Maybe you've done it, maybe you've studied abroad or backpacked throughout foreign lands, but really truly moving to a new country is a whole different ball game. There are so many logistics to figure out before and while moving to a new country that are incredibly overwhelming. I've been living in Madrid for five months now and it just now feels like I'm in the groove of things in this city, now I'm actually living here. 

As you can expect, the pre-move paperwork is a bit of a nightmare. Trips to the consulate, your local government office, stamps here, background checks there, doctor visits, visas, passports... so glamourous. Getting everything in order to legally move to a new country is not an easy task, just stay organized and prepared for anything. Once that's all out of the way, your visa is in your hands and you're ready to go, that's when the fear and excitement starts to take over. Once you land in your new home, there a few things to get out of the way first...

Get A Local Phone Number

For me, getting a local phone number is step number one after arriving in your new country. Need an apartment? Well, you need a phone to call the landlords. Can't live without data on your phone while walking new and confusing streets? Get a plan with data. Figuring this out first things first will help you immensely with all the other logistics you have coming your way. Have an idea of a local phone company that you want to use and if you have an iPhone, be sure to unlock it with your current provider so it's ready to go for a new sim card! In my case, I went to Vodafone with my unlocked iPhone and left with a new number with data all within 15 minutes. Then tell everyone from home your new number, download WhatsApp, and you're in business to contact everyone you need. 



Don't Be Homeless

I moved to Madrid to work. When I first moved here five months ago, I had one week of accommodation planned to find an apartment. I have to admit, finding a place to live was by far the most stressful experience I had after moving. Madrid is the third largest city in Europe. In Europe, it's common for people to flee the hot cities in the month of August and return back in September. If you're moving to a European city in September, that means there's a whole lot of other people trying to find an apartment in the same place and at the same time as you.  

To start, find popular websites that post apartment listings and create a list of decent enough apartments. Then CALL the numbers listed. If you're moving to a new country with a different language, well, either know enough of it to get by or have a friend willing to help because you need to be able to communicate. I often had the experience of a landlord finding out I'm American and then raising the price of the rent... so so annoying. Be prepared to deal with that. 

View apartments with the mindset that it's like a blind date, the apartment will more than likely not look like the pictures online. Also, go to the apartment viewings with your down payment and paperwork (passport copy, etc.) ready to go. If you like the place, sign the dotted line right then and there. Also, don't settle for a place just because you're stressed, you'll get your dream place, terrace and all, before you know it.



Become Legal

Ah yes, you already succeeded in getting your visa to enter the country... now it's time to become a real foreign resident. I'm not sure how it works in all countries, but in Spain, you need to get a foreign identity card to really become legal. It's tedious, it's more paperwork than necessary and it includes standing in really long lines. Be mentally and logistically prepared for this. Find out what paperwork you'll need and try and have as much of it ready before leaving your home country, this will help you running around trying to find print shops to print another copy of your passport that you didn't realize you needed. Keep a check list and handle it one step at a time. 



Figure Out How To Navigate In Your New City 

Getting lost every day for a week? Not the worst thing in the world, but also not the most stress-free thing in the world. New cities are big and confusing, there's hundreds of people surrounding you who know exactly where they're going and you're just trying to find a street sign. That's ok, you're new to town and yeah, you're going to get lost. Does your new city have public transportation? Figure out your metro or bus routes before attempting to dive right in at the station, this will save you some stress as well. Try and plan your routes if you can and if you have phone service, use Google Maps like it's your best friend. Give yourself a few weeks to really feel like you know where you're going, and eventually you'll feel like a local too. 



Immerse Yourself In Your New Culture

Hey, you just moved to a new country, go out and enjoy it! Spend your days at a cafe, spend your evenings in bars, eat the food, drink the wine, kiss the people, speak the language. This is what moving to a new country is all about. Enjoy it!




