1. Are you moving away or are you running away?
I’m not saying that every traveller is running away from something, but some of us most definitely are. I moved away twice, and both of those times were because I was running away from something – And do you know what happened when I eventually moved home? Queue the worst anxiety and having to face up to my problems that I’ve ever had. It was hideous.
If you’re just running away from something then moving to a different Country isn’t going to help you, it is just going to postpone it and make you slightly crazy along the way like it did to me.
2. What is the time difference between where you’re moving to and home?
This may sound like a silly question to ask yourself, but it’s definitely an important one if you’re close with your family and friends. You want to know that you can Skype with them regularly and catch up on what’s going on at home.
It’s good to plan this out before making the move so that you can factor in times that would work for both you and your friends and family to chat. There is no lonelier feeling than being sad in another Country and not being able to get hold of any of your loved ones.
3. Where can you find your Squad?
I don’t care how single & independent you think you are – everyone needs a Squad! Or atleast people that they can hang out with from time to time.
Here are my favourite ways to make friends abroad:
- Tinder – (obviously you can’t use this method if you’re in a relationship). When I first got the app I used it just to make friends and had a couple of really great days with really cool guys who I was straight up with that we were just friend dating from the beginning.
- Hostels – Hostels are an absolute MUST for a Solo traveller. Find one that hosts events that will make it easier for you to go up and talk to people. You won’t stay Solo for too long.
- Friends of friends – If your friend says that they know someone that lives in that place that that you should meet up with them then take them up on the offer. Being too embarrased or nervous to say yes could make you miss out on a great new friend!
- Couchsurfing – Even if you don’t want to crash at a strangers place then you can still use the website to make friends. Couchsurfing hosts regular meet-up’s, pub crawls and language exchanges in tons of Cities. They’re definitely worth attending.
- Facebook groups – Facebook is full of different online tribes that are readily set up for you to join.
Backpacking through Europe? Try Backpacking Europe.
There’s even a group for Digital nomads around the world.
Those are just a few of my favourites. But you can find pretty much any group that caters to what you’re after, and people are always up for meet-up’s!
4. What are the posting facilities like?
My experience with getting post in Spain wasn’t the most desirable experience. It was difficult, frustrating, exhausting and if I’m being completely honest I just kinda skipped getting post at all after that.
Preparation like looking into how stuff gets delivered to a Country from oversea’s is a must if you want your family and friends to send you regular care packages full of goodies that you can only get back home.
5. Is this job going to be as good as it looks on paper?
There was this one time that my friend and I moved to this tiny little town in Italy to start the job from hell. We were teaching English there and our boss was the Wicked Witch of the West.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I was living and working with my bestie, had another bestie that we’d met in the Town or that I really liked my students, I really should have walked from that job.
Make sure that you do extensive research into a postition and a place before you up and move for it!
6. What are the cultural norms and how should I pack for that?
Please, please, please don’t be that person that attempts to walk around in an Islamic Country showing all the skin. Research ahead of time about all the things that you should and shouldn’t wear in a place and adhere to the rules.
If you don’t want to change the person that you are and the way that you do things for a place then that’s okay too, just find somewhere else to move to!
7. What do you want out of this?
Besides living in a pretty new Country for a little while, it’s important to work out why you’re doing this move. Are you hoping to become more independent? Do you want to learn to make friends more easily? Are you hoping to brush up on your language skills? Or maybe you just want to do it for the craic.
Think about your expectations before the move so that you make sure that you’re achieving them as you go. Afterall, you don’t want to move from England to the other side of the World just to sit in the same Irish bar every night, do you?
8. Do you have a backup plan?
Not that I’d know with my lack of preparation – but sometimes no matter how much you prepare for something, it doesn’t work out quite the way you expected it to.
9. What do you have to do while you’re there?
How much holiday can you take off from work? Will you be getting enough money to be able to travel as much as you want to and do all the things that you want to do? Create a little bucketlist full of things that you want to do both in the place that you’ll be living in, the rest of the Country and even the rest of the continent too. Don’t waste the opportunity to see and do as much as you possibly can whilst you’re there!
10. Can you handle things being different when you eventually go home?
It’s inevitable that a lot is going to change whilst you’re away. People are going to get into relationships, maybe even get carried. Some people might get pregnant whilst you’re gone. People might move away themselves, jobs are going to change and very little will stay the same. It’s important to prepare yourself for these things whilst you’re gone, because it can be very lonely to return to a place that feels the same but nothing is in the place that you left it.
11. Are you ready to change forever?
Because whether you like it or not, you’re going to…
What other questions do you think people should ask themselves before moving abroad? I’d love to hear in the comments below!