Where in the World Would You Most Like to Live?

Moving house – it has a host of stressful associations, and yet also some really exciting ones. If you’re thinking of moving to live internationally, the world is quite literally your oyster. Yet with so many wonderful locations to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your options and make a final decision. Of course, there are practical considerations such as language, living costs and work opportunities – but they’re not as fun to think about just yet! If you’re making the massive decision to relocate, the most important thing is finding somewhere you will be happy. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for the best places in the world to live, depending on what you are looking for!

Sun, Sea and Sand

For many, it’s the idea of a perfect life; that gorgeous little house a stone’s throw from a white sand beach, a sparkling sea, and a summer sun that lasts the whole year around. If this is your dream, then you’ll want to look somewhere like Australia for the perfect lifestyle. Most of Australia’s cities and towns are gathered around its huge coastline. They are all great places to live, but Grange Beach in Adelaide consistently comes up in lists of the best beaches in Australia, so this should be your first choice of places to look into!

Culture and Nightlife

If you are someone who likes excitement, being around people and constantly experiencing new things, then you are a city-liver through and through. A city such as London or New York would be perfect for you. There are enough theatres, cinemas, events, restaurants to keep you occupied for a thousand lifetimes. Of course, these destinations come with a price tag attached, and neither city is cheap. However, if this is your idea of the perfect lifestyle, then it’s a small price to pay to live your dream.

Adventure and Joy

Rafting down the river. Hunting in the forest. Hiking through the mountains. Returning to your home in the city to sit by the fireplace in the winter, or light a barbecue in the summer. If this sounds like heaven, then Canada is the place for you. Situated just north of the United States, Canada is a huge country with many different options for places to live. The Whitehorse real estate area is a great one to look into, as the city of Whitehorse is located in amongst some stunning scenery, with adventure right on your doorstep.

Mountains

After sunshine and sea, mountains are at the top of many peoples’ lists of dream locations where they’d like to live. Yet mountains are often inaccessible and difficult places to make a living – so where are the best places to go to get your mountain fix whilst living a comfortable life? Well, Scotland should be your first place to look. As it is a small country, many Scottish towns and cities are just an hour or two away from stunning mountain ranges, and if you’re after a quieter village life, you can get even closer. The only drawback to Scotland is the wet weather, and if you’re after sunnier climates, Aquitaine in the south of France has been widely celebrated for its stunning gorges and mountains.

Top Tips For Organizing An International House Move

There are few things in life more stressful than an international house move. Just moving house within the same country or state is challenging enough – the process of finding and securing your new home, the expenses and paperwork involved, and of course, the packing and moving. Throw in a plane trip and a whole new country, culture, and language, and it is little wonder that many people are put off following their dreams and relocating to, say, a townhouse in Thailand. It can be overwhelming for even the calmest and organized of people, but here, we share a few tips to help to make the process a little easier for you and your family.

Create a command center

If you have looked at Pinterest, you will undoubtedly see a plethora of Instagrammable and beautiful command centers. However, they are not just aesthetically lovely – they do (or should, anyway!) have a use – to be the center of organization for the household. While it does not matter what your command center looks like, what does matter is the role it takes in helping you to organize your international move.

It does not have to be a physical center, either. In fact, in the increasingly digital age we are now living in, a digital command center may be more appropriate and useful (albeit it not so pretty!). Have a file set up on your computer – preferably easy to get to from your desktop, where all documents and information linked to your move is stored.

Google Drive is useful for this and is free to use. Also, you can sync it to your calendar, emails, and Google Keep on your cell phone. Because everything is stored on the cloud, you can access it from anywhere in the world and on any device as long as you are connected to the internet.

List, list, list

It sounds obvious – lists are one of the first things that most people make when they are moving. However, they are harder to do than you realize sometimes. You need to sit down and make lists of absolutely everything that is linked to your international house move. This is for two reasons: Firstly, it gives you a list of everything that needs to be done, and secondly, it clears your head. An international house move can really take over your head, and you may find that getting some of it out and down onto paper can be helpful for your mental health.

