There are a lot of things you need to do if you are planning on moving to another country. I´ve made a list complete with links and all to make it easier for you. This is what l did, and since I am Norwegian some parts of this list maybe will not apply to you.
First things first congratulations! It is a big thing deciding to take this step in your life. Now here is how to prepare for the big move.
Yes, you will absolutely need a notebook. It is perfect for a stressed out mind to write down «to do» lists, savings plans and other thoughts. I have used mine a lot! It helped me tons of times when I feel like I have a million balls in the air and just need to get my thoughts down on paper.
- Health card
This is very important to have even if you are just leaving the country for a little while. This card will help you if you get sick and in need of medical help. It implies that you are entitled to coverage of medically necessary healthcare under the same conditions as that country’s own nationals. It can take up to ten days to get it by post. Read more here
A very important step indeed. Research the country, your possibilities, where you want to go, what you want to do, and maybe some rules and cautions. It is a good idea to search up other experiences from people who have done the same thing you are planning to do.
To get into some countries you will need certain visas. In my case I applied for a Working holiday visa 417. This means that I can travel into Australia and stay for up to 12 months. I can also work but only for six months with each employer, study for up to four months and leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid. To get this visa you must be between 18 and 31 years old. Read more here.
- Give your boss a heads up that you will be leaving soon
This will enable you to freely talk about your move, also it is only decency to have open communication with your workplace.
- Quit job, or apply for a leave
This you can do at any time, but follow your contract. Mine had a three months notice. I thought to apply for a leave, but ended up quitting. For me this was the best choice. Simply because I did not know if it would be a year, and I felt that I was taking a new road in my life. I did not want to have a leave hanging over mine or my bosses shoulders. Of course this means that I will not have anything to come back to after my travels, but that is ok. Life will sort it self out, and you can always apply for something else, hopefully something that gets you towards your dreams. Do what is best for you!
- Plane ticket, and print it out
Do this in good time before you leave. Go in regularly to check for cheep tickets. I searched in many places but ended up using Skyscanner. I did not set up a price alert, but that is a possibility. I found a really good deal, and choose to go trough Kilroy Travels. This is a company I trust and that also have deals with travel shops. I only recently figure this out, and could have had 20% of my purchase at Chillout Travel Store. But I have not purchased everything yet, so I will get to use it on something at least. I also bought a travel package for airport transport and accommodation the first two nights. I picked a single room, because I figured I would be tired and cranky after 27 hours of traveling.
- Get your eyesight checked out, and a print out of the results
If you have bad eyesights like me, then this is a good idea. You will be gone for a long time, and this is something thats better to get out of the way. I had a subscription on lenses, so I got mine for free. They also helped me figure out the best way to end the subscription.
- Get everything you will need for your travel, see own list for that
I made a post on facebook asking anyone if I could borrow some of the items on the list. I also asked for advise and for help to store my things and a place to stay until I left. I got a lot of responses, friends of mine put me in contact with their friends who have done the same or that live in Australia. People are so willing to help, it amazes me and I get a little choked up thinking how good people are. You just have to dare to ask!
- Cancel ALL subscriptions!
And I don’t just mean insurance, electricity, phone-bill, magazines and other… I also mean the giant mess of email subscriptions. Oh my, that was something I tell you! To forget to cancel subscriptions that you pay for can get very expensive to do later.
- Pay a visit to your doctor
Take all necessary vaccines, get all you prescriptions printed out as well. Maybe you don’t need to do all of that when you arrive. I for example have allergy’s and I don’t want to go trough getting a doctors appointment, test for allergies I already know I have to get a prescription for my meds I know I need. Also it is good to sort out any problems to your health before you leave.
I don’t get haircuts very often, so I will need to trim my hair before I go. I will do this at Cutters, which is a cheap alternative.
- Visit your best friend, and your family
It will be a long time until you see them again, and it is good for your soul to visit them once more before you go. I actually surprised my best friend. She lives in an other city, and was so surprised. I spent easter and my birthday with my family up north, and I loved every second. My mom made me homemade meals and I also got to see the northern lights again. Money well spent!
- Make a resume or CV
It need to be appropriate to the country you are traveling to. Remember that it need to look good in black and white, as this may be the only option on your travels. Do print out a few now, in case printers are hard to come by.
- Send out feelers
You probably want a job, so use your resources. Maybe someone you know, know someone and so on.
- Get your international drivers license
This took 2 seconds! I was amazed at how quick this step was. There was no queue, no waiting, and everything was done right there and then. I payed and got it in my hand.
This step was difficult to understand. As I understand you need to send in a form that you will be leaving the country. When the tax season starts (in Norway) you need to fill in an other form with all your income (from Australia) so they can figure out if you get tax deduction in Norway. It is the Norwegian governments job to ensure that you will not pay double tax. You can read more here. You will need to pay tax in the new country, but you can get this back.
- (Norwegian) Folketrygd
Skal du jobbe i utlandet så opphører medlemskapet fra første arbeidsdag. Når du flytter tilbake til Norge etter avsluttet arbeidsforhold i utlandet, blir du medlem i folketrygden fra første dag. Les mer her.
- Contact your bank
Let them know what you plan to do. In some cases you can be flagged for identity theft, but if this happens, a quick call to your bank will fix it. You will need your bank to identify yourself on some webpages, as your mobile will have an (Australian) sim card it will not work to identify yourself. Bring your pocket token you got from your bank. Also test this out before you leave.
Figure out were to store the rest. I train to have a minimalistic mind, and that entails not to have anything unnecessary. What that means can vary from person to person. I like to keep heretics and sentimental things. I got my things down to 3 boxes. The content of those were pictures, yoga mats, one was just plates and glass, and there were also some other stuff that I felt that I could keep in good conscience.
- Plan what you will take with you
See own post about this.
- Get Travel Insurance!
I will use World Nomads as this was the most recommended by other backpackers. It is also much cheaper than Norwegian travel insurance. Get this before you travel! For some it can be wise to buy insurance for just some months, this inplies if you are unsure of how long you will be traveling for. To buy 12 months are the cheapest. Of course if the travel gets cut short you will «loose» that money. I do specify insurance and travel-insurance because it is not the same thing. A regular insurance do not cover you after some months out of the country. A travel-insurance also cover other things intended for travels, that regular don’t.
- Pack your bag and go on an adventure!
So that was it… Ok, it is a long list, and it is not done in a jiffy, but it´s worth doing. I wish I had a check list, and that some of these things I did not have to figure out by my self. Anyway now I’ve done it, so you don’t have to!
Oh, and don’t forget your valid passport!
Thanx for now!