What to Expect When Moving Abroad Alone – How to Make It in a New Country

Posted Moving Abroad / May 5, 2021
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

No matter what your reasons for moving abroad alone are, aside from having to prepare for never-ending packing, you’ll need to prepare yourself for it emotionally, mentally, and practically. Although it’s true that moving overseas is difficult to perform due to complicated visa procedures needed for a legal stay and working opportunities, if you choose the right destination, the whole process can be much smoother. For that reason, we’ve decided to provide you with the ultimate steps of how to organize the whole process of moving abroad and adjust to your new lifestyle.

Should I Move Abroad Alone?

The hardest thing about relocating internationally is making a decision to do it. The usual concerns of expats-to-be are rather associated with emotional doubts than practical reasons. Is moving abroad selfish? How will my family handle it? How am I supposed to say goodbye to my friends? This is only a tiny piece of all doubts people usually have when it comes to solo relocation overseas, which can only increase the moving stress you might feel.

Although answering these questions is not easy and requires a lot of introspection and time, only you can give the right solution to this dilemma. The thing you should always keep in mind is, in case you relocate to another continent and don’t feel comfortable with your decision, you can always come back home. Otherwise, you’ll never be sure you made the right choice.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Another thing that can help you make this decision is focusing on the benefits the relocation to another continent or country will provide you. Whether it’s career advancement, the opportunity to learn a new language, better living conditions, lower cost of living, or any other reason that can impact your quality of life in a positive way and can be a game-changer, stay with it and set it as the ultimate goal of relocation. Meeting people, making some unexpected connections, boosting your confidence, and being totally independent are other advantages living in another country can bring you.

However, relocating miles away from your hometown means you’ll not be able to visit it frequently. Especially if you move to another continent when travel costs can exceed a couple of thousand dollars for a single trip. It also means you will leave all by yourself, without the support of your family or friends, and that you’ll deal with emotional rollercoasters very often. For that reason, being emotionally prepared is of tremendous importance if you don’t want the relocation to be a complete disaster.

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Essential Questions to Answer When Moving Abroad Alone

The only way your international moving can be successful is by exploring perspectives of the country you are relocating to, as well as the regulations, so you can legally stay and work in the location you choose. So, if you’re wondering how to move to another country, here is what you need to explore in detail before making the decision.

How Can I Move Abroad With no Job and Get a Residency Visa?

In the internet era, relocating abroad without a job is absolutely possible and an open option. The possibility of finding a remote job and getting a digital nomad visa for a few months or a couple of years enables you not to be strictly tied to one employer that has to guarantee your visa, which is one of the greatest migration drivers. There are also countries that provide very beneficial conditions for residency visas for retirees, giving additional opportunities for American citizens who want to spend their golden years somewhere else.

While in the past, the easiest way to get a residency visa was reserved for students and retirees, nowadays there are no more such limitations, so working in Europe as an American is not that difficult a goal to attain.

However, if you’d feel more comfortable getting a job before you relocate, then learn how to get a job in Europe as an American and explore all open jobs for Americans in Europe on online platforms that match employers with employees.

What Documents Do I Need?

One of the most important things when planning the relocation is checking the documents needed to travel abroad, such as the passport, medical records, driver’s license, qualifications for the job, and insurance policy, because you just don’t want to leave them behind. There are also many countries that require visas to enter their territory, so you better check these details with the embassy of the country you wish to travel to.

There are also many visa-free countries for US passport holders, meaning you can stay there without any restrictions or obligations to report your stay, usually for 90 days. Once you find a job, you can apply for a permanent residence visa and work permit which will provide you with a legitimate stay in that particular territory.

How to Find a Place

After shipping your belongings overseas, finding a place is the most complicated part of relocation. Since you’ll not be able to take an apartment tour with a real estate agent before you get to the city, for starters, you’ll have to find temporary housing, such as an Airbnb apartment, for example, and buy some time. Once you get to your desired location, you’ll contact the real estate agent or start searching online and find the right apartment or house for you.

However, before relocation itself, you can do some research on housing prices, the best neighborhoods to live in, proximity to landmarks, and setting a budget. Since there is a possibility you’ll be without a job for a while, be careful with your budget and take care of your finances.

