The decision to move internationally is bigger than just moving across town, or even moving across the country. Living abroad, whether permanently or just for a few years, can be a life changing experience. However, it can also be a paralyzing decision. Once you've made up your mind to go, you'll want to get started on your plans right away. Making a plan and putting it into motion can help you feel more confident and in control of your decision. International moves take a long time and a lot of work, so there's no such thing as starting too early. Here are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling.
Make a Checklist
There are so many things that you'll need to do over the coming weeks or months, and if you're not careful, something can easily slip through your fingers. So, it might be smart to start by making a list of everything you can think of that you'll need to do. Chances are that you'll have to add to the list as you go along and discover things you hadn't thought of, but at least you'll have a framework to start with.
You may need to make plans to sell, lease, or sublet your current home. You'll definitely need to find a place to live in your new location. If you're not transferring for a job, or independently wealthy, then you'll also need to figure out how you're going to make a living in your new place. And how will you transport all of your possessions to your new home in a different part of the world? Unless you're planning to start all over with new furniture, clothes, and household goods, you'll need to work with a freight forwarder to get your things across the ocean.
Start Making Phone Calls
Once you have a checklist in place for the move, it's time to talk to the experts. You need to know what this is going to cost you and what you'll need to do. Call a real estate agent if you need to sell or rent out your current home. Call a few freight forwarders for rate and estimate information.
You'll also need to make some overseas calls to start getting the ball rolling on that end. The more information you have, the easier it will be to make plans. Your timeline may depend partially on your budget, so it's important to figure out what that budget is going to be.
Start Learning the Language
If you're moving to a country where you don't speak the local language, why not start trying to learn it? While it's not strictly necessary to start practicing a new language right away, learning some basic, essential words and phrases can be a fun way to get yourself into the spirit of the move.
Don't put pressure on yourself to become fluent. One of the best ways to learn a new language is by immersion, and you'll get that after your move. Learning a few basics now will help you get around in your first few days and weeks, and prime your brain to pick up more of the language as you go.