Categorized | before you go, life abroad

Seven steps to moving abroad

Seven steps to moving abroad

by Rhiannon Davies

A global survey conducted by Gallup between 2008 and 2010 (which interviewed adults from 146 countries housing more than 93% of the world’s population) reveals that 630 million people from around the world would love to move abroad if they had the chance.

That’s quite some statistic!

It proves that the world has become a much smaller place, and one so many more of us really want to explore in-depth.

So, if you have a yearning, burning desire to move abroad and explore new horizons, here’s how to realise your dream in 7 easy steps.

Step One – Identify Your Country Choice Carefully

You may have been seduced by the sunshine in your latest holiday haunt, but fine weather is not sufficient reason to commit to a brand new life living in a given nation.

Your chosen country needs to tick many boxes – can you legally live (and work) there, is it safe, is it affordable, is it culturally and linguistically accessible?

Research a chosen nation very carefully before you commit to calling it your new home abroad.


Step Two – Tie Up All Loose Ends

Don’t just jet off at the drop of a hat.  For one thing it will make it much more likely that you’ll have to return at a later date to tidy up your affairs.

It’s much better if you plan carefully before leaving your current country.  Cancel services and rental contracts, inform the tax authorities of your decision, say proper goodbyes to family and friends and make sure you won’t have to return home in a hurry to cancel something silly like a newspaper subscription!


Step Three – Remember That Money Matters!

Money makes the world go round – what’s more, money is the key enabler to ensuring your success living abroad in a new nation.

You need to be able to afford the transportation costs overseas, you then need to be able to afford to set up a new home.  Going forward you need to ensure you can afford to live a decent lifestyle based on the local economy in your new country.

Think about how much you have saved up, how you have your money invested, whether you can work locally and if local wages will be sufficient to enable you to live at least a decent quality lifestyle abroad.

Do NOT ignore the many financial aspects of relocation – getting money matters wrong accounts for the majority of expats who have to give up their dream and head home.


Step Four – Don’t Burn Your Bridges

No matter how happy you will be to tell your boss to stick his job, and no matter how glad you will be when you never have to see your neighbour/ex-spouse/work colleague again…keep in mind that you may one day decide to return home!

Even the most dedicated expats can sometimes change (or be forced to change) their mind about their permanent relocation overseas.  So, don’t burn your bridges back home…just in case.  [Read more about not burning bridges as you plan your escape.]

Bite your tongue and just be quietly satisfied that you’re in pursuit of your dreams whilst all those around you remain stuck in one place.


Step Five – Become a List Maker

There is an awful lot to practically organise ahead of your relocation; it pays to draw up a checklist so that no element of the relocation is overlooked.

List what you need to do in order to gain permission to relocate, assuming you need to apply for a visa to move to your chosen nation.

Detail all the loose ends you have to tie up at home such as handing in your notice at work and on your home rental contract, amending insurance policies, applying for a new passport for the family pet, and getting inoculations done perhaps.

List down the elements of your new life that you have to get sorted in advance of your move – such as finding a home to rent overseas, if only for the short-term while you settle in.

In spending a considerable amount of time dedicated to making your unique list, you will ultimately save yourself time and perhaps even money and delays, because you will be able to walk easily along the path to emigration by following the demarked stepping stones on your checklist.


Step Six – Be Adaptable

The people who find it easiest to settle in overseas have the most adaptable personalities!  No matter how well you plan your move, no matter how clearly you can visualise your new life, elements of your plan will change, and you will come across surprises and even challenges as you integrate overseas.

Roll with the changes and embrace the challenges; become adaptable and flexible if you want to thrive in your new environment.

Step Seven – Set Your Sights and Commit

With your checklist written and your mind clear about the country you want to live in, set your sights firmly on achieving your dream of moving abroad.

Those who set goals in life are statistically far more likely to achieve their ambitions – fact!

So, see moving abroad as your goal, set your sights on making it happen, and marvel at how the elements of your life will stack up and come together thanks to your concerted efforts.

In no time at all you will have moved abroad and be living the lifestyle of your dreams.

Rhiannon Davies  is the editor of, a website dedicated to those living abroad.

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- who has written 57 posts on Miss Move Abroad.

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