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Moving abroad or leaving home for an extended journey is a big deal. Or at least, it seems like it before you actually do it. The planning, questioning and doubting is often more overwhelming than actually getting on the plane and going.
It often seems like people just have no clue about where to begin. So here’s how to start planning – no rush, no commitments – just some things to get the ball rolling and set things in motion. That’s not too scary is it?
Where have you always wanted to go? Where have you dreamed about living or working? What places have caught your eye from movies, books, blogs or posts like these? Pick a couple places on your list and start seeing what it would take to go there.
Guidebooks, magazines, novels set in where you want to visit, blogs and news – start reading all you can about your intended destination(s) for more information and inspiration to make you go for it. Travel blogs are particularly good for getting ideas, tips and inspiration for long term trips while expat blogs and memoirs will help give you an idea of what it’s like to live in a certain place far from home. There are also a number of sites geared toward helping you plan and learn more about gap years, round the world trips, digital nomad-ing and expat living – seek them out!
Start getting rid of your stuff
You don’t need any set plans or dates in mind, just slowing start getting rid of things as you think of them or realize, you really don’t need them. (Which, honestly, is most of your stuff.) Starting to lessen your load early will help you avoid a last minute ‘Everything must GO!’ panic. Take photos and list items on Craig’s List, E-Bay or Kijiji. Pack up things you want to keep, but don’t need on hand, a little at a time and taking clothes to the thrift store. You’ll appreciate the extra time later on.
Keep an eye on plane tickets, browse local apartment listings in the area you want to go to get an idea of pricing, start saving a little more money and looking into good banking and credit cards accounts that will work overseas… Simple put, start gathering all the information you need for you to feel comfortable with making the leap and get your ducks in a row.