3 Things To Expect When You Move Abroad

Posted on: 20 January 2015

Not everyone gets the opportunity to move abroad, so it's understandable you might jump at the chance to do so. Moving to a new country, either temporarily or permanently, is a great way to learn more about the world and explore other cultures. But the whole process, from packing up your old home and moving your things, to finding a home and getting acclimated in your new surroundings, can come as a bit of a shock to the system. If you're getting ready to move across international borders, here are some of the things you should expect to experience while you plan and execute your move with professional help from a company like Hollander Storage & Moving.

You'll Have to Downsize or Wait

If you're moving overseas, you can't just load up a moving truck with everything you want to bring with you. You have two options for shipping your possessions – they can go by boat or by plane. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks.

Shipping by airplane is expensive. You know how much it costs for a plane ticket overseas, so you can imagine how much it will cost to ship the contents of your house. Unless money is no object, chances are you'll have to leave some possessions behind if you want to go this route. On the bright side, at least you'll have the items you do choose to ship quickly.

Shipping by boat is less costly, but it comes with a waiting period. You could be in your new home for several weeks before your items arrive. However, the savings may be worth the wait. Keep in mind, too, that some large items can't realistically be transported by air and will have to be shipped.

No matter which shipping option you choose, you'll have to make some tough decisions. Before you pack, sit down and figure out whether you might save time and money in the long run by purchasing big ticket items like furniture or a car in your new country, instead of shipping what you have.

You May Have to Leave Your Pet Behind

Most countries have some sort of restriction about what animals can be brought in and out of the country. While you can move with a cat or dog to most places, it's not always easy to do so. And more exotic pets, like reptiles, rodents, insects, or birds are not always welcomed. Even if they are, they may need special permits.

If you have a pet, you should start researching the rules for moving your pet to the country that you're headed to long before you're actually ready to make the move. Your pet may need new vaccinations, health certificates, or even a period of quarantine, and it's a good idea to give yourself as long as possible to deal with the requirements. Furthermore, it can take up to six months to get a permit to bring an exotic pet overseas.

If you absolutely can't bring your pet, either because the species isn't allowed or because you can't meet the requirements, you'll want to know far enough in advance to find the pet a new home.

You'll Feel Lonely

Even if you move with your family (and your pet) you're going to find that you feel lonely after you arrive in your new country. You may not speak the language. You'll be surrounded by unfamiliar people. The streets will look different than the streets that you're used to. The architecture, vehicles, and street signs will all be strange to you. You won't have ties to the community right away – it may even take you some time to figure out where to shop and eat.

Being prepared to experience loneliness and homesickness can help you combat these feelings when they arise. Join an online group for expats before you move – you may find people in the area that you're headed to that you can connect with right away, or at least people who have been to where you're going and can recommend a good grocery store or pharmacy.

Work on learning the local language, and find a community organization that you can volunteer with or join. Once you have some friends in the area, learn to communicate, and can find your way around, you'll start feeling more at home.

Your international moving company can help with many of these problems. They can help you choose the best shipping methods for your need and ensure that you have the right paperwork for all of the people and pets in your family. They may even be able to refer you to local resources for expats that can help you get acclimated to your new residence. Be sure to ask what services they offer to help make your international move easier.

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