The Expat’s Guide: Tools For After The Move
When you move to a new country there is a lot to do. Aside from the paperwork you would have to do with moving anywhere, you will have to make copies, print out who-knows-what, translate almost everything, and so much more. This is all while settling in, making friends, looking for a job, unpacking, learning a new language, the list goes on and on.
Part of this blog is to share with you things that have made our lives easier while adjusting to living in a new country. Some of the travel apps that we mentioned before will be very helpful in this context as well, but these are just other things/websites to help you feel more comfortable in your new home.
Ok, so I’m a practical person, but this is important to me because we did not have a company do the paperwork for us when we arrived. You may need to print documents, sign them, scan them and email them back. But also, some tickets you have to print out as well. Whether it’s for a concert, the train, or other event. You’ll want to be prepared! Yes, there are places you can print and they are fine to do so. But more often than not, we felt extremely awkward and they aren’t always easier to find. We use the Canon PIXMA MG4250 and really love it.
It’s probably inevitable that you will send money back to your home country for some reason. We still have accounts in the U.S. that we funnel money into so that we can pay standing bills. Whether it be student loans, Spotify, Netflix, website hosting companies, you probably already have payment set up through your bank already and may not want to move it. With Transferwise, you can easily send money from your bank in many countries (they are still growing) and get into your home country bank account with minimal fees. I tried paypal once for this. Don’t do it. Learn from my mistakes. And banks charge an arm and a leg for this. I can personally vouch for Transferwise since we use the service.
Yep. A meal delivery service that deliveries the ingredients for fresh and healthy meals each week. What is it? Well, remember the other year when variety boxes started to get really big? You could get special curated boxes from celebrities, or Barkbox for your dog or even healthy snacks in a box. This one deliveries a box full of ingredients with recipes for a great variety of meals. You’ll have to have a few staples on hand, but you can always check the website for next week’s menu to be sure you have what you need.
We love it because you can pause it whenever you’d like and you can choose from a variety of delivery days and times. Also, you decide how many people its for and for how many days. We usually even have leftovers! There are other services out there, but this is the one we use and can recommend. Lastly, it’s available in the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the U.K., and Australia. You’ll learn about the local cuisine rather quickly this way, while not having to menu plan!
Even if you are moving with a very light load (like we did), take a few things that will make your new home feel homey. So, if it’s your pillow, a favorite quilt, art pieces, your childhood teddy bear, or whatever, bring it. It will bring a little familiarity back into your life in a situation that will be over-stimulating to say the least. Think about bringing recipes from home as well. Just remember that you might not be able to find all the ingredients you are used to in your new country, but you might be able to tweak the recipe for you to use.
I think I always have something on my lists that don’t quite fit but that I feel is important enough to include. Whether you are like us and really just want to experience more of the world and see it from a different lens, or you are following a partner to another part of the world, you will need to be openminded. It may not be easy. But life is an adventure and you need to be pushed out of your comfort zone a little bit to grow, learn, and to appreciate what you have. And if you are looking to make friends (hopefully you are!), there are many opportunities to do so. So don’t just stay at home. Go meet people, get lost, take photos, and life your life!