Why would anyone make this decision? Maybe this is a career move, maybe this is your big dream. Either way, it’s definitely a new beginning! A completely new continent could be exciting as well as quite scary. So how should you go about this?
Americans are moving more and more
To me, it’s still quite surprising to find out how many Americans are willing to go live abroad. Who would be willing to leave barbeque and fireworks behind? Sunday sports nights and mustard-covered hot dogs? Apple pies in the fall and sweet ice-tea in the summer? Even bacon… Not that they don’t have all these things in other countries, but it’s America that made them special for the whole world. So would we really say no to these and hundreds of other typical American things in the search for something new and foreign?
It seems like the expat trend is no fake news. The data from the past few years shows an increase in the number of Americans moving abroad and proves the trend. In a 2015 study conducted by TransferWise, 35% of Americans stated they would consider moving abroad. About 14% of them would consider doing it in the next five years. The number of expats is expected to grow as more and more millennials and youngsters take up traveling and exploring the world. With globalization, it’s easier even for elderly people to move abroad.
Retired Americans are among the groups of people that move more and more. They move overseas where they can spend their savings and Social Security income with pleasure. Those who are more digitally savvy search for the best place to move, even for only a couple of years. According to another study conducted by MoveHub in 2016, the USA is both among the top 5 countries people are moving to and among the top 5 people are leaving. So why is that? Can’t we enjoy our lives here? Aren’t 50 states enough of variety to find the right place for us? Why do we move abroad then?
Why do we move?
- My life is where my family is.
Personal reasons and family ties are the top reasons why Americans move abroad. After all, America is a true melting pot. In a country where everyone comes from somewhere else, it seems natural that people are tight to their roots. It’s in their DNA after all. In the end, each American will always have one foot abroad. And when romance gets in the picture, then we are ready to jump in with both feet. How about if this romance is prevented by long distance? A study from early 2018 shows that 14 million Americans consider themselves to be in a long-distance relationship. But we all know long-distance relationships don’t always work. Most people consider being 125 miles or more apart a long distance relationship. But what if your beloved one lives in the UK or the Netherlands? Is the relationship doomed? How can you make it work? Hint: move abroad (together).
- The real America of today is not the America we had in mind.
Politics aside, it seems like something has changed in the image the United States inspire in people around the world. The perceptions that the American dream created decades ago seem to fade away. Today, the idea of the land of the free gives place to the idea of Corporate America. The big giant ready to fight the world. Today, the racial divisions and the right to carry a gun are now the part of America’s character that people abroad see first. And that makes even Americans feel bad. Now it’s them who are in the search for a more democratic society and a welcoming culture. The desire for better quality of life also includes looking for a more prosperous job and good future for the children. And if for these people moving to San Francisco or Los Angeles is not enough anymore, they look for solution further away.
- The world is too big to stay in one place.
The adventure seekers and the restless souls. Those who need new experiences are unstoppable. There should be no surprise that they are willing to cross the ocean looking for adventure. This is often the cMillennialsllennials. Leaving your high school sweetheart to move to Austin is already outdated. Leaving everything behind to move to Bulgaria or Sri Lanka is a whole new story. Wanderlust is among the two main reasons millennials move abroad.
The need to find a job doesn’t seem to be an obstacle. Millennials opt for part-time jobs to experience local culture and people: taking shifts as a barista at a local coffee shop or meeting guests at a hostel. Others would choose a more educational type of work – they would teach English as a second language to children or adults. There’s an increasing group of youngsters who have a full-time online job which allows them to work from any point on Earth. The digital nomads. Leaving the American dream to become a global citizen with no other possession than their phone or computer. Amen to internet.
Whatever your reasons, we support you in your choice. Moving to a new country can be beneficial both for the mind and the soul. So, if you see yourself somewhere amid the lines above, then get your travel hat on and start packing!
Avoiding hell when moving abroad
After the excitement kicks in, it’s time for some reality talking. You need to plan your packing very well! Moving abroad is not like going to Florida for spring break. Especially if you are going away for more than a couple of years. What do you take? What do you leave behind?
