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Make Your Overseas Move Easy With These 4 Steps

Make Your Overseas Move Easy With These 4 Steps

Whether you’re looking to move for work, studying in another country, or even retiring abroad, moving overseas can be a difficult task. Like any challenge, though, it can be broken down into bite-sized chunks and made more manageable. Let’s do that together for your overseas move. Here are the four steps you’ll need to take.

1. Before you do anything

Before you do anything else, you need to figure out where you’re going to move and what that means for you and your lifestyle. Likely the biggest change that will impact you is going to be changes in the cost of living. Here’s a good international cost of living calculator to help you figure out what’s going to change.

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If you play around with it a bit, you’ll note that not all factors in the cost of living change equally. In some parts of the world food is more expensive but health costs are much lower. In others, housing is very expensive, but robust public transportation makes getting around a lot cheaper. Not all changes will have a huge impact on you, but since housing often represents such a large part of our budgets, it’s good to plan on sticking to the 30% rule when planning for housing. That is, the most you should plan on spending on rent or mortgage payments is 30% of your monthly income. If you make $5,000 a month (or the equivalent in your host country), you should plan on spending at most $1,500 on housing. Keep this in mind when accounting for fluctuating housing prices in different parts of the world.

2. Before you move

So you know where you’re going, either through corporate assignment or your own decision-making. What do you need to do before you leave? One lesser-known step to packing up that so many people seem to forget about is cleaning! People usually think of cleaning as “OK, I’ve moved everything out, now I’ll clean up so that I get my full security deposit back.”

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Wrong! Think of it this way instead: moving out of a clean and organized house is so much easier than trying to pack a jumbled mess away. A house that goes into boxes organized comes out of them organized, making it worthwhile to clean before you move out.

This is also a good time to take inventory. The process itself will help you to declutter and figure out what you really need to take with you and what’s just weighing you down. Plus, your things will likely change hands quite a lot on their way to another country, so it’s good to keep a list of important items in case something goes missing along the way.

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3. While you’re moving

There isn’t too much to worry about here and not much that you can do if things go wrong, so it’s probably best to sit back and enjoy the flight. Take a break from all the work you did packing and preparing for your move (and if you worked hard on that, you really won’t have anything to worry about on your way). If there’s one thing that you should have on you at all times, though, it’s a folder with your vaccination records and other medical records that might be useful to foreign doctors if you fall ill during your trip.

4. After the move

Congratulations! You’re ready to make your way in a new country, but before you do, make sure that the things you didn’t bring with you find a good home. Places like Goodwill will take furniture and clothing at collection sites and charities like Move for Hunger will come by your old house and collect non-perishable food items that you’ve left out for them.

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These are my tips for making an international move. Let me know where you’re headed!

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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