Post a Comment

The Logistics of Moving To A New Country

Maybe you've done it, maybe you've studied abroad or backpacked throughout foreign lands, but really truly moving to a new country is a whole different ball game. There are so many logistics to figure out before and while moving to a new country that are incredibly overwhelming. I've been living in Madrid for five months now and it just now feels like I'm in the groove of things in this city, now I'm actually living here. 

As you can expect, the pre-move paperwork is a bit of a nightmare. Trips to the consulate, your local government office, stamps here, background checks there, doctor visits, visas, passports... so glamourous. Getting everything in order to legally move to a new country is not an easy task, just stay organized and prepared for anything. Once that's all out of the way, your visa is in your hands and you're ready to go, that's when the fear and excitement starts to take over. Once you land in your new home, there a few things to get out of the way first...

Get A Local Phone Number

For me, getting a local phone number is step number one after arriving in your new country. Need an apartment? Well, you need a phone to call the landlords. Can't live without data on your phone while walking new and confusing streets? Get a plan with data. Figuring this out first things first will help you immensely with all the other logistics you have coming your way. Have an idea of a local phone company that you want to use and if you have an iPhone, be sure to unlock it with your current provider so it's ready to go for a new sim card! In my case, I went to Vodafone with my unlocked iPhone and left with a new number with data all within 15 minutes. Then tell everyone from home your new number, download WhatsApp, and you're in business to contact everyone you need. 



Don't Be Homeless

I moved to Madrid to work. When I first moved here five months ago, I had one week of accommodation planned to find an apartment. I have to admit, finding a place to live was by far the most stressful experience I had after moving. Madrid is the third largest city in Europe. In Europe, it's common for people to flee the hot cities in the month of August and return back in September. If you're moving to a European city in September, that means there's a whole lot of other people trying to find an apartment in the same place and at the same time as you.  

To start, find popular websites that post apartment listings and create a list of decent enough apartments. Then CALL the numbers listed. If you're moving to a new country with a different language, well, either know enough of it to get by or have a friend willing to help because you need to be able to communicate. I often had the experience of a landlord finding out I'm American and then raising the price of the rent... so so annoying. Be prepared to deal with that. 

View apartments with the mindset that it's like a blind date, the apartment will more than likely not look like the pictures online. Also, go to the apartment viewings with your down payment and paperwork (passport copy, etc.) ready to go. If you like the place, sign the dotted line right then and there. Also, don't settle for a place just because you're stressed, you'll get your dream place, terrace and all, before you know it.



Become Legal

Ah yes, you already succeeded in getting your visa to enter the country... now it's time to become a real foreign resident. I'm not sure how it works in all countries, but in Spain, you need to get a foreign identity card to really become legal. It's tedious, it's more paperwork than necessary and it includes standing in really long lines. Be mentally and logistically prepared for this. Find out what paperwork you'll need and try and have as much of it ready before leaving your home country, this will help you running around trying to find print shops to print another copy of your passport that you didn't realize you needed. Keep a check list and handle it one step at a time. 



Figure Out How To Navigate In Your New City 

Getting lost every day for a week? Not the worst thing in the world, but also not the most stress-free thing in the world. New cities are big and confusing, there's hundreds of people surrounding you who know exactly where they're going and you're just trying to find a street sign. That's ok, you're new to town and yeah, you're going to get lost. Does your new city have public transportation? Figure out your metro or bus routes before attempting to dive right in at the station, this will save you some stress as well. Try and plan your routes if you can and if you have phone service, use Google Maps like it's your best friend. Give yourself a few weeks to really feel like you know where you're going, and eventually you'll feel like a local too. 



Immerse Yourself In Your New Culture

Hey, you just moved to a new country, go out and enjoy it! Spend your days at a cafe, spend your evenings in bars, eat the food, drink the wine, kiss the people, speak the language. This is what moving to a new country is all about. Enjoy it!




Powered by Blogger.

Follow Me On Instagram