It all depends on your new location. Does it have the essential things you cannot live without? If you are going to a country that’s completely different in culture and economic situation, then you need to pack all your essentials before heading to your new home. If you are flying off to a developed country, then it all depends on your attachment to your belongings. Keep in mind the airline luggage restrictions when choosing the items to take. You can always ship a package or two as well.
Remember to keep your head on your shoulders during this whole process. Moving times can be very stressful and the chances of mistakes are higher. These are the times when identity theft could occur. So keep all your documents and devices secured when you plan and conduct your moving. All the financial planning might spin your head but don’t allow this to happen. Plan slowly and carefully.
When you move, you need to look at your budget and needs and how the two overlap. Companies sending their employees and their families overseas usually include a relocation budget. If this is not your case, however, create your own moving budget and don’t forget to include the first couple of months in the new location. You can get quotes from international moving companies if you plan to take most of your current home possessions with you.
The things you don’t need? Better donate them or give them to the church. If you are not planning on returning any time soon, you don’t need to waste money on storage. By the time you come back, you won’t need or remember half of the things in it. Take what’s important and let the rest be useful to someone else.
Should you take your car?
The big question. Regarding the biggest item you own. Just like the other things in your house, you can either take your car with you or leave it behind. We doubt the chance of donating it, but you can always try to sell it. But how can you leave that cute VW Beetle behind? We already imagine you cruising down the French Riviera in it. Or that silver Tesla you just bought? It’s a huge investment to leave behind. And you wouldn’t want to resell this adrenaline-producing machine, would you? Especially when you could be speeding the German autobahns in it… Sometimes life makes you take hard decisions, right? If your car is too dear to you, however, there’s a possibility to take it with you.
Shipping your car abroad
It might seem like shipping a car abroad will be too hard to handle, but this is not the case. The main difference from domestic shipping is… the ocean and the paperwork that comes with crossing international borders. After all your car needs to go overseas.
That’s why once we take it from your home, our first task is to take it to a US port. From then on it goes on to a vessel to cross the ocean and arrive at the nearest port on the new continent. Once there, it will take a few days for the car to arrive at your location depending on how far inland it is. It is important to select the right auto transport company in this case because your vehicle will get on different types of auto transport and you need someone who will ensure it will be transported safely. You need to rely on the carrier to arrange and coordinate US Customs Export clearance and to oversee the vehicle while on board the vessel.
International shipping requires you to prepare your car for the trip more carefully. Take the car to undergo a maintenance check. In addition, the car has to be empty – no free hanging items are allowed to be in it, including personal belongings. A lot of companies wash the car before getting it on a ship. So when you are looking to transport it, you have to make sure the windows are tightly closed.
If you are moving to Europe, the trip is not so long. It takes between three and four weeks for your car to reach your new home. This time depends again on distance and availability. Our experience with shipping a Zhiguli from Europe to the United States is a good example of how the process works. The difference with your case will be in the reversed destinations.
If you are wondering whether to ship your car, we will be happy to lend you our expertise. You can always contact Corsia Logistics for detailed information about the process. We will offer you a quote tailored to your particular situation and we’ll support you with preparing the required documentation. It’s important to feel like the company you choose is your partner in this voyage to your dream home, after all.
Learn to love living abroad
If you are not one of those digital nomads, you would probably think wisely before choosing whether to move and where to move. You need to do a 360 research on each destination you have on your shortlist. This will narrow them down even further. In the end, your heart will point to the one. Follow it.
It’s better to live for ten years in one country than to spend every two years in five different countries. Remember that you get to know each place with time. The more time you spend somewhere, the more you get to feel its true nature. When you are there only for a short time, your mind is focused on the practical considerations. Once you settle, you have more time to focus on the place where you are at – physically and spiritually – and start exploring. Remember – wherever you choose to move, go with an open heart. Allow yourself to fall in love with the new place!