Moving abroad is one of the most exhilarating and somewhat scariest of life's adventures. You are leaving behind everything and everybody you know, to start anew soaking up new faces, experiences, cultures and religions.
When you ask friends and family to describe their experiences of living abroad, the sheer joy, pride and excitement is every bit evident on their faces as it is their stories. Those who have taken the plunge before are quick to tell you how life-changing their experience was, and rightly so, but what about the few home truths that everybody might forget to tell you?
Organizing Your Finances and Setting Aside will Eliminate Monetary Stresses
At your first itch of wanting to pack up and leave the home that you know, you should start putting away as much money as you can spare every month. The worst case scenario is you don’t end up moving overseas, but at least you will still have all of your savings. Alternatively, you WILL decide to emigrate, and you will have just saved yourself a lot of financial stress.
To put it bluntly, moving house costs a lot of money – international moving costs even more. A glance at the overseas moving costs to factor in are; visa applications, advanced rent, house deposits, flights, international removal companies, overseas tax obligations, medical insurance, health care, clothing, toiletries, food, compatible phone contracts or sim cars, pet vaccinations and quarantines.
Amongst the hustle and bustle, trials and tribulations, you should take any steps possible to avoid adding to the inevitable chaos that comes with moving abroad, and finances are the logical place to start as it is that factor that can cause the most worry and stress amongst expats.
Cull Your Belongings and Travel Light – The More Savage the Better
Decluttering is liberating when moving overseas, think of it as a metaphorical resemblance of starting over in your new life – “out with the old, in with the new.”
Although QMM is here to help with shipping personal goods and moving furniture overseas, it still benefits you to cut down any items to the essentials and the sentiments.
If you are moving abroad alone, you won’t need your 36-piece fine China dining set, if you are only living abroad for a year you won’t need to ship your entire house of furniture, nor do you need to send ALL of your clothes knowing you haven’t worn 50% of them in three years. Strip back to the things you need or really couldn’t bear to part with, the fewer items you ship, the cheaper our global moving services are.
Not Being Able to Communicate is Hard (and learning a language is not easy)
It is unrightfully expected and somewhat just assumed that the rest of the world can speak English as a second language. But we hate to tell you, that isn’t the case, especially so with the older generations and more remote countries of the world. If you are moving abroad to work to mainland Europe, for example, there will be many English-speaking workplaces and the majority of natives, the younger generations, in particular, will be fluent in the language having been taught it as part of the school curriculum. However, many countries around the world don’t teach English as part of the school curriculum, and the precedent is then on you to learn their language – not the other way around! Even if you were to move from Canada to Spain, where English is mostly spoken, it is common courtesy and polite for you to make an effort to learn the Spanish language… and it might just help you settle in. There’s nothing worse than missing home and not even being able to order your favourite breakfast from your new, local brunch spot.
Prepare for Paperwork. Lots and Lots of Paperwork
One of the most monotonous necessities required to finalize a migration overseas is the completion of paperwork – and a whole lot of it. Almost every step of your overseas move will need you to complete paperwork in some capacity. From contracts with an overseas shipping company to insurance, health care, medical insurance, taxes and customs, pet imports, accommodation contracts and beyond, you will have a swathe of uncompleted forms coming out of your ears if you don’t keep on top of your workload as and when they arrive!
You Will Spend More Time Lost than You Expect
Naturally, when you migrate abroad, you are surrounded by new faces, new sights, new landmarks and a whole lot of geography that you have never encountered before. With that said, it is only natural that you will spend some (okay, a lot) of your time lost in the first few weeks of your move overseas.
But, there are two ways to deal with these situations. Firstly, you could end up in a panic, frantically trying to explain to locals where you SHOULD be and hurrying to your intended destination immediately.
Alternatively, your second option is to embrace every second of the scenario. You have the chance to welcome the opportunity with open arms and spend your afternoon, or evening, exploring new locations and discovering hidden gems and meeting new people that you would never have encountered otherwise. Sometimes the best path to take is the one lesser planned, and the unknown should always bring an element of surprise and excitement, especially so when you are living overseas.
Cultural Differences can be a Challenge – Unless You Go in with an Open Mind
The surest way to wholly enjoy your time living abroad and to make the most out of your experience is to go in with an open mind and a willingness to learn, appreciate and get entirely stuck into the local culture – when in Rome and all of that.
If you are planning to emigrate overseas, we’re confident your decision has been influenced by the opportunity to experience new cultures, but prepare for the initial shock in terms of language barriers, traditions, and customs, how locals approach each other, food, working culture – the list goes on. Everything takes time to settle into, especially moving to a country whose locals maybe struggle to speak English as a second or even third language.
If you get stuck in from the start, meet as many people as you can, take up every opportunity to socialize and try new things – the culture shock will settle just as quick as it starts.
Finding Time to Communicate with Family Back Home Can be Tricky
One of the biggest hurdles of living overseas is finding time to speak to your family and friends back in Canada – or wherever your home country may be!
Due to focusing on your new overseas career, spending downtime socialising with new friends, busy schedules exploring new towns, or whatever the reason might be, you will always find a few roadblocks in the way when it comes to Skype or Face Timing your family back home at a convenient time – ESPECIALLY when you factor in the new time differences.
Luckily, 21st-century technology means you can email, text or WhatsApp while your friends might be sleeping and they can pick up the conversation in the morning, but there is nothing quite like a video call when you have moved overseas – worth every inch of militant planning and organization.
You Will Never Be the Human You Were Before
Irrespective of your feelings towards your time overseas, positive or negative, happy or sad, you will never return home the same person who left. Following a period living abroad, regardless of the length of time, the country or the success of your experience, your whole mentality towards life will be altered.
You will gain confidence, learn to be open-minded towards different cultures, people, religions, walks of life, and your willingness to understand and embrace all of these things will skyrocket. But the best alteration, living overseas sparks a new sense of adventure and spontaneity, so unfortunately for your family and friends, it might be hard to tie them down in your Canadian home for too long, and you will be off on your next venture!
If you are ready to emigrate and looking for an international shipping company to offer a helping hand with your migration overseas, QMM is your go-to! Our international shipping solutions are concise, well-practised and cost-effective, so whether you need to send extra bags or a whole home of furniture, QMM can help.
If you have any queries about any of our moving services, or if you want to book your free home survey, call us today on 1.866.880.8681, and we will be happy to assist.