Winter has come early to Texas! This means lot of cuddly, snuggly weather and lots of home improvement projects. My family is coming for the holidays and I’m busy trying to make the house more hospitable compared to last year! However, I can’t be an energizer bunny all the time. Today, I painted the guest bathroom, five hours later I was exhausted!!! How can such a small bathroom take so much energy? I tossed my sore body on the couch after all the physical activity and turned on some Netflix. I started watching House Hunters International. Isn’t that show addicting? Get to see new places and houses!!! Then, my brain started thinking.
What do people do when they move to a foreign country? How do they get around to get a driver’s license or figure out how to turn on the water? I recall from my international studies classes in college that the little things in a different country can add up quickly especially for foreigners with no language skills.
I have not lived in another country as an adult, hence I haven’t lived through this scenario, but I do want to live overseas. I joined an international company with hopes of getting relocated. My company would take of most arrangements if I were on a short-term assignment, but once I transfer to a long-term assignment; it might be a different story. In some countries, I would have to take a local contract based on that particular country’s rules. I started thinking of all the things I would have to take care of:
- Moving – Moving across state lines in the US has been pretty easy. Rent a U-Haul or some Pods then get them and yourself to the next destination. Figure out where the local DMV and other important office are located. It would be challenging but much easier with Google searches! Moving across international lines is more difficult. It might be easier to hire a moving company that does everything for you. I have read about companies that move your things from the US to Mexico and fill out the documentation of your items to get them through customs.
- Figure out Visas – What kind of visas will you need to travel and stay in the country? The U.S. Department of Defense – Bureau of Consular Affairs has some good information. Check it out!
- Foreign Exchange rates – Is the country’s economy stable? If it is not, their exchange rate might fluctuate daily. An example of a country with currency exchange fluctuations is Argentina. I had a Director from Argentina come to the US and he couldn’t use his Argentinean credit cards in the US due to country having defaulted its nation debts. When we went to Peru, we realized how hard it was getting to an ATM to get USD dollars. It was extremely challenging to exchange our USD to Peruvian soles in the small villages. Next time we go to another country, I will be better prepared.
- Loans – If you move to another country, how will you get access to loans to buy a house (if you choose to buy a house like in HHI), or to get a car, or even a line of credit (i.e. credit cards)? In Britain, you can check out Aspire Money. Aspire Money provides personal and car loans.
- Make Friends Fast – Making good friends fast may be a better way to get the in to all the local places. Sometimes just figuring out which is the best neighborhood to live in can be challenging to someone who doesn’t know the area. Friends can be such a great resource.
Those are just some ideas I had, if I were to move abroad long term. Here’s to wishing my dream comes true one day!