55 TOPICS TO RESEARCH WHEN YOU WANT TO MOVE ABROAD & DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START


Image of Stac_y by Noah @ Stac_y With No E

You've got that feelin' . . . you know . . . that, "I just don't feel at home here" feeling. . . or . . . "Why am I always looking at properties abroad?" feeling . . . or . . . "I just gotta get the hell outta here" feeling (in your Samuel L. Jackson voice in any of his movies).


If that's you, you are not alone.


Image of "That Feeling" by whoislimos @ Unsplash

I would advise that before you look at where you want to go, look at your reasons for leaving "These United States of America" (in my cynical voice while slowly and gently pressing my fingertips together ever so smugly). And no, I don't mean looking at Instagram photos of famous international locations that are just breath-taking photos (and yes, they truly are breath-taking photos), but that is not what's important.


I believe that finding out what you don't like, helps to determine what you do like. If you're anxious about "Getting Out" and you're feeling lost or overwhelmed about where to go, having a real talk with yourself (and yes......that's allowed) to better understand why you want to leave. That will help materialize the pathway beneath your feet that will give you the road map to planned actuality instead of just a fantasy.


But know that this global journey is a marathon that you'll have to learn to condition for.


Image of a Marathon by Anja @ Pixabay

This list is a concoction of resources from foreign consulates, books, articles, podcasts, YouTubers, and conversations with U.S. immigrants, people that already live abroad, and even people who were abroad, and for their reasons, came back to the U.S. This list is not in any particular order, it is certainly not exhaustive, and you are not required to research all of these things in order to plan your life abroad. Topics that can guide your moral and physical compass can include:

  1. APPLY FOR OR RENEW YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

  2. TYPES OF VISAS IN YOUR COUNTRY OF INTEREST

  3. CURRENCY :: CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES & BANKING

  4. PERMANENT RESIDENCY, SECOND CITIZENSHIP & RENUNCIATION

  5. ITS HISTORY

  6. REQUIRED VACCINATIONS BY NATIONS

  7. TEACH ENGLISH (AND OTHER THINGS) ABROAD

  8. WORKING HOLIDAY

  9. INTERNSHIPS ABROAD

  10. STUDY ABROAD (INCLUDING S.A.S)

  11. U.S. GOVERNMENT JOBS (USAJOBS.GOV, DODEA.EDU, USAID.GOV)

  12. PEACE CORPS

  13. FULBRIGHT U.S. STUDENT PROGRAM

  14. GLOBAL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS

  15. NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS

  16. MULTI NATIONAL COMPANIES HEADQUARTERED IN THE U.S.

  17. RETIREMENT

  18. NANNY/AU PAIR

  19. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, FREELANCER & ENTREPRENEUR

  20. LANGUAGE

  21. COST OF LIVING

  22. GOVERNMENT (RIGHTS & EQUALITY)

  23. INFRASTRUCTURE (TRAINS, PLANES, TRAFFIC, ROADS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, BIKABILITY, WALKABILITY, INTERNET, UTILITIES, INTERNATIONAL & IMPORTED GOODS)

  24. SAFETY (CRIME)

  25. HEALTHCARE & LONGEVITY (INSURANCE COST AND RANKING)

  26. GDP (WHAT MAKES MONEY & ECONOMIC HEALTH)

  27. GOING GREEN (ECOLOGY & SUSTAINABILITY)

  28. FOOD & AGRICULTURE

  29. RELIGION

  30. WHO DO YOU LOVE? GENDER & SEXUAL ORIENTATION

  31. GUN CONTROL

  32. HAPPINESS & QUALITY OF LIFE

  33. YOUR KIDS (CHILD CARE, SCHOOL SYSTEMS, HOME SCHOOLING)

  34. YOUR PETS

  35. YOUR SHIT :: STORE IT, SHIP IT OR SELL IT

  36. REAL ESTATE :: COST OF RENT & OPTIONS FOR OWNERSHIP

  37. STAYING CONNECTED (VPN, WI-FI, VOIP, VIDEO, CHAT, INT'L MAIL, INTERNET)

  38. TAXES :: THE U.S. & ABROAD (AARO.ORG & THE IRS F.E.I.E.)

  39. PERMANENT RESIDENCY & CITIZENSHIP

  40. U.S. EMBASSIES ACROSS THE GLOBE

  41. FOREIGN EMBASSIES & CONSULATES IN THE U.S. & ACROSS THE GLOBE

  42. VOTING WHILE LIVING ABROAD

  43. SOCIAL WITHOUT MEDIA :: NEW FRIENDS & EXPAT COMMUNITIES

  44. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (PRISON RATES)

  45. MILITARY :: ARE YOU REQUIRED TO SERVE?

  46. IS IT LEGAL? :: WHAT'S LEGAL IN THE U.S. THAT IS ILLEGAL ABROAD?

  47. CLIMATE :: DO YOU LIKE IT HOT, COLD, HUMID, BREEZY, OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?

  48. NATURAL DISASTERS :: WHICH ONES CAN YOU LIVE WITH?

  49. LEAVE :: ANNUAL VACATION, HOLIDAYS, AND MATERNAL & PATERNAL

  50. HOW TO TRACK & SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR LIFE ABROAD

  51. APOSTILLES :: COPYING & CERTIFYING YOUR RECORDS

  52. FBI BACKGROUND CHECKS

  53. MEDICAL RECORDS & TESTING

  54. INTERNATIONAL DRIVER'S PERMIT

  55. CREATING YOUR TIMELINE TO DEPARTURE

I know, I know . . . breathe . . . BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS A LOT!!! (in my Big Momma after 6-hours of church service voice).


Image of Stac_y by Stac_y @ Stac_y With No E

So, how the hell do you do all of this?


Hire a professional (like me . . . hint, hint)?


Maybe.


Take your last $115 dollars and your overcharged credit card and get on the next flight to the country that's willing to take you in, especially during the wrath of COVID-19?


Possibly.


Get help with your decision through family, friends, or a Facebook vote?


Perhaps.


So, where do you start?


With just one.


Literally select one topic of one country that speaks to you and research the hell outta just that one topic. Not only will it help diminish your feeling of helplessness, the fact that you learned a new topic will help you get over your fears, deal with the nay-say-ers, teach you to trust your instincts, and build your confidence in your decision to choose your new country wherever that may be.


So, what topics would you choose to start with? Have you found one topic that's been more helpful than others? Was there a topic not here that I should include?


If you didn't know where to start before, I'm here to help you now.

Enjoy Your Journey,


Stac_y

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