How Can I Move From My Country Alone? First-Hand Experiences on Relocating to Europe

Choosing another location for living is way too different from choosing a holiday destination. Moving internationally means you’ll have to take complete care of how your life will look. From finding a job to renting a place and introducing yourself to other cultures and lifestyles, everything will be different. For that reason, one of the very helpful tips would be exploring the experiences of other people who have gone through similar transitions and fully understand the problem. If you want to know what relocation to Germany looks like, check the video below and find out everything about it.

Preparation Steps for Smart Relocation and Easier Networking With New Community

Going across the ocean implies being smart when choosing the destination where you’ll live, no matter if you’re in your twenties or sixties. This means the destination should match your needs and expectations. Researching the best places to retire in Europe or the best cities to live in Europe for young people can move your decision in the right direction.

Explore Where American Citizens Relocate the Most

Knowing where the majority of your compatriots are relocating can influence your decision, too, since having a large expat community by your side can help you adjust to the new environment.

According to the State Department research, there are 10 million Americans living out of the States. And by the UN International Migrant Stock Report, the most common choices of Americans when it comes to relocation out of the US are:

  • Mexico, where 28% of relocated Americans found their home,
  • Canada, where 10% of relocated Americans live,
  • The UK, which is the choice for 8% of relocated Americans and considered one of the best European countries to live in.
  • Germany and Australia were the go-to choices for 4% of expats,
  • Israel is the preferred destination for 3% of American expats,
  • South Korea, Japan, and France each home around 2% of US expats.

And as the American Expat Finance study showed the reasons why Americans move are various and often very romantic! As many as 39% of Americans moved to another country for love. On the other hand, 28% of Americans moved out of the States due to better job opportunities, while 8% relocated in search of adventures.

Learn the Language of the Country You’re Relocating To

Being able to communicate in the language of the country you are relocating to is of tremendous importance even if you have some basic knowledge of it. Although English is considered the common lingua franca of the whole world, if you plan a long-term stay outside of your motherland means you will have to master the language of that particular country. Taking some courses before you move to another country is one of the most useful tips for learning a new language, and this will definitely help you break the language barrier more easily once you start living in the new community.

Find Expat Communities

Missing your old lifestyle, family, and home is an absolutely expected and normal feeling. If you’re lonely, nostalgic, or feel homesick and disconnected, you should approach the expat communities and their members that usually share the same thoughts and can help you go through this phase much easier. Knowing that you are not alone, the possibility to express your emotions in your native tongue, and meeting other people who successfully deal with similar problems can be pretty encouraging for recent expats. They can show you how to keep in touch with friends and introduce you to their social circle which will definitely help you adjust to a new country faster and easier.

How to Organize an Overseas Relocation?

Crossing the ocean sounds scary enough. But when you add your belongings to this trip, well, then it sounds like a mission impossible, all the way until the moment when you find a reliable overseas moving company that can help you both with international moving by air or even international moving by sea. Whether you’re relocating to Canada or perhaps relocating to Spain, having an international moving company that provides a full relocation service package by your side is of tremendous help and importance when you’re relocating overseas.

Professional movers will not only introduce you to all regulations on the belongings you can bring, but they will also give helpful advice on what to pack when relocating abroad, what the most secured and most affordable options for shipping a car overseas are, and how the whole process will look once they deliver your things to the new country.

Of course, the first step to organizing your relocation, once you define all other details, is contacting an overseas shipping company and asking for a quote. Depending on the number of belongings you want to take with you, packing services you choose, the period you’ll use the storage services for, the final price will be estimated. However, keep in mind that organizing an overseas relocation is a very complex process, so make sure you schedule the date in advance because in some cases, last-minute deals won’t even be possible.

Ready for the Next Big Move from Your Comfort Zone?

If you are one of those passionate travelers who enjoy discovering the world and always dreaming of relocating overseas, exploring different cultures, and meeting people, then you are the perfect candidate for successful international relocation. Although it might seem frightening, overseas relocation is actually pretty similar to any other relocation, with the crucial difference of being separated from your family and friends in miles. However, this move can really be a gamechanger for your life and get the best out of you. It encompasses not only the location change but also the surpassing of your comfort zone that will ensure your personal growth. In some way, this can be considered as the final part of growing up, so if you feel ready to take life into your hands, then you are definitely ready for this next big move.

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