Some of the things that you may not have thought of putting on your list but are important include:

  • Making doctors appointments for health checkups
  • Booking any mandatory immunizations and vaccinations
  • Obtaining copies of medical files
  • Obtaining copies of school files
  • Birth and wedding certificates
  • Any other legal documents
  • Sort out clothing and donate any that are no longer needed
  • Sell vehicles
  • Reserve any self-storage units that are needed
  • Inform financial institutions of the impending move
  • Organize your new bank
  • Draft power of attorney for any home affairs
  • Pay off any outstanding debts
  • Purchase any adaptors for electronics
  • Cancel car, home, life, and health insurance
  • Organize insurance in your new country
  • Register a mail forwarding address
  • Print off travel documents

Keep note of what is where

The key to an organized move is knowing precisely where everything is at all times. As you pack boxes, label them with a number, and on one of your spreadsheets in your command center, note down the box’s number and what is in the box. Add as much detail to your list as possible – it could be a long time before you see your belongings again!

This may seem like a tedious job, but it serves more than one purpose. It helps you to keep track of where things are, which makes it easier at the other end. It also means that if something goes wrong with the movement of your possessions, you also have a detailed list of what is there to claim on insurance. We hope that you don’t need to do that, but being prepared for the event is always a good idea!

Organize your paperwork

Digital organization is always the best option, but some things are still in paper form, and it is imperative that you keep these together. Scan them all into your digital command center, but put all the hard copies in one file together and put them into your carry on, so if there are any issues, you have them to show the relevant authorities.

How To Move Abroad On A Budget

Moving abroad, whether for work or just to experience life in a new place, should be properly thought out before you make the leap. If you’re trying to make this leap on a budget, it can be even more of a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Follow these tips to make a start on this adventure without the need to ruin your finances forever.

Find Work Abroad

The best way to make a move with your finances intact is to make sure you have a job lined up in your new home.

If you like your job, find out if your company offers any opportunity for you to transfer to an office in another country. Many large companies will happily do this, and some even offer work exchange programs. You could trade places with a colleague in another office who wants to experience your home country. If you have a more specialist role, you could transfer in order to train staff in another office too.

If you work for yourself, especially online, this can be easy to keep working when you get there, especially if you’re in the digital industry. Freelance careers like web design, copywriting or even working as a virtual assistant can all easily be done from anywhere you have an internet connection.

If you are planning to work abroad, you will need to make sure you have the relevant work visas or other permits to let you work legally. If you do need to search for a new job, try and secure one before you move, as this may be required to get your work permit. Your employer should then be able to help you with working out which permits you will need and how to get them.

You could look into a work abroad scheme to help you find work too. Volunteering is a great way to make connections for work like this, or you could look into a job like teaching English as a foreign language. If you have skills in a specific industry, you may find it easier to find a job in countries in need of your skills. For example, engineers are often needed in Germany, whereas IT professionals are in demand in India. If your job is in an industry like this, spending a year working abroad can be well worth it, as you can earn good money. You can use your higher salary to save hard and put towards something like a house deposit when you get home after your year abroad.

Start The Visa Process

Make sure you start the visa process or arrange any work permits you need with plenty of time before you leave for your new life to minimise your stress levels. Depending on the kind of employment you’re going into, you might require a different kind of permit. Short-term, unpaid or work exchange positions may only need a tourist visa, but check first. Other positions will likely need a proper work visa to allow you to legally earn while you’re abroad. Visa needs differ by country, so check with a local embassy to find out what you need to start your new job. Your employer should also be able to advise you.

Find Somewhere To Live

There are often Facebook groups and websites for expats which you can use to help you find a roommate. Living with a roommate and renting a room rather than a whole apartment can not only help you to meet people but also majorly keep your costs down. Your work may be able to suggest an agency to help you find a room to rent in your new home city. Apps like PropertyGuru can also be helpful.

Prepare Your Finances

No matter how budget savvy you are, moving is always going to be expensive. You’re going to need some savings to help you through and to learn how to budget. If you’re low on funds, selling your old stuff can be a great way to raise some money. You’re likely to want to slim down your possessions anyway if you’re preparing for a big move, so you might as well sell on these items either on eBay or at a yard sale to earn some spare cash to fund the big move. Save some money by cooking at home more often, and choosing to invite friends round instead of going out. Find some ways to save some cash so you can start your new life abroad, without being saddled with debt as soon as you get there.

Six Tips For Moving Abroad

Moving abroad can be exciting, but stressful at the same time. There’s a lot of decisions to make, and a lot to plan if you’re seriously considering such a big move. Here are some simple tips to make the decisions a little easier.

