Emigrating to another country is one of the most exciting life decisions you could possibly make. Many people have dreamed of living or working abroad, immersing themselves in a new culture and broadening their horizons. However, in order to ensure that your move goes smoothly, there are a number of key issues to consider before taking the leap.
Know the area well
There are a number of reasons people choose to move to certain areas, whether they’ve got a new job there, family members live nearby or it’s just a favourite holiday spot they have always dreamed of turning into a home. Whatever the reason though, it is essential that you know the area well before moving there.
It is certainly not advisable to move anywhere without having been there first, but those who want to decrease the risk of the move not going smoothly could rent an apartment in the area for one or two months first, rather than buying. This will help them get into living, rather than holidaying in the area. Renting is common practice in European countries, and there is no reason people who have emigrated can’t rent for a year or two before investing in a house when they are absolutely sure they have made the right decision.
Make it easy for friends and family to visit
There is no doubt that one of the things you’ll miss the most when moving abroad is your friends and family back home, and they’ll miss you too. What’s more, you’ll want to show off your new abode and way of life, and they’ll jump at the chance for a cheap holiday. So make it easy for your loved ones to come see you.
To accommodate friend, choose a property with strong transport links that are reasonably close to the nearest airport – not tucked up in the hills and cut off from all civilisation. What’s more, ensuring you have easy access to an airport and other good transport links will make it much easier for you to get back to the UK when you need to. It is also comforting to know that your home country is not that difficult to get to if you are feeling a little bit homesick.
Get involved with the culture
There is no point in moving abroad and having all the offerings of a new culture if you don’t make the most of them. As an expat you have a brand new way of life to explore as well as all the benefits of an expat network – so make sure you get involved.
Local people will really appreciate it if you make an effort with the national language and try to integrate, going to local shops, restaurants and bars and becoming acquainted with your neighbours. What’s more, when living abroad it really helps to have friends who know the culture inside and out – should you run into any unfamiliar problems they will be sure to explain and help you out.
Making expat friends opens up a whole new side of living abroad. Sharing the experience of moving overseas with other Brits will help you get settled more quickly and open up a whole new social circle.
Tie up loose ends in Britain
When starting a new life in an exciting new country, there are some administrative tasks involved regarding tying up loose ends in Britain – most of these financial.
These tasks include contacting your local council with a leaving date and forwarding address for the Council Tax department and electoral registration. It is also a good idea to let your utility companies know so you can pay your final bills up to date. Furthermore, the bank needs to know you are moving abroad too.
People who are retaining their property in the UK will need to make sure their insurance providers and mortgage lenders are aware of the move, and give the Land Registry a forwarding address.