Those of us on a mission for social good fully understand that many parts of the world need a helping hand. That’s why we often deal with moving from place to place and traveling alone. If you have recently found your calling in another country, the entire moving process might be a little intimidating. But as long as you keep these tips in mind, you can reduce the risks of any hassles along the way.
Review Visa Requirements
Getting your visa approved should be a top priority. You may have heard of Woni Spotts, who is the first black woman to visit every country in the world. She’s achieved that goal, which means that she’s no stranger to visas. Even she emphasizes the importance of always double-checking your visa requirements; otherwise, everything else about the moving process will be even more complicated. After all, those cheap flights you scored could mean nothing if your visa application is rejected.
Check Living Arrangements
Before securing your living arrangements, it’s advisable to inspect them personally. Transitions Abroad explains that going on a fact-finding trip is essential before making the final move abroad. You can use this trip to get a general sense of daily life in your destination country, as well as research on good neighborhoods for your potential place of residence. You can check with a rental agency to find out what types of homes are available and which ones will fit your budget. If you’re worried about costs, you can take advantage of cheap fares on off-peak seasons for this particular ocular trip.
Set Aside a Budget for Moving
In truth, moving abroad is never an easy process, and it often requires you to shell out a lot of money. The costs include airline tickets, visa applications, shipments, and most especially, housing. Even if you have booked cheap airline tickets, your housing costs may still force you to stretch your budget. That’s why it’s important to find out if there are any hidden fees to be paid with regard to your residence. Housing taxes, fees, and other hidden costs are present in all parts of the world, so be sure to do your research so you won’t be caught off guard with extra charges at the last minute.
For instance, if you purchase or rent a property in Spain, you may need to pay notary fees. In general, Spanish law dictates that the costs should be taken care of by the signing parties, which means the seller would handle the costs for the original deeds and you will handle those for the copies. However, it’s normal nowadays for buyers or renters to shoulder all of those costs. There’s a similar case if you were to move to New York. In a featured post by Yoreevo on flip tax, they discussed how it is meant to discourage short-term ownership. It’s a type of transfer fee imposed by the building, and in typical circumstances, it’s the seller who pays this. However, some sellers would insist that buyers or renters pay the flip tax, especially if the negotiations didn’t include this stipulation. To avoid situations like this, make sure you do your research on moving costs and find an agent that you can trust.
Register with Your Embassy
Before settling into your new home, make sure to register with the US Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Through this, you’ll be able to receive any safety and security updates about your destination country, as well as information on US embassy events and services, like voting. You will also be contacted by the embassy in case of any emergencies. This is important especially if your destination country has a high crime rate or is prone to natural disasters.
Learn the Language
If you’re planning to move to a non-Anglophone country, you might want to start learning the local language. It will be easier for you to move in and find a job. For instance, many jobs available for foreigners in Japan require a certain level of knowledge of the Japanese language. Those aspiring to work there will need to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test issued by the country.
Will this big move also be your first time traveling on a plane? Don’t worry those jitters are normal. It’s easier if you’re with a companion, but if you have pre-flight nerves and you’re traveling alone, things can get hairy. Fortunately, Travepreneur previously enumerated some lessons on how to put an end to your fear of flying.