Help! Where Do I Start? 4 Essential Steps For Moving To A Different Country

Have you ever dreamt of waking up to a world where the only limit is your imagination? Imagine this: money is no object. You can choose anywhere on the globe to call home. Forget the commute, the same four walls, the relentless routine. This is your chance to rewrite the script.

African American father and daughter in Mexico, moving to a different country

So, let’s do this, close your eyes and picture it because moving to a different country starts with a dream…

  • Sun-kissed skin or cosy evenings by the fireplace? Do you crave the warmth of a tropical beach town or the charm of a rustic countryside retreat? Perhaps the energy of a bustling city is what fuels your soul.
  • What’s your daily to-do list? Are you sipping coffee on a quaint Parisian balcony, the aroma of fresh croissants filling the air? Or maybe you’re writing your next ebook on your laptop while lying in a hammock with views of all kinds of exotic birds and palm trees as your backdrop. Perhaps you’re at night market trying local delicacies and your taste buds are tingling from the different bursts of flavour.  

The beauty is, there are NO wrong answers. This is YOUR dream.

But here’s the best part: this life without limits isn’t just a fantasy. It’s closer than you think. Thousands of people are already living it, and you can too!

It was in 2015 that AJ and I decided that we wanted to leave the monotony of life in London behind and we proactively took the steps following steps to make that dream a reality.  I want to share everything we did with you and my sincere hope is that it equips you with the tools and inspiration that you need to rewrite your story.

So, are you ready to break free and live a life without limits? Buckle up, because the adventure starts now!

1. Choosing Your Destination

Where are you going to live?  It’s important to make this decision early on because it will impact on things like how much money you need to earn so you can afford to live there, what type of visa you need and even down to what kinds of food you have access to, the quality of healthcare and schooling options.   Here are some key aspects to help with your decision:

  • Lifestyle Compatibility: Consider your family’s needs: do you crave adventure or a slower pace? Are there activities and amenities that suit everyone’s interests? Maybe you’re not ready to choose just one place but you’re considering an entire region and being a digital nomad for a while. Whatever you decide, you need to think about the factors are important for you to live your best life and direct your research accordingly.  If you haven’t already, download my FREE 12-18 Month Moving Abroad checklist to ensure that you cover everything that needs thinking about ahead of time.  
  • Visa Requirements: Research visa options thoroughly, considering factors like length of stay, work permits, and healthcare access.
  • Safety and Security: Peace of mind is priceless. Research crime rates, political stability, and healthcare infrastructure. Is the country known for natural disasters or outbreaks? Personally, I don’t overthink much of this as most countries 
  • Climate and Geography: Love the beach but hate humidity? Craving European charm but struggle with cold winters? Consider your family’s preferences. Climate can significantly impact your daily life and well-being.
  • Language and Culture: While complete fluency isn’t essential when moving abroad, understanding the local language can vastly improve your experience. Embrace the culture! Being open to new customs and traditions will make integration smoother.

2. Clear The Obstacles: Building a Stable Foundation Abroad

So now you know where you’ll be moving to we need to address the obstacles that are currently standing in your way and preventing you from making it happen right now.  For us, our biggest obstacle was having around £20,000 worth of consumer debt and we wanted to make sure we left the country with a clean slate. Those debts don’t disappear just because you do.  Whether it’s student loans, credit card debt, or a car payment, financial burdens can make international relocation seem like a distant dream.

Strategies for Debt Relief:

  • Create a Budget and Debt Repayment Plan: Map out your income and expenses, then prioritise paying down debt. I loved using the snowball method which meant paying the minimum balance on all the debts and then any extra left over funds were directed to the smallest debt. Once that was paid, we then moved to the next largest fund.  
  • Explore Debt Consolidation or 0% credit card: Consolidate your debts into a single loan with a lower or 0% interest rate.  We also did this and it helped to pull most of our debts into one place and gave us a break on paying crazy interest for a while. 
  • Increase Your Income: Look for opportunities to increase your income, either through a side hustle or negotiating a raise, to accelerate debt payoff.

Remember, moving abroad doesn’t have to be put on hold forever because of debt. With a strategic and focused approach, you can clear the financial runway and embark on your international adventure with peace of mind.

3. Securing Your Income

But before you quit your day job, you have to make sure that you have a clear plan for generating income. There are a number of exciting options to generate income so you can live freely around the world! Here’s a breakdown of some popular choices:

Traditional Employment:

  • Local Job Market: Researching and applying for jobs in your new country is a classic approach. This allows you to integrate into the local workforce and potentially gain valuable cultural experiences.  Some employers may sponsor your flights, visas and accommodation. 
  • Teaching English: If you’re a native English speaker and moving to a country where English is not the mother tongue, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) can open doors in many countries around the world.  I created a FREE webinar to show how you can get started as a tutor even with no experience or qualifications. 

