Ok so my job here is to use my own expat experience to help make your transition abroad just a little bit smoother. So as I was brainstorming some content that could be useful to any soon to be expat (not as easy as it sounds), I realised that the admin and prep work before I had even left was one of the main hurdles I had to navigate through. So I thought I’d share 3 useful items that helped make my move abroad that much smoother:
Ok so picture this, the day before I’m suppose to move my whole life abroad, is the day I discovered these Spacesaver vacum bags. I had literally tried about 5 dfferent ways the day before to get all my ‘essential’ needs from the past 27 years into the two suitcases I was bringing with me (because that’s all I could manage). Then, like wisdom from above, I discovered Spacesavers and I was able to run to my local travel shop to nab some. These made a huuuuge difference in terms of what I could actually fit in my suitcase and made packing for my move abroad so much less stressful! In case you can’t find them in your local shop, like everything else, they are also available on Amazon, so get yourself some and save yourself the headache!
Yes, I know it’s not very sexy (unless this is something that you are into… I don’t judge), but having an organised file folder to put all your important documents in is so vital for your move. Honestly, I know everything has gone digital but plenty of global Governments do things in a more traditional (and honestly less efficient) way. From the physical copies of your visa application form to even copies of government letters, it’s so important to have a simple way to organise everything. Trust me this morning I needed to provide a 2017 Notice of Assesment for proof of a tax document and let me tell you how adult I felt when I went to my file folder and pulled it out. It certainly was as one of the highlights of this year, I’m sorry to confess. I myself, like expandable file folders that offer different sections and have a clasp that allows you to keep everything neat and folded (no pun here) away.
My mom has probably said the words ‘Write it down’ to me a million times and it’s finally dawned on me how important that is. Yes, it’s great to rely on your phone as one means of taking notes, but phones get lost, they get stolen and due to planned obsolesence, they breakdown. That’s why it’s also so important that on your journey you also carry a physical notebook where you can jot down important thoughts, reminders, and feelings. Actually one of my closest friends moved to Berlin and for her goodbye gift I got her a journal and she was able to record all of her experiences for her first year and send it back to me as a keepsake. I’m not saying you have to do that, but there is something that makes it much more real and special when it’s not just on a phone. So get a small journal that is lightweight and easy to carry around, trust me you won’t regret it when you’re looking back on the thoughts, memories and times you’ve had.
I hope you’ve found this useful and let me know in the comments if there are any other essential items you would add to the list! And if you’re interested in learning about some apps that also helped my journey abroad click HERE. Bye for now!