Moving far away, really moving to another country and becoming an expat, what are the costs? There’s monetary cost and then there’s the “priceless” stuff that Mastercard built a killer ad campaign on. Moving across town costs enough for most of us to avoid it, if possible. Moving across an ocean can cost thousands of dollars. Unless you are banking on the perks of new employment overseas, or you’re a mail-order bride slash hooker on permanent-hire, moving to another country is an arduous process.
So let’s say, for blog’s sake you’re an average law-abiding citizen (because a criminal record may prohibit you from moving to certain countries) who, with wings spread open, wishes to move far away:
– Do your research. Online, and at the local embassy of the country you want to move to. A simple “Moving to _____” in Google will yield you pages of results you can filter through to find legitimate sources. Be prepared to be frustrated, sometimes information is hard to find on the local level of where you’re moving to. You may have to make telephone calls abroad ($$$). Once you’ve done your research you will know if it’s even possible to move to your chosen country (not all countries want “foreigners”, or only certain ones).
– Know “Why”. You must know why you want to move to that specific country. Just being sure about wanting to move is not enough, you should be sure in why, because once you start hitting bureaucratic dead-ends and cold walls of paperwork you will need to reassure yourself as to why you are jumping through circles to move abroad.
– Plan ahead. Besides tons of paperwork, some of which may need translating, all will need official raised seals and respective governmental authorizations ($$$), you will need to consider housing ($$$$), and schooling if you have children, and employment. You may need to learn a new language, exchange your driver’s license, etc. Depending on immigration and residency laws, you may have to have a job lined up or be enrolled in university or have a love interest in place. Or enough money in your bank account ($$$$$) as to not become a “financial burden” on the country you want to move to. Choose a path, and begin your plan of action.
– Have money. Paperwork and fees for this and that will add up. Airfare to your destination could cost a pretty penny ($$$$). If you choose to ship your belongings internationally, you will spend a few thousand dollars ($$$$). But you can find cheap airfare, and you can forego shipping every little thing and just leave with just your essentials and maybe take extra suitcases at an airline fee. I can’t put a dollar amount on your belongings.
And then there are the costs involved in leaving behind your friends and family and other immeasurable treasures. It’s different for everyone, some with more to leave behind than others. But if you’re set on moving to another country, you probably have what it takes to deal with missing loved ones.
If those you’re leaving behind people care about you as much as you do them, they will support your decision and make it just a little easier for everyone. If you’re leaving behind people you want to forget, it’s win-win for everyone. With so many ways available now, to communicate, it’s up to all the different parties to make it happen. Once you have settled in, you can get into some sort of rhythm with everyone “back home” you want to keep in touch with. Good luck, and do share some of your experiences in the comments section!