Hi again everyone,
Today, as I am running around getting ready to pick up and move my entire life half way around the world for the second time, I find myself reminiscing on the last time I did this and how nervous I was. Although I am getting ready for this move as we speak and though it's not my first time doing it, I still don't think I've mentally prepared for the fact that my whole life is about to change (in the best way possible).
Let's back track a little... a few years ago I decided to move to Brisbane, Australia for a university exchange program. Doing this was one of the scariest things I have ever done. It was my first ever solo trip and a big one at that. It was the trip that changed my entire life, the trip that sparked my wanderlust.
If moving to another country for a while is something you're thinking of, I can't urge you enough to DO IT. It will change you in the most positive way, turn you into a stronger more independent person, teach you lessons you never realized you needed to learn. You will form inseparable relationship with people you don't even know exist -how fricken cool is that. Please do not let fear stop you, a big change is always nerve racking but that does not mean it's wrong. It could very well be the best decision you've ever made.
Back to the present, this move to Australia is slightly different than the last. I am not in the comfortable bubble of an exchange program, my university didn't do most of the hard work for me.
If you've ever sat back and wondered "how the heck do I even begin the process of moving to another country?". Well, let me help you through that a little. Here's a step by step breakdown on how I am successfully uprooting my life:
1) Find out where you want to move.
This step is a pretty important one. What is the reasoning behind your move? To be immersed in a new culture? Language? Climate? There are 195 countries in the world, many of which you probably don't know exist. Do your research, figure out which place fits you best!
2) Look into Visa's.
Whether or not you need a Visa depends on your current citizenship and length of stay in desired location. Different countries have different relationships with other countries, so make sure you know how long you're allowed to stay in the place you want to move to. For example, as a Canadian citizen, I can very easily apply for a one year working Visa in Australia if I am under 30 years old. If I want to extend the Visa for a second year, I must do farm work over in Australia. Every country has different rules, make sure you're clear of those rules so you don't find yourself stuck in any sticky situations.
3) Get a good deal on that flight.
Booking a flight can be stressful, especially if you're on a budget. Some of my favourite sites to compare prices are Google Flights, Flight Network and Student Universe. Be careful that the prices you are looking at are in your country's currency! If you're Canadian, make sure the prices you're looking at aren't in USD. I've booked several flights for WAY more than intended because of this mistake.
If you're going somewhere far, you need to decide what's more important: saving money or saving time. This upcoming trip to Australia, I decided to go with a cheaper yet longer flight because I decided I wanted to use the extra few hundred I saved to go on a cool excursion over there.
4) Get health insurance.
Health insurance is super important to have. Accidents happen ALL the time and trust me, you don't want to be going tens of thousands of dollars into debt because of a silly mistake. Spend the few hundred dollars, it's worth it. Many health insurance's also come with coverage for fun stuff like massages, so regardless of if you get hurt or not, you can probably find a way to get the best bang for your buck. This is the website I looked at to compare different prices and insurance policies.
5) Sublet your place.
When I travel for extended periods of time, I rent out my room for more than I pay for it. This is a great way of getting a little extra cash to help you on your travels.
6) Pack carefully.
The first time I moved to Australia, I brought wayyy too much stuff. Sure, it was great having literally all of my clothes there, but I didn't think ahead to the fact I wanted to travel afterwards. I couldn't exactly bring my two giant suitcases backpacking around Thailand and sending them home would have cost me over $1000. I luckily was able to send them home with some friends, but the stress I went through trying to figure that out was not worth the extra outfits. Have a general idea for your travels mid and post-move and pack accordingly.
7) Take a deep breath. You're about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
I know how nerve racking moving your entire life is. If you start to feel panicky, take a step back and focus on everything you're excited for. You're about to have the best time of your life, don't let fear get in the way of that. You'll probably be back home sooner than you realize. If I've learned one thing through my travels, it's how quickly time flies. I remember planning that initial trip to Australia like it was yesterday and since then I've seen more countries than I could have imagined (and many more to come). Take a deep breath. Do some yoga. GET EXCITED!
I hope I have inspired you to jet off, or helped calm your nerves about doing so.
Our planet is absolutely incredible, go explore it!