If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that in January I hopped on a plane and moved from London to Australia via a month of travelling in SE Asia. Moving across the world was sooo exciting but also pretty terrifying, so I thought I'd put together a few tips in case you might be thinking of doing something similar!
Firstly, let's have a chat about why you might want to move. For me it was easy to pick up my life and move it, as I don't have kids or own a house. All I had to do was save some money, quit my job, and book a plane ticket... basically. So I know it would be totally different if you had more commitments. But if you're in the same situation as me and think 'one day I'd like to live abroad', I would urge you to do it and take the opportunity while you can. One day should be now! It's scary and unknown, but exciting and I think that moving to a new country makes you see things with such a different perspective. I know I'll go home and notice things that I didn't before.
Moving has also made me get out of my comfort zone so much, in a really good way. It forces you to throw yourself into unknown situations with people you've never met, and so far it's been great. Plus this is what I kept telling myself before I moved: 'home is only a plane ride away'. I've always been the biggest homebird I know, and still am, but I also love adventure, and home will still be there when I get back.
Here's a bit of Pinspiration:
Want pack your bags yet? I'm pretty lucky that my boyfriend is from Australia as it's an easy transition from the UK and well, summer. The only downside is how far away it is!
There are pretty obvious things to consider when you're moving, like getting the good ol visa and plane tickets etc, but these are a few of the little things I learnt from the process:
Before you go
- If you're going to ship some boxes, do it far in advance. Ours took 6 weeks longer than expected, which meant we had to buy new interview outfits and I was walking around with outta control hair for longer than necessary, while my hair straighteners and hairdryer were chilling in a box floating somewhere around North Korea. Naaat ideal.
- Save up enough dolla to be able to live for a couple of months at least, and use a service to move your money overseas so you don't get ripped off on charges. We used Transferwise.
- Look for a job before you go. It was harder for us to do this as we were travelling for a month previous to arriving. But getting a job in a new country is so important, and it takes time. I felt like I was floating for so long waiting for responses and interviews. I couldn't wait to get into a routine and meet new people. Oh, and have some money coming in so I could do all the exploring I wanted to do!
When you arrive
- Pack in the boring essentials in the first two days. This sounds super boring because as soon as you arrive in a new country all you want to do is relaaax in a cool bar by the beach, but we actually spent the first few hours after we hopped off the plane setting up bank accounts, phone contracts (bring an unlocked phone with you if poss), tax numbers, and medical stuff. They can take a few days to process so it's better to get them out the way. Then go and have a drink.
- Get in touch with anyone you know. I met up with a friend of a friend in my first few weeks, and practically leapt into her arms. It's so nice to see a familiar face and have a good old chat about life down under.
- If you haven't got anyone to stay with or not sure where you're going to be living, book a hostel or an Airbnb before you arrive until you get somewhere more permanent.
- Get all your family and friends to download Whatsapp and Skype on their phones! And fill them in on the time difference so they know when there are windows to talk. I chat to someone from home almost everyday and it's a lifesaver.
- Most importantly: explore. It's easy to get into a little routine again and not spend the money on day trips or weekend breaks, but I'm aiming to try new things all the time. I have a 4 page document of restaurants/cafes I want to go to! And I'm planning on going up north and to New Zealand when I can.
Living abroad isn't all butterflies and daisies, but I'm so glad I did it now. Have you ever lived abroad or would you consider it? x