Thinking about moving overseas but don’t know where to start? Here are a few straightforward steps to take it from a dream to a reality.
Decide Where You’re Going
The most exciting part of moving overseas is researching the different options and deciding what’s right for you. In my case, it was simply a case of moving back to the area my wider family live, but if you’re less restricted, here are a few things to consider:
Climate – even within a country, this can vary wildly.
Career opportunities – will you be able to find work?
Infrastructure – are you seeking a rural retreat or city life?
Schooling – what are the options for your children?
Cost of living – how do prices compare to other areas?
Start Looking For Work
Whether you have dual citizenship or rely on a working visa, it’s never too early to start looking for employment in your destination country. Find out where jobs are advertised and the best places to make connections. In New Zealand, most job vacancies (and real estate, vehicle sales and more) are listed on TradeMe, the equivalent of eBay.
Get Your Paperwork Together
While the logistics of moving overseas will vary depending on your nationality and where you’re travelling, the first step is usually to get a visa. A word to the wise, take the time to research the visas available to you and decide on the one that will serve you best in the long term. There’s nothing worse than having to go through the whole process a second time if you realise your first visa was too restrictive.
Rent Or Sell Your Property
If you own a property in the UK, you’ll need to decide whether to rent or sell. I briefly talked about my own decision in “5 Avoidable Mistakes I Made When Moving Abroad”, but everyone’s circumstances are different. If renting, I highly recommend using an agent to take (some of) the stress out of the situation.
Find Somewhere To Live
Knowing where you’ll spend your first few months in a new country reduces a huge amount of stress. As discussed in “Life In NZ, What To Expect”, rentals may not always be as easy to find as you’d hope, so it’s wise to start thinking about your accommodation before you hit foreign soil.
Make It Happen
The biggest hurdle standing between you and a new life abroad is a mental one. Taking a step into the unknown is unsettling, uncertain, and at times downright scary. But, if you never do it, you’ll never know what could have been. So, rip off the bandaid and make it happen.
Sarah Todhunter is a writer, mother-of-two and a dual citizen of New Zealand and the UK. As the sole proprietor of Fyxen Copywriters, she has navigated the ups and downs of moving a business and family across hemispheres, sharing the lessons she’s learned along the way. Find her on LinkedIn or anywhere good coffee is served.