So, you're relocating abroad – lucky you! But with moving house rated as the most stressful things you can do, you can only imagine the stress that could come with moving to a new country.
You may be waving goodbye to rainy England and saying hello to a sunny new adventure in another country, but at the same time you need to transport your life across seas, not just postcodes.
While it won’t be easy it definitely isn’t impossible - many have already done it. More than 5 million people born in the UK have emigrated, with a quarter of those flying halfway round the world to live in Australia.
Before you consider joining them, wherever you are going and whatever your reason for moving there, here are a few things you MUST do first:
Moving to a new place can be scary, no matter how much sun, sea and sand there is! To make it as easy as possible, you need to have researched as thoroughly as you can. Are you planning to work there – if so, do you know where and will you need a visa? Do you understand Capital Gains Tax? Look into accessibility – how easy will it be to return to the UK to visit friends and family? There's a lot to research – but thanks to the Internet, it's all at your fingertips!
2. Make a checklist
There is a lot to think about; forget something and it won’t be so easy to sort out from halfway across the world. So, to ensure nothing gets forgotten make yourself a checklist. Include both big and little tasks – from booking flights to setting up a mail redirection at the Post Office – and everything inbetween! Put tasks in the order they need doing and tick them off as you go – this should guarantee you tie up any loose ends.
3. Put your belongings in storage
Start packing early, that way you can go through your belongings carefully and decide what you really want to take with you. There is no point going to the effort (and cost) of moving all your belongings across the world, when you don’t really need them. Start by throwing out the rubbish, donating what you can to charity and selling items you don’t need. Next, take advantage of self storage – there is one conveniently located near Heathrow – you could use this to store both items you are taking and anything you want to leave behind, for now.
4. Decide what to do with your home in the UK
One of the biggest decisions you have before relocating is deciding what to do with your home. Should you rent it out, so you have continuous money coming in from the rent and somewhere to go back to if things don’t work out abroad? Or, should you sell it? If so, you need to start the process early to make sure that everything is completed on time.
5. Learn the local language
If you are moving to a country where a different language is spoken, then it would be in your best interest to start learning it. You are unlikely to be fluent by the time you go, but learning the basics will make settling in and getting by much easier. Learning the new language is as easy as downloading an app to your phone – so head to the app store and check out Duolingo. Whether you need to learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish or Swedish – this app will help you!
6. Make sure your passport is in date…
…. because you won’t get very far without it!
There is no doubt about it, this is a big move – but it will all be worth it when you are sitting on a beach, cocktail in hand, looking out on the turquoise sea.