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5 Steps to Move Abroad When You Don’t Know Where to Begin

Moving abroad can feel daunting, overwhelming, and even something that you feel isn’t realistic. As an expat mentor, I receive daily messages from people explaining to me all the reasons they haven’t moved abroad yet and why they might never take the leap.

Moving abroad can sometimes feel like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing. But here’s the deal, once you overcome that mental block, it gets a lot easier.

The biggest reason people come to me is because they don’t know where to even begin. If you feel the same, like you want to move abroad, but have no idea how, listen up!

Here are 5 steps to move abroad for those that “just don’t know where to begin.”

1. Write down why you want to move.

This step is something I think most people skip, which is why they end up feeling overwhelmed when they’re knee-deep in the visa process on step 4.

Knowing why you want to move abroad is crucial. Dig deep and think about what you’re hoping to accomplish abroad. Whether it be something seemingly silly like, “I want to move to abroad so I can eat ceviche on the beach every day” or it’s something a little more deep like, “I want to get in touch with my Malaysian heritage.”

This step is completely about you and what you want. If you’re clear on this, you’ll be much more willing to overcome any hurdles you could face later.

2. Choose where you want to move.

Personally, this is my favorite step. I love daydreaming about my potential life abroad in a wide variety of countries.

Have some fun here and write down a few places that excite you. I’d put them in a list for a plan A, plan B, and plan C. This list will come in handy when you’re figuring out the next two steps.

3. Decide how you’ll make an income

Now that you have 3 countries you’d like to live in, start researching jobs you can do in each place. This will be based on your past job experience and if you’re looking to change careers or not.

Girls Gone Working is a great resource for finding out different job opportunities around the world or online. Some might be jobs you’re familiar with, like teaching English abroad, but others might be something you hadn’t thought about before, like being an overland tour guide. Browse the website to get your ideas flowing.

I’d suggest finding out what you can do for work in each of the countries you noted for plan A, plan B and plan C. It could all be the same job or it could be completely different.

4. Understand the visa process

Visas are one of the worst side effects of the expat lifestyle but something you can’t overlook.

Now that you have your list of countries and jobs, see what visas you qualify for. A lot of jobs abroad will sponsor your visa but you do have to meet some basic requirements. These requirements will vary from country to country and also within industries so make sure you’re doing specific research.

Sometimes visas don’t work out in your favor, which is exactly why you made 3 plans. For example, maybe you don’t currently qualify for a visa with plan A but you’re good to go with plan B. All 3 plans should be exciting so instead of getting discouraged and dropping it all, focus your energy on Plan B.

Start applying to jobs, going through the visa process, and building anticipation because guess what, you only have 1 step left!

5. Pack up & Say your good-bye’s

You’re ready to go! You have your visa set up and you’ve bought your flights. At this point, I know you’ll be busy packing but don’t forget to take some time off to say good-bye and have a few more fun adventures with your friends and family.

Now that didn’t seem so hard, did it? By breaking it down into manageable steps, you now know exactly where to start and what you need to do to successfully move abroad.

You are your biggest barrier when it comes to moving abroad. Focus on your mindset, taking it all in steps and before you know it, you really will be eating ceviche every day with your toes in the sand!

If you’re looking for 1:1 assistance to overcome your fears and make the move abroad, check our my mentorship packages to book a call.

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