  1. Give it some time after you move. The excitement of moving to a new country can wear off quickly when the realities of living in a foreign country hit you. The first months can be stressful, as you try to negotiate a new culture or not speaking the language. Even if you’ve moved to another english speaking country, challenges like sorting out bank accounts, setting up utilities, and struggling to make friends can make the transition difficult. Give it six months for these things to settle down, so you can tell if you actually don’t like your new home or just don’t like moving challenges.
  2. Find a relocation expert to help you find a new property. Where finding quality properties is half of the challenge, it’s important to get smart help to help you not only find the home, but negotiate the legalities of buying or renting abroad.
  3. Resist going home while you’re still getting used to your new country. Even if there’s a great flight deal, if you head home while you’re still settling in, it can set you back in negotiating your new life. When you’re home, everything is easier, with no language barrier or culture confusion. The ease might tempt you to call time early on living abroad before you’ve given it a fair chance.
  4. Pick up some language basics. As a tourist, you can get away with very limited use of the local language, as long as you struggle through the pleasantries like hello, goodbye, please and thank you. As an ex-pat, you’ll need a little more. It can help you to settle in and start to build connections, and will show your new community that you’re trying. Learn some simple phrases, like ‘this, ‘that, some numbers, and the words for ‘here’ and ‘where’. This can help you ask for directions, book a taxi, buy food and lots of other things. Whether you ask for ‘two please’ at the cinema, point at a map with ‘here please’ in a taxi or point at a cake and say ‘that one please’, your new words can open up a lot of options.
  5. Ask other ex-pats for their survival tools. Bonding with the ex-pat community can really help you to find the best resources for life abroad, like apps or websites. For example, maybe they can recommend a takeaway with english menus, a handy app to navigate local public transport or a Facebook group for local ex-pats.
  6. Try to avoid making comparisons. Life can work differently in other countries to the way you’re used to, and it can be easy to make unfavourable comparisons. If you find yourself wondering why the stores close earlier, or the banking system is complicated or why you can’t buy your favourite cheese anywhere, try and balance it by noticing the things that are better, like better options for public transports, cleaner streets or better coffee.

Moving Abroad? Time To Sort Your Finances

How many times have you dreamed of starting a new life abroad? You may be at the stage of just staring at far-flung destinations on Instagram, or you may have travelled extensively abroad and know exactly where you want to relocate to. Whatever stage you’re at, you know that moving overseas takes money. And if you’re going to make the move in the next few years, you’ll need to think about a savings plan sooner rather than later.

Revisit Your Budget

It’s not a wise idea to go anywhere without a pot of savings to cushion your arrival. You may experience delays in starting work or have to pay out for things like rental deposits on a place to stay upfront, plus you should always have enough money saved to get home should you need to. Start by making the most drastic changes you can to your current budget. Look at the biggest costs you have at the moment and see if you can can minimise them. Could you do without a car for a bit and cycle to get around instead? You could also look at resources for rent prices in the city you live in, or the one you will be moving to, to make sure that you get the best value for money. Consider the little costs which can add up as well – cancel any unused subscription services and switch to store brand items in your weekly food shop. Small changes really can add up if you make enough of them.

Sort Out Your Overseas Finances 

To get up and running in your new home country, there are also some financial steps you need to take. Getting organised early is key, as it can take some time to get everything up and running. First, looking into setting up a bank account overseas – it will make things so much easier when you arrive. Each country has different requirements, so make sure that you know what they are – some places will require you to have a residential address already. Then, you’ll need to transfer your money into your new domiciled account. Most banks make this process unnecessarily expensive and complicated, so look into using a specialist money transfer service instead. You should also search out an overseas credit card or a prepaid travellers card before you arrive – it’s a convenient way to pay for the essentials as a stop-gap until your bank account is up and running. But make sure that you’ve chosen one that doesn’t charge fees in your destination.

Look Into Taxes

Being an ex-pat doesn’t mean that you become automatically exempt from all taxes in your home country. If you’re still receiving any form of income, for example from renting out your old home, you may still be liable to pay tax on that, plus the tax that you have due in your new country. Make sure you understand the situation where you are going, as you may have to submit tax returns or pay tax separately from your income rather than having automatic deductions. With a little foresight and planning, you can move your life abroad and keep your finances intact.