Moving Abroad: The Checklist

Welcome to the second part of the series: Moving Abroad. You all already know my story but what you are not aware of is that I didn’t have anything planned prior to my arrival. “Let life take its own course” was probably my motto back then. Take it from me, if you’re just starting to plan a move out of the country, there are a few things you must have on your checklist:

  • Make a Pro & Con list for all the beautiful countries you probably daydream about. Think thoroughly about the elements that make you happy and more so about your career goals to shortlist a few. Don’t go someplace because an acquaintance told you how good it was for them. Do your best to come up with your own reasons first.

  • Visit the country before you make an actual move. I didn’t do this but I sure wish I did. Stay in close proximity with the choice of your school, work place or probably even around the downtown area (if the fast paced life is what’s taking you towards the western world). Undoubtedly, this is an expensive thought but if you have the money, give it a go maybe? At least you’ll get a head start on how it’s gonna be like upon moving and more importantly, whether you’ll be able to affirm with the new habitat or no.

  • Do your research in preparation of making a final decision. Investigate about the visa requirements, processing times for different permits you will need and all additional legal procedures. Find out via fellow emigrants or read articles about life of an outsider in your preferred destination. Trust me, you want to know whether you’re going to be struggling to get from one point to another or if you won’t be able to buy a house/car as comfortably as you thought. Research about the cost of living in your destination. This will further help you prevent a lot of disappointment.

  • Save the dough by not spending all the money on new clothing, accessories, home goods or utensils because in the real-time world, that’s all going to waste. Pack light enough to cover your clothes and the essentials. There’s a myth that everything’s considerably expensive overseas which prevents people from going out and exploring their options. All the stuff that you can pack will easily be available at affordable price wherever you go. Also, you need the extra cash for contingency purposes. Plus, you’ll want to buy new outfits and tools to keep up with the local trends.

  • Figure out your living situation. Make sure you find a temporary residence prior to your arrival which can either be a hotel or even a family friend’s house. Subsequently, go through the myriad listings on websites and/or get in contact with a local realtor. Try not to rent a house without properly inspecting it first.

  • Spend lots of time with your family and friends. You are going to miss everyone a lot so take time out and go on adventures and quiet time with people who mean the most to you. Make it obvious how much you love your parents and siblings. Lastly, don’t get consumed by the excitement of relocating. Share your feelings with your friends.

  • Never forget any of these. I have a list of a few things that you certainly need to do before and for the journey:
    • Pack your favorite snacks that you know won’t be easily available elsewhere. Helps with the homesickness too.
    • Stock up the pills for cold, headache, fever etc.. Chances of getting sick due to change in living environment are high. Your body will needs the medicine it’s used to (at least in the beginning).
    • Purchase an international adapter. In my case, I forgot to buy one and couldn’t use any of my hair styling tools for about a month. Even for my phone, I had to borrow a charger from someone else.
    • Buy a new phone. I had an I-Phone 4 in 2015 and it gave up on me just after a while. You don’t necessarily have to buy one but carefully check that it’s updated and is in good working condition. Get an international plan. Unlocked phones are a must.
    • For entertainment purposes, keep your earphones, headphones, audio player and a camera (if you use one).
    • Set up your two factor authentication with an email address if you don’t want to be locked out of all your social media accounts. Your old number will not be of use so text recovery might not be an option. Unless, you’re okay with paying roaming.
    • Buy a USB and store a colored photocopy of your passport, licenses, travel visa and documents at all times. If anything is ever stolen, this can avert you from getting into serious trouble. Do not lose the USB. For added security, send a copy to someone you trust. My brother has a copy of all my documents.
    • Travel guide and magazines for getting around your destination. Read all about what your new zone has to offer.
    • Get a complete physical done and organize your travel insurance for emergency cases
    • Make an album of pictures with your family and friends and carry it with you. In times of sadness and confusion, the pictures will remind you of all the love and good times.

Fun Fact : I was never much of a planner but moving to Toronto has transformed me into someone who likes all her trips and adventures organized. Don’t know where I am at organizing my room tho ***laughs out loud***

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