Work From Anywhere Job:

  • Remote Work with Current Employer: If your current role allows it, negotiate a remote work arrangement with your employer. This can be a win-win, allowing you to keep your job while living abroad.
  • Remote Work With A New Employer: Almost all jobs can be done remotely to some capacity and there are lots of employers that are happy for you to work from anywhere in the world as long as you can get the job done. You just have to know where to look for them. There are platforms out there that help you to connect with hiring managers who are looking for talented employees and they don’t care where you are based.
  • Contract work: Offer your skills and expertise (writing, design, programming etc.) as a freelancer on online platforms. This provides flexibility and location independence.

Business Income:

  • Blogging and Vlogging: Share your expat experiences and insights through a blog or vlog. Monetise it through advertising, sponsorships, or affiliate marketing.
  • Teaching English: Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) can be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection and it’s possible to start without any qualifications or experience.  Check out my FREE webinar on how to get started. 
  • E-commerce: Sell products online through platforms like Etsy or Shopify. This can be a great option for creative individuals or those with existing physical product lines. Consider outsourcing your production line or adding digital products that do not require you to be tied to one location. 
  • Rental Income: If you own property back home, consider renting it out to generate passive income. This requires careful management but can be a steady source of income.
  • Investing: Investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate can provide long-term financial security. However, thorough research and a well-defined investment strategy are crucial.

Passive Income: 

Where possible if you can make your income as passive as possible as this will give you the most amount of time and location freedom.  Our current passive income streams are: 

*Selling Digital Products 

*Affiliate Marketing

*Outsourced Services

Consider A Combination of All The Above

I am a firm believer that one income is too close to none and you don’t want to put your eggs in one basket.  The world is a very fickle place right now so I think it’s a great idea to have multiple ways to generate income.  One way you can do this is to consider creating a combination of all the above options I have mentioned.  For example,  you could secure a work from anywhere job and alongside that build your business income by creating a digital product and investing in stocks and shares. 

Important Considerations:

  • Employer’s Policy: Does your current employer allow remote work from abroad? Are there potential tax implications or work hour adjustments? Open communication is key. If your employer will not allow you to work remotely then you’ll need to secure a work from anywhere job.
  • Visa Restrictions: Work permit and visa requirements can vary greatly by country. Ensure your chosen income stream aligns with your visa status.
  • Taxes: Research tax implications for expats in your chosen country. You may be liable to pay taxes in both your home country and your new residence.
  • Freelancing and Online Businesses: If venturing freelance, have a solid plan in place. Build your online presence, secure clients beforehand, and ensure a steady income stream to cover your chosen destination’s cost of living.
  • Time Zone Compatibility: Working across continents can be tricky. Can you manage video conferences at odd hours? Will it disrupt your family life? Discuss expectations with colleagues and clients.

Remember, the best income generation strategy depends on your skills, experience, and financial goals. By exploring these options and carefully considering the legalities, you can find a sustainable way to support yourself while living your dream abroad.

4. Finding Your Tribe: Building Community Abroad

One of the biggest challenges of moving abroad can be feeling isolated. Here’s how to build a support system of folk who may have similar goals and interests as you do:

  • Online Communities: Facebook groups targeted towards expats in your chosen destination are a great resource. Connect with others facing similar experiences, ask questions, and find common ground. We have our own moving abroad WhatsApp community, filled with people who have already made the move overseas or intending to move to a different country in the near future.  We center Black and Brown voices in our community and allies are welcome to join as we expand and grow together. 
  • Local Networking: Join clubs, attend events geared towards expats or families. Strike up conversations at cafes or markets. Building local connections enriches your experience.
  • Language Exchange Programs: These are a fantastic way to practice the local language and meet new people. You can help someone learn your native tongue while gaining valuable insights into the local culture.

The Bottom Line:

The key to a successful move abroad is finding the right balance. Consider your lifestyle preferences, family needs, and financial security first. Building a supportive community and being financially prepared for unforeseen circumstances are crucial for a smooth transition. Embrace the adventure, be flexible, and with careful planning,  you can grab your passport and your global family adventure can become a reality!

FAQ: Moving To A Different Country

Is affordability the only thing to consider when choosing a destination?

While budget is important, focusing solely on the cheapest countries to live in can lead to challenges. Consider your family’s lifestyle – do you crave adventure or a slower pace? Research visa options, safety, climate, and culture to ensure a good fit.

What financial steps should I take before moving abroad?

Prioritise paying off high-interest debt. Build a hefty emergency fund to cover unexpected costs. Research international banking options and create a realistic budget factoring in groceries, transportation, and potential hidden fees.

How can I build a community abroad, especially with a family?

Connect with other expats online through social media groups. Join local clubs and events geared towards families. Language exchange programs can help you learn the language and meet new people.

How can I secure remote work before moving abroad?

If remote work is your lifeline, ensure your employer allows it, discuss potential tax implications or search for a work from anywhere job. Freelancers should build a strong online presence and secure clients beforehand to maintain a steady income stream.

What are some of the hidden costs of living abroad?

Beyond rent, consider the cost of groceries, especially imported goods. Factor in transportation options (public vs car ownership) and utilities. Research visa and permit fees, and budget for unexpected expenses.

Should I only consider the cheapest countries to live in?

While affordability is important, sometimes a mid-range option offers a better standard of living, improved healthcare, and a more familiar infrastructure, easing your family’s transition.

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