What to know when moving abroad

by - July 22, 2021


Image Credit: ThePixelman from Pixabay.

In the past, I've moved to Donostia in Spain, albeit only for three months - click here to find out the best places to eat and work remotely there. I've also spent time in California. Click here for delicious places to eat in Southern California. Now in the process of planning to move abroad more long term, I understand there is a lot to look at! So I thought I'd share some tips for you too.

People from younger generations have been moving abroad more and more frequently. In many cases, this can be temporary, although it could also be permanent. Despite this, some older people are also starting to move abroad.

That doesn’t mean that we all know what they’re doing! Instead, we can often overlook certain aspects of the process. While some steps will be specific to where you’re moving to and from, some things are quite common. These can’t be overlooked, as they’ll be essential components of moving abroad.

Moving Abroad: What You Need To Know


Visas will naturally be one of the first things that you’ll need to think of. While these won’t apply to movement between certain countries, they will with others. If you’re moving to or from the United Kingdom, for instance, then you might need to get them.

There is a range of them available, although these apply to specific groups of people. Finding out what you’re eligible for is the first step in this. Anybody married to a United Kingdom citizen, for example, is eligible for a spousal visa.

Getting a spouse visa extension is also quite easy. Knowing what you’re eligible for and then applying will be the first step in this.


Tax isn’t something that many people think about when moving abroad. It can affect all areas of your life, however. You’ll need to know how much tax you’ll be paying before you move over. There are also the likes of filing deadlines and much more.

These can vary drastically from country to country. Since there can be quite severe penalties associated with filing late or incorrectly, it’s worth knowing all of this in advance. Some countries will also have different taxes that apply to your paycheck.

While you might know exactly how much is taken out in your home country, that isn’t the case abroad. You wouldn’t want to be too surprised when you get your first paycheck in a new country. It might be worth checking with an accountant who is based in your new country, if possible, if you'd like a more professional and personal approach.


If you have kids, or are planning to, then you’ll have to think about education. There’s a lot to consider about this. If you’re moving to somewhere where English isn’t the main language, for example, then lessons wouldn’t typically be taught in English.

Can your children speak the local language well enough to go to school? Can they learn it fast enough? If not, you’ll have to think about private schools where the curriculum is taught in English.

It’s best to research this in advance and then start visiting schools as soon as you move there. Knowing where the closest schools are beforehand will help you get started. You can also find out what ones are worth considering and touring.

Climate/Location-Specific Norms

How will the climate be different and how will that be reflected on what you choose to take with you? Will you need certain vaccines against area-specific diseases? How will your food and eating be effected by what's available/open and possible where you are going? For example some places are shut on Sundays in more Christian countries or smaller towns. Other places, such as Dubai, have their weekends on different days to the UK - on a Friday and Saturday. Shops on Friday are closed until 4pm but open until 10pm.

Wrapping Up

If you’re on the verge of moving abroad, then you could find yourself stressed. That’s natural and something that many people feel. After all, moving house is stressful in itself. Add in a different country, and it could be overbearing. You can try journalling your thoughts to explore what's coming up for you and create a list of what you can't control and what you can control. For what you can, make a plan! For what you can't, let it go.

Keeping the above in mind and being smart about the process will keep you covered. Patience is key, as is researching as much as possible ahead of time. Don't forget that daily guided meditation can help with stress management and resilience.

Remember, it's all one big adventure!


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