Where the heck to start!

So, where do you start to pack up your life and start over someplace new, strange and very possibly exiting?!

Well, usually you will have been thinking about this for some time, possibly many years and that is as good a place to start as any. If you haven’t been thinking about this for years and it is a spontaneous decision, you might want to take it easy and slow down a bit. Spontaneity is brilliant for the unattached with no commitments, but for arguments sake, less so for someone with a family and a mortgage!

Once, the mental decision has been made to make a move overseas, the real work begins. The biggie of course is where to go. Now, at first we thought that you would be on your own on this but then we brainstormed it a little and realized that actually, there is a lot to go over before making the decision.

Initial checklist

Will you be in a position to visit any prospective countries before making the final decision? Doing a round the world tour might not be within your budget (you will need loads of resources later don’t forget!)
Are you thinking of going permanently or just to dip a toe in the warm, clear waters?
Will you be with your family or are you running away from parents/wife/teenage kids/mortgage etc……….
If you are lucky enough to own your own house, will you need to sell or will you rent it out?
Once the answers to these questions have been found you can begin to do some research and make enquiries.

Research, research, research………….

Start by researching averything that you can find about where you think that you want to go, try the CIA World Factbook, which really is from the American CIA and is pretty comprehensive for the facts and figures. Also take a look at the BBC country profiles pages which are pretty good too.
For less “hard” data try the travel websites of which there are many, Google the name of the country and take your pick.
Start asking around, we found that few people did not know someone who had gone or was going to New Zealand (in particular) and could offer little nuggets of useful information.
Find friends or family that can give you contact details of people that they know that live in the country that you want to go to and follow them up. Most people welcome letters or phone calls from people who are “coming out” and may be able to help.
Buy the books! Click here to go straight to the travel books section on AMAZON or click here to go to the immigration/emigration section or even borrow some from your local library.
Search online and in local newspapers for emmigration fairs or seminars, you might have to travel a bit, but who needs an excuse to go to London or Manchester for a long weekend? Lots of useful info at these fairs and some even have representatives from the immigration departments from various popular countries embassies.
Check out the online forums, try searching for the countries name plus forum or try a more general search for immigration forums, there are too many to list here. It is worth posting a few times and asking questions, you will have lots of time, emigrating can take months of preparation and form filling!
One very useful piece of advice if you decide to go, although this will still work if you are just moving house. Go to www.personal-information.co.uk (opens new window), and click “download file” It is a simple template (WORD/EXCEL etc), that you can use to store all of your current important personal information. With this file you will easily be able to manage the hassle of the paperwork chase because you will know the exact status of everything!

Trust me when I say from experience that you need a personal information file to help you manage the dozens of calls to people and organizations that you are going to have to make. It is free (although donations are welcome).

Safeguarding your important personal information is vital. You need a clear record of all those reference numbers, bank account numbers, customer numbers, postal addresses, email addresses, web site addresses etc in one easily accessible and safe place.

How can the personal information file help me do this?

Your personal information sheet is a simple template that utilizes your existing skills in WORD or EXCEL to create a record or summary of all those details. Just download the sheet, fill it in and save it. No fancy programs or complicated stuff, just a big list of important info!

It is simple, easily accessible, effective and very useful, especially:

If you are moving house
If you are emigrating
If you have dependents or family
If you work away from home
If you are retired or take long holidays
If you live in a potential evacuation zone, floods, fires, snow etc
If you telephone or contact your utility, financial or other ‘service providers’
If you want to take stock of your personal or family situation
Simply add to your personal information sheet sheet over a period of time, save it on your computer, store it on a tiny USB pen/flash drive/stick thingy or print it out. Oh and DON’T forget to take it with you!

I hope that this site has given you something to think about and if you decide to move abroad or emigrate, good luck with the move and I hope that it all works out for you.

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