Moving abroad can be driven by various reasons, as people seek a fresh start and explore better living conditions. For instance, in the case of Florida, a popular destination for relocation, many newcomers eventually move out within a few years. As per a real estate agent interviewed by Insider, 40% to 50% of his clients who are new to Florida end up leaving. A Facebook group with nearly 14,000 members, created for people moving out of Florida, has cited reasons such as crowded beaches, severe weather, changing politics, low wages, and steep housing prices. With such considerations in mind, moving abroad becomes an enticing prospect for individuals seeking a fresh start and a change of scenery.
However, it’s essential to approach such a significant transition with careful planning and consideration. People make common mistakes when moving abroad that can hinder their experience and create unnecessary challenges. So read on as we explore 5 mistakes to avoid to ensure a smooth transition and make the most of your time in a new country.
1) Hiring Local Movers for an International Move
We acknowledge the fact that moving can be a costly endeavor. For instance, if you’re moving from a city like Fort Lauderdale, where the cost of transportation and services is already 4% higher than the national average, you may be tempted to cut costs by hiring a local moving company. However, your belongings will undergo a long journey, and you need to choose a moving company with the expertise and resources to handle international moves effectively.
Moreover, to protect your belongings, you must ensure that the moving company you choose is BBB-accredited. BBB accreditation provides an added layer of security and recourse in case any issues arise during the move. Therefore, if you are moving from Fort Lauderdale, you must hire a Fort Lauderdale international moving company with BBB accreditation. By doing so, you can have peace of mind knowing that your move will be handled by professionals who adhere to high service standards and customer satisfaction.
Underestimating the Culture Shock
One of the most critical mistakes people make when moving abroad is not conducting enough research about their destination. And this leads to a disoriented sense of confusion or frustration due to cultural differences.
So dive into the depths of the internet, devour guidebooks, and connect with people who have experienced the same journey. Learn about the local customs, language, laws, and regulations. Understand the healthcare system, education, and job opportunities so you can make well-informed decisions and adjust more smoothly.
Below are some lesser-known customs from all over the world to ensure you’re not caught off guard:
- Japan’s No Shoes Inside: In Japan, you must take off your shoes before entering someone’s home, certain traditional establishments, and even some public spaces like temples and ryokans (traditional inns). This practice helps maintain cleanliness and shows respect for the area and the host.
- UAE’s Respect for Ramadan: If you find yourself in the United Arab Emirates or other Islamic countries during the holy month of Ramadan, it’s essential to be respectful. As Muslims observe fasting, avoid drinking, eating, or smoking in public during the day.
- Denmark’s Hanging Out in Cemeteries: Cemeteries are not solely places for mourning and remembrance in Denmark. They are also considered public spaces for relaxation and reflection. It’s common for Danes to visit cemeteries, have picnics, and spend time with loved ones in a serene and peaceful setting.
- Italy’s Requirement to Walk a Dog 3 Times a Day: Pet ownership comes with legal responsibilities in Turin, Italy. By law, dog owners must walk their dogs thrice daily or be fined up to €500. This regulation aims to ensure the well-being and exercise of dogs, promoting a healthy lifestyle for both pets and their owners.
Overpacking is more than just a minor inconvenience—it can turn your once-in-a-lifetime adventure into a never-ending struggle with excess baggage. Let’s break it down. Overpacking comes with a hefty price tag. The more items you transport, the more the moving company charges. And airlines charge extra fees for exceeding weight limits or the number of allowed bags. These unexpected expenses can quickly eat into your travel budget, leaving you with less to spend on memorable experiences or souvenirs.
But it’s not just about the financial implications. Overpacking weighs you down, both physically and mentally. Lugging around a heavy suitcase becomes a constant battle, leaving you exhausted before you even arrive at your destination. So, how do you break free from the clutches of overpacking? Here are 19 packing tips that help you maximize space and enable a hassle-free trip.
Neglecting the Financial Aspect
Financial planning is crucial when moving abroad. Research the true cost of living and travel expenses in your chosen destination. Currency conversion rates, fluctuating prices, and varying living standards can catch you off guard, causing your hard-earned savings to dwindle faster than anticipated. What seemed like a reasonable budget at home can quickly become inadequate in the face of unforeseen expenses and unexpected price tags.
Another common pitfall is overlooking hidden costs. Visa fees, travel insurance, transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, and even small incidentals like tipping or ATM fees can add up, taking a toll on your budget. Failing to account for these expenses can leave you scrambling for extra funds or compromising on the quality of your experience.
Start saving well before your trip, ensuring the amount is at least 2x the monthly cost of living in your chosen country. The online traveling community suggests $5,000 to $8,000 per person is a decent starting budget for an overseas move.
Failing to Establish a Support Network
Moving to a new country can be emotionally challenging, especially if you don’t have a support system in place. Failing to establish connections with locals or expatriate communities can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Research suggests that almost 9 out of 10 expats feel isolated when they first move abroad.
So before you move, try to join online forums and communities specifically designed for expatriates in your new country. Websites like ExpatExchange, InterNations, and Expat.com offer platforms for connecting with others who are either planning to move or have already made the transition. These platforms allow you to ask questions, seek advice, and share experiences with like-minded individuals who understand the challenges and joys of living abroad.
Moving abroad is an incredible adventure that can provide personal growth, career opportunities, and a broader perspective on the world. Avoiding these common mistakes can enhance your experience and ensure a smooth transition to your new country. Remember to plan thoroughly, stay open-minded, and embrace the challenges and opportunities that come your way.