Blog on Becoming an Expat & successfully working remotely

Category archive


Prepare Yourself for your big move!

in Checklist/Moving Abroad by

Before even considering what shirts to pack, you must prepare yourself first. That entails preparing your attitude, your mindset, and answering the most basic questions.

Here are the Top 5 Must-Dos that will make or break your experience abroad.

  • Kill Debt.
    Or at least seriously knock it down.
    If you have overwhelming debt before you leave, then odds are good you’ll have even more debt when you return.
    For example, if you can’t sell your old house, make sure a tenant’s rent will cover most if not all expenses.
  • Be Healthy.
    Starting an adventure like this can be tough on the body and soul at first. Maybe the best preparation is starting with good health, physical and mental.
  • Smile. Go with the Flow
    Packing your toothbrush is important. But not as important as packing a sense of humor. It really goes a long, long way when sharing someone else’s country.  Just remember, no place is perfect so don’t expect moving to a new place will erase all of life’s woes.  You’ll leave one set of problems just to pick up a new set.  The test is what set of issues are you able to handle.
  • Avoid Analysis Paralysis.
    Don’t get bogged down in every detail. Sure, plan, but paralyze yourself from doing. For example, learn an overview of the neighborhoods in your target city, but don’t bother judging between streets. Some things are just better discovered when you arrive, listen and learn.
  • Prepare for the Unexpected.
    This goes back to the thing above, about having a sense of humor. As an expat, there are so many times when you just think “What are they thinking?” or even “What the hell?!?”
    Prepare to be surprised, even shocked occasionally. (It is called culture shock, after all)
    Just understand that ahead of time, it will happen. No big deal.

Or, skip everything above and just go for it by just jumping in head first.

Learning a Language
I can highly recommend one service for learning languages. That’s Duolingo or Memrise.  I also use a personal tutor via Skype for a very cheap rate.

Confused? Still have questions? Let Me Help You
I’m happy to help if you e-mail me so we can work one-on-one immediately.

Moving Abroad Checklist

in Checklist/Moving Abroad by
90 days before departure
Book your air tickets and hotels if they are required.
Inform your children’s school that you will be moving abroad and ask for transfer certificates and any information which will be relevant when you move.
Check quarantine requirements in your destination country and arrange pet relocation.
Inquire about professional moving companies and ask for their quotes.
Create a folder with all hard copies and paperwork of the important documents and create a file on your computer for all of your saved files. Check the documentation requirements for the country you are moving to. Many countries require that official paperwork is certified before it can be accepted. See the individual city guide for more information.
Make a checklist of all packing boxes and what will go in each one.
Create a tax and finance folder with any information which can be claimed back on tax. If you are getting your expenses paid for you, put all receipts in this folder.
Make sure you and your family have valid passports; you will not be travelling anywhere without them.
Find out about international drivers licenses. Most countries will not accept your home country’s license. If you can take the test before you leave, do so. It will save time and hassle when you arrive at your new destination.
Once you find the best quote, organize a date for them to come. Ask them to provide details of any property or belongings that you will not be permitted to move to the new country.
Find out if you, your family and your pets need to have any vaccinations and when you need to have them by. Book appointments at the doctors and vets and be sure to have an international vaccination record booklet.
Print out change of address cards to hand to friends and family and Let everyone important know about your departure and change of address-the post office, the magazines you subscribe to, credit card companies, family and friends.
If you are renting out your house and do not have any tenants yet, contact local rental agencies for their help.
Start packing items which you do not need in the next three months such as ornaments, books, photos, jewellery and out of season clothes. Label all boxes.
If you are selling your house, put it on the market.
If your national driving license needs renewing, do so before you leave.
60 days before departure
Ask your doctors, vet and dentist for copies of yours, your families and your pets’ medical records. While you are at it, schedule a final check up for you, your family and your pets.
If you are selling anything such as a car or any household equipment, put everything on the market.
Check all insurance policies and secure your visas if you need to.
Organize going away parties for yourself and your children.
Contact the post office to set up their mail forwarding service.
Prepare a power of attorney. Make sure you have certified copies of all important documents ready to hand over to the person you will be leaving in charge of your affairs while you are away.
Contact your bank and explain that you are moving abroad. If you already have your new address, give them this otherwise change the address to a friend or family member for the short-term. If they are unable to offer a global account you will need to find one that will.
Set up direct debits with your bank for any bill payments which you will still be making while you are away. These can include: mortgage payments, loan repayments, pension payments and savings.
Find out what the local names and equivalents are for any prescription medication you or your family are on. Make sure that it will be available in your destination country. If not you will need to arrange to take a supply with you, together with proof of your need for the medication for customs and excise purposes.
Set up internet banking – as you will need to manage your money online while you are away. If your bank does not have internet banking facilities you should consider changing banks (you will find most banks now have internet banking facilities).
Have a garage sale of all the things you want to sell.
If you are renting out your house, get all minor repairs completed.
Schedule the cancellation of all magazine and newspaper subscriptions or regular deliveries you receive on the day you will be leaving.
30 days to go
Change your address on anything which requires it
Make sure you have paid all outstanding bills. Leave a small amount of money with a friend or relative to settle any that you may have missed.
Contact the various utilities departments and ask them to discontinue your supply of gas, electricity, water, cable TV and telephone or if you are renting your house out, change the name on the bills.
Get all paperwork and information required for the shipping company.
Organize the cancellation of your car & homeowner’s insurance, phone plan, gym membership or any other memberships you will no longer need.  This should all be scheduled to end on the day you will be leaving. Note: If you are not selling your car, do not cancel your car insurance, juts change it to storage insurance since you won’t be driving it. That should only cost around $60 USD/year.  If you know you aren’t coming back you should sell your car as they only depreciate.
If you are renting your house out, make sure it is in good rental condition and make an inventory list of everything which will be left behind.
Start to pack up the house, leaving the essentials that you need for the next month.
Make sure everyone who needs it has your forwarding address.
Moving day
If you are shipping items, be sure to get a rough delivery date.
Remember to savor the moment as you step on the plane, it is a very important milestone in your life afterall.
Make sure you have left nothing behind in your house – check all cupboards and all rooms.
Say your final goodbyes.
Make sure you have the essentials in your suitcase. You will be living out of these cases for the immediate future until your shipment arrives.
Verify all delivery plans with the company and go through the inventory list.
  • Make a mental note to do your Federal and State taxes the following year. You can do them for free on or you can use H&R Block’s expat services for Americans living outside the US.  Prices start at 200 bucks, and the person assigned to you will help you know what to deduct like internet bill, classes, computer software, whatever business expenses you have. You may have to mail them your receipts for the deduction to count- so KEEP YOUR BILLS!
  • Don’t forget travel insurance!!!  I recommend AIG Travel Guard.

Moving overseas can be stressful and daunting, but follow all the steps in our moving checklist template and you can manage your move abroad like a pro.

Go to Top