I had been looking to move abroad since I was in college. Then, when my daughter was born in 2008, I started to think about the idea more often. I knew my country was not a safe place to raise her. But it wasn't until 2015 when I decided to intentionally do something to make my dream come true: reunite my husband with his kids and live all together in a safe place. I finally made it after applying to hundred of jobs and sorting many obstacles. Now, we are blessed and living our dream in NYC.
In the past few years, I’ve realized that a lot of people dream of moving abroad. And when I say a lot, I mean it. Not only people from countries with political, economic and social problems, as myself and most of Venezuelan. People from everywhere are willing to embrace the adventure of moving to a different country, either to improve their quality life, learn a new language, or just because they love to travel and visit new places.
After posting my first picture in New York City and after publishing the post series How to reach your wildest dream in 6 steps, I received many messages from readers telling me they have the same goal in life but they don’t even think it as a real option for them. Why?
- Because they think moving abroad is impossible and they don’t even try;
- Because they don’t know how or where to start;
- Because they think moving abroad is only a goal from people with tons of money;
- Because even when I am from a Caribbean country, I love winter.
Ok, I know, the last one is not related to this post, but I just wanted to tell you!
So, I decided to write this post to share with you 5 things you should do if you truly want to move abroad. Hopefully, these tips will help you to move forward with your goal, as I did. I believe that moving abroad is a huge decision and especially when you are a mom/dad or head of a family there is only one way to do it: in a conscious way.
aware of and responding to one’s surroundings; awake. Having knowledge of something; aware. Painfully aware of; sensitive to.
What you have to do
The list of things you should do if you want to consciously move abroad can be endless. So, let’s get straight to the point.
These are the 5 things you should do if you want to move abroad, These 5 things are a must:
- Find your WHY
- Take the decision
- Research. Research a lot
- Make a budget
- Write down a plan with deadlines
Now, let’s go deeper!
1. Find your WHY
You may have read this before in my post How to reach your wildest dream in 6 steps and is because I truly TRULY believe that knowing what moves you to do big things is the best way to keep you motivated through the journey of reaching a life-changing goal. Moving abroad is not the exception. Moving to a different country is not only a big and wild dream but is a goal that usually requires a lot of effort, planning, decisions and self-changes to be accomplished. You can be easily defeated in an immigration process if you don’t have a strong WHY.
So, let me ask you a few questions:
Why do you want to move abroad?
Do you want to develop new professional skills?
Are you looking for a safer place to live with kids?
Do you love adventure and visit new places?
Whatever is your reason, make sure is something that is relevant to you. Something that makes you feel butterflies when you think about it. Thinking about my kids playing together in a garden was my WHY and it helped me to defeat the obstacles on my journey and overcome the paralyzing feelings after many rejections from companies when applying for jobs in the US. Read more about how to find your WHY.
2. Take the decision
Again, moving abroad is a HUGE step in your life. In most of the cases it takes a lot of effort and changes. Let’s face it: maybe, you won’t see your family for a long time, or you are going to a country with a different language and weather. You may have to quit your job, sell your stuff… So, think about it.
Are you doing this because you really want it or because it sounds good on a blog you read? You have to take this decision from heart and act on it. Commit yourself to make a real decision and apply action with your decision until you are reading this from your new home in that new country. From now, all your actions should be focused on one goal: moving abroad.
3. Research and research a lot
Let’s talk about this with an example. Let’s say you want to move to Canada. You may want to start researching what are your options to live in Canada. You should know about the type of visa you require. You should figure out if you can work once in there. You should know which languages you need to speak to make your life less miserable. What’s the minimum wage? can you bring your 5 dogs, the little fish and the turtle with you? Seriously, you need to know how is going to be your life in the new country and how the heck are you going to make it. Some people will tell you “There is no need to know everything and control everything”. Well, I need to tell you that moving abroad can be painful and there are a lot of chances to fail and don’t reach the goal if you are unaware of what you have to do or if you don’t set clear expectations. I know you can’t research everything, but please, don’t go in the dark, especially if you have kids!
These are 7 topics I think you MUST research about the country you want to move:
- Passport, visas and legal requirements;
- Ways to make a living (working on your profession, studying, being a mochilero);
- First language; <- If you need help with your English, check out www.englishfulltime.com Stefanie, The English Coach is out of this world!
- Quality life standard;
- Monthly budget
- Schools (if you have kids, of course).
Make sure you research in trustable sources like the embassy of the country you have in mind. You can even get legal advice (no, your friend who always watches The Travel Channel is not a trustable source).
4. Make a budget
Let’s be realistic. You need to think about how much moving abroad will cost you and your family. That’s why I highly recommend making a budget on the early stages of the process, but just right after taking the decision, not before (if you do it before taking the decision and your budget is high, is likely that you won’t take the decision). These are the things you may want to include in your budget:
- Air tickets, transportation: I love Google Flights to find the cheapest dates;
- Budget to live for 2 months, including transportation, groceries, Internet, personal care, utilities, etc. No idea how much you need in the country you want to move? simply Google “cost living in” + the country and city you are willing to move and check at least 5 or 6 websites. This will give you an idea of how much money you need. I used https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living when I was making plans to move to the US and now that I am here I can tell you is pretty accurate, at least for New York;
- Budget for renting a place to stay as soon you arrive: I did it using airbnb.com instead of a hotel;
- At least two months of rent for the place you are going to live;
- Budget for emergencies and insurance;
- Budget for at least 2 months of school, if you are moving with kids. I love that the US has such amazing public schools that I didn’t worry about this!
Of course, your budget will depend on multiple factors and may vary in each individual case. For example, if you are moving to a country and already have a job, if you have friends in that country, or if you are moving by yourself or with your family.
5. Write down a plan with deadlines
Now, let’s draw a plan to make your dream of moving abroad come true, ok? In my post How to reach your wildest dream in 6 steps: make a plan and timeline you can find a guide that is applicable for an immigration process. Don’t forget to include a step in your plan to work in your mindset – reading books, having a daily affirmation – Your mind setting and self-stime are going to be your best tools during the process!
As I said earlier, this is not an extensive list. There are many things you have to do if you are planning to move abroad. Have in mind these 5 things so you don’t have to start from scratch. Keep in mind other things that can be obvious but sometimes can be left aside: talking about your idea with your kids, spouse and significant others, setting family expectations, putting in order your legal documents, assets, mortgages, investments, etc.
I realize that this post was pretty packed with information and that after reading this you may feel confused and have more questions than before. But here’s the big takeaway:
- Moving abroad is possible and you should give it a try, it will open a new world of opportunities;
- Finding your WHY is the best start point;
- You should plan carefully this goal;
- You can move abroad even if you don’t have tons of money (oh boy, I did it when my bank account was almost in zero, empty, nada. You can read my story here);
So, go ahead, take a pencil and start drawing your future! But before you go, download your free moving abroad checklist!
Did you already take the decision of moving abroad? which country would you like to move? which steps do you think are important when moving abroad? Share your comments below or on the Facebook Community. I will be more than happy to share my experience with you and maybe give you some unsolicited advice 😃