Settling Down in a New Country
Making the decision to stop and settle down in a place for an extended period of time can be a great benefit to your adventuring lifestyle, even if you’re not as young as you once were. Whether it’s a few months teaching English in Prague to fund some adventures, or permanent retirement in Australia, you may find yourself very happy to find your rhythm in a new home. There are, however, a host of logistical issues to contend with.
The first is legality. Overstaying a visa or working on a tourist visa when it is explicitly forbidden is always risky. The best case scenario if you get caught is that you will only incur some fines and a warning. The worst case is that you can be immediately expelled at your own expense, without a chance to even collect your belongings from your apartment. In some countries, such as Thailand, being checked by police for an unrelated reason while you are overstaying a visa can result in several days’ languishing in jail. Make sure that your paperwork is covered and that you’re legal to be where you are and doing what you’re doing.
Searching for a house or apartment to rent or buy abroad can be an exciting process. Use real estate agents and their websites extensively, but don’t neglect networks like Facebook and Couchsurfing groups. Any local contacts you make can be amazing resources as well, especially if you need help with translation. The next hurdle is financial. If you’re choosing to work, securing a job can be fairly easy, depending on where you are and what line of work you’re in. However, you must ensure that you are receiving a fair wage and that your rights as an employee are respected. Also, go through the process of setting up a local bank account, or switch to an international one before leaving your home country. You wouldn’t keep the cash you make under your bed at home, and you shouldn’t do it abroad. There are a variety of options when it comes to international transfers if you eventually leave the country, and in the meantime your funds will be much more secure and easier to access.
Once you’re settled in, you may find that you want things from back home. Shipping internationally can be expensive, but if you will be staying in a place long enough that it’s worth it, you can always import vehicles and furniture that you can’t live without. You can even send for your pets, as long as you take care of the immunizations and paperwork. If you do so, you may choose to purchase pet insurance that covers international veterinary care, quarantine costs, holiday delay expenses, emergency services, and other benefits.
Adapting to life abroad can be a slow process, but settling down is an exciting chapter in anyone’s long term travel plans. It allows you to appreciate the culture that you’re immersing yourself in, and prolong your experience by working consistently. Making a comfortable life for yourself somewhere new is always something to look forward to, and you never know–it may be the place that you want to live for the rest of your days.