where the heart is they say!
Since returning back to the UK, I get asked for advice a lot from other people doing the same. I’ve watched friends follow my path and head to Australia, but then there’s friends who are planning a move to London, or more recent, I have a friend jetting off to work in Ibiza. Now that sounds impressive! Imagine all of the wonderful places you can live if you expand your horizons…
Moving to another country is a fantastic choice and very exciting, but it’s also filled with plenty of challenges that you need to face if you want the best experience. No matter what country you’re moving to, I thought I’d pull together a handful of tips to help you if you need a bit of advice…
Tip #1: Finding the right movers to help you
Not all movers are going to handle international moves. This sounds like a really basic and obvious problem, but you really do need to understand that you can’t just hire any removal service especially if you have important items that you want to bring along with you.
If you look online, you’ll find moving websites which offer professional services, that are specialised movers in certain areas. If you plan to move to a specific area, then target movers that operate in that area and communicate with them to align their services with whatever international services you plan to use to transport your goods. In short, you’ll likely need to hire multiple movers especially if you cross continents.
Tip #2: Get rid of your clutter and impractical items
The less you have to bring with you the less you need to worry about. Sadly, this also includes pets, cars, and other expensive investments. Clear up all of your clutter (sell it if you must–it’s a great way to get some extra cash!) and make sure you do your best to relieve yourself of all the extra baggage.
I headed to eBay and Depop three months before going away, and I sold soooo much stuff. Think about the climate you’re heading too. I sold so many thick coats and jumpers, and even things like heavy boots, jewellery and jeans I just wouldn’t be needed anymore.
Give yourself plenty of time for selling – it’s surprising how slow things can take.
Tip #3: Learn the mannerisms
Even if you don’t want to learn the language yet (it’s actually much easier to learn the language when you’ve arrived) you’ll want to learn the mannerisms over at your new location.
If you go to a country that is culturally different to your own, then you can’t play the “I’m a tourist” card and get away with disrespectful gestures and actions. A good example is looking them up online, such as from this article at https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/japanese-manners-and-customs if you plan to go somewhere that is far from the west like Japan.
Also, think about the local ‘lingo’ and phrases. In Australia, they obviously speak English, but they didn’t understand a lot of my phrases. Fo example, they say “How are you going?” instead of “You OK?”, and I often got looked at funny whenever I asked people if they were OK/alright. Research is key!
Tip #4: Speak to the locals
Once over there, make an effort from the early days to speak to the locals.
It will help you improve your ability to speak, you’ll learn about the area and, most importantly, you’re going to make friends quicker. It can get lonely moving to a country that you’re unfamiliar with, so make sure you get comfortable speaking to your neighbours. Even if it’s just the cashier at your local grocery store, always find a reason to strike up a conversation to learn more and settle in.
Tip #5: Follow local shops, cafes and influencers on Instagram
Before heading over, spend a good few days building up the people you follow on Instagram. Follow local cafes, shops, boutiques, brands etc… but more importantly, follow influencers! Influencers (bloggers, social media influencers, vloggers) will always be doing diary accounts of where the best coffee is, the best boutiques, the nicest restaurants etc…
I hope these help if you’re in this current situation…