Moving to a new country is never easy, but in today’s modern age of communication, at least you know you don’t have to leap into it blind. Planning ahead of time is essential to get every document that you need in order while you research your move right down to the neighborhood you will live in using helpful websites and advice from local residents. These tips will help you make the most of your move and reduce your stress as you make this important change in your life.
Do the research
Budgeting your new life will involve adopting a new form of currency and adjusting to and entirely new pricing system. Things that may be easily obtainable at home or inexpensive may be just the opposite at your new location. Sites like Numbeo will help you calculate just how far your money will go while empowering you to find the best deals on housing.
Have a place to land
Once you know the general cost of housing for your new home, use internet real estate sites to comparison shop for the best deal. But never take a landlords word about your rental or purchase. If possible, visit the area first or ask locals about the area. If not, plan on staying in a hotel for a couple weeks to give you time to really get to know the area.
Research the laws
You may be surprised by differences in legal code that you didn’t expect. For instance, it is illegal to chew gum in Singapore. Or in San Salvador the penalty for drunk driving can include death by firing squad. Best not to risk not knowing the law when so much is at stake.
Start very early with documents
It can take several weeks to get passports and other documents in order for your move, although your trusted Dallas immigration lawyer can help you streamline the process if necessary. The cheapest route for paperwork, by far, is to start as least six weeks before your move to allow for any contingencies. Expedited passport services cost roughly $60 more than regular and can arrive in as little for two weeks, but leave room for the unexpected.
Learn the culture
This tip cannot be stressed enough. Cultural differences can create a great deal of stress in your new life if you do not take the time to understand them. People are not the same everywhere, despite the common saying. For instance, in the US, a firm handshake is a sign of masculinity and trustworthiness, but in Africa a handshake should be much less firm, and may go on for several minutes. The Japanese find westerners to be far to blunt, to the point of being offensive. A proper way to greet a person in Thailand is to say, “where are you going?” In Columbia it is an absolute no-no to put your feet on furniture, even at home. Learning these subtle differences can help you smooth the way for less stressful social relationships and an easier transition to your new life.