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Leaving the USA: 7 Things to Do Ahead of Time

Leaving home for good and embarking on a new journey in a new country is an exciting adventure. However, moving abroad from the USA entails quite a bit of planning. There’s a lot to consider and a lot to get done before you can even think about purchasing those plane tickets. While this may sound daunting, it can be really manageable if you plan work and work meticulously with all the information available to you. Here are a few things that you should get done ahead of time. 

Do Your Research

Knowing what you’re getting yourself into is an important step to take and this should be done well ahead of time, even before you make the final decision to move. Get specific about your research – you’ll want to know everything there possibly is to know about your new home: currency, transport, food and languages spoken. More than this, you’ll need to get clued up on immigration laws of the country you want to move to so that you can be well prepared for any documentation you’ll need, applying for jobs, or fulfilling other requirements. Take into consideration the current state of the travel industry and any other factors that might play a role in your move. 

Make a To-Do List

Once you know where you’re going and have a good idea of what will be required of you, make a comprehensive checklist of everything you need to do and organise, and by when it should be done. In this way, you can prioritise the most important tasks and get them done early on and be prepared when you start getting closer to your moving date.

Commit to the Decision

Moving abroad can be a stressful and emotional time and experience. Making the decision and committing to it (for better or worse) is the first and most important step. Once you’ve committed to leaving, you won’t struggle so much with up and down emotions, and things will flow much easier. Making the decision should entail setting a deadline and starting to put everything in place in order to meet that deadline. 

Start Packing

This may feel hasty, but moving to another country is a major task and having as much of your packing sorted out as possible by moving day is the best route to take. Deciding whether to ship all your belongings to your new home or sell everything and start fresh is a major decision to make and one that should be planned out and discussed with your household. If you decide to keep your things, consider your best options for shipping and insurance. If you are planning on starting fresh, start decluttering early on to decide what will be sold, donated or thrown away. 

Save Up

The budgeting and saving for your move should begin as soon as you decide to leave. The best piece of advice we can offer is to try and save up more than what you estimate the move will cost since there are almost always unexpected expenses. However, you should still try to budget as closely and meticulously as you possibly can. Make a list of all the possible expenses you might incur, get quotes for any services you might be using and plan for needing to rely on savings for a while since even if you’re moving straight into a new job, you likely won’t be paid for the first while and will need some funds to live off. Each individual’s expenses will be personal to their situation, so it’s important to run through possibilities with members of your household to try and account for everything. 

Get Your Documents

Most likely the worst part of moving abroad is the hefty pile of paperwork you’ll need to work through, print, have signed, organise, submit, resubmit… You get the point. Requirements will depend on where you’re moving to, but some documents that you might want to get in order regardless, include your passports and identification, visas, driver’s licenses, and any qualifications you may have. Try to have certified copies made and keep some ID photos on you as well – you never know where and when you might need them. It’s also a good idea to get all your paperwork sorted as early as possible in order to be prepared for any potential delays. 

Start Saying Goodbye

The hardest part of moving abroad – especially when you’re moving very far away – is saying goodbye to the people and places you love. Being emotionally prepared for this is important, as it will be a big adjustment for you and those you’re leaving behind. Plan out some quality time with your friends and family in the weeks leading up to your departure, so that you can make some final happy memories together, take some photos and enjoy some time with the people you love before you leave home.