Mistakes to avoid when moving internationally

When you are moving overseas whether it’s for employment reasons or you just want a different scenery and lifestyle, it’s ideal to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before jetting off. Throughout my career at Rainier Overseas, I’ve seen many blunders and mistakes people make when moving to another country.

Relocating overseas is hard work and there are plenty of potential problems to trip you along the way. Last week, I shared tips on thanking movers after a successful move. This week, I’m going to share with you the six major blunders I’ve seen people make so you can avoid them like the plaque and have a safer and successful move to a foreign land.

Tip #1, Vacation is not the same as living there:
Taking a vacation is a lot different than living there long-term. No matter where you live, you will always have daily frustrations and routines. In other words, unless you are Bill Gates, you will still have to go to work, access public services, and clean your toilet wherever you live in the world.

Just because you live in a picturesque town in a warm climate, you will still have to adapt to a new life and system, potentially new language and adaptations that accompany any relocation. Set realistic goals for your new life and don’t assume that all your worries will disappear and your life will become perfect.

Tip #2, Research:
Make sure you do your research before you move. Research should include looking into local laws, customs, taxes, building regulations, the health and education systems, and the public transport systems. These all will be part of your daily life and in case of things like the health system, we are talking about your health and the quality of it.

Tip #3, Be realistic:
Just because you’ve always dreamed about teaching English in Brazil doesn’t mean you will love it in reality. Don’t sign too long of a contract for work because if things don’t work out, or and for whatever reason you can’t overcome the barriers, it will reflect badly on you with your employer if you break your contract.

Tip #4, Rent before buying:
Be willing to rent for several months before you decide to purchase a new home. This will save you a lot of headaches because you may learn that your new neighborhood is unbearable during the offseason, noisy at peak times, and your beautiful old home is right in the path of floodwaters in the rainy season or beautiful mountainsides are vulnerable to forest fires in the summer. Renting will give you the opportunity to learn where the best places to live in your relocated city or town.

Tip #5, Learn the language:
Become part of the local community by learning the country or city’s language. Your new language skills are best learned by interacting with the natives. It’s easy to fall in the “English” trap by interacting only with those that speak English and not the local language.

Tip #6, Don’t party like it’s 1999:
Spending money like there’s no tomorrow, hanging out in bars every night and sitting on the beach all day are fine for two weeks but insolvency, alcoholism, and skin cancer will do little to enhance your living abroad experience much less your pocket book and liver.

Immerse yourself in the culture and move away feeling like a visitor and become more of a member of the community. Adapt to the local customs, attend local festivals and other events, and live the same way locals do.

Avoiding these six mistakes when moving overseas so it will lessen a lot of stress and hassle. By simply accepting the fact that things in your new country will be different, not necessarily better or worse, just different, you will be on your way to a much more fulfilling life in your new overseas home.

Safe moving!