How to Explore A Country Before You Move There?
There’s always a leap involved when you move to a new country. It’s thrilling and exciting, but there’s always an element of the unknown and what may lie ahead. While this leap is exhilarating and filled with possibilities, it’s always a good idea to take a calculated leap when you take one. For that reason, this article explains some of the best ways to explore a country before you move there in hopes of avoiding some of the pitfalls and culture shock that afflict many after moving abroad.
If you have the luxury of visiting a country before moving—and hopefully you do—there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for living there. Planning is a key part of this stage since you’ll likely have limited time and want to seek out things that tend more local than touristy.
One of the best things to do while visiting a potential new country to live in is to mix in and interact with locals. There’s likely expat groups that will be helpful once you move and it can be good to make inroads there too, but while you’re trying to get a taste of living somewhere, you’ll want the local perspective.
While visiting a prospective country, try to seek out experiences that mirror what your daily life might be like if you lived there. Visit neighborhoods you’re thinking about living, or if you know where you’ll be staying, get to know the local shops, stores, and restaurants. Talk to some people that live and work in the area and try to get a feel for what it would be like if you lived there. Don’t forget to sample some of the entertainment and fun things to do too!
Laws & Procedures
As we all know, the laws are different in some countries, even if only slightly. It’s important to have an understanding of the laws when you’re moving to a new country, and this goes double if you’ll be driving a vehicle. Along with the local laws, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with any social customs or procedures that may be different, including things like meeting people, greeting them, and dining and etiquette. Even things like how to wait in line can be different and knowing these things ahead of time will help you get comfortable more quickly and avoid a few of those awkward learning moments.
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Finding Information Online
There’s certainly no substitute for visiting in person when it comes to learning about a country you’re moving to, but there are many ways you can supplement that information through resources available online. In this section, we’ll explore some of the tools available to learn about cities and countries around the world before you actually move there.
Every country and most cities have a website that has plenty of information for people that are considering moving to the area. I always suggest that these be used in conjunction with other resources like forums and blogs since the official information is what comes from the governmental sites. Forums and online communities can be a very good place to have your questions answered and learn about daily life, work life, or any other aspects of living in a country. Getting the experience of someone who’s done it before can be invaluable.
Some of the popular places currently to look online for information about moving to another country include Internations, Trip Advisor, City Data and
Transitions Abroad, just to name a few. See below for further resources.
International Moving Resources
Nation Master - While the name leaves something to be desired, this is a great website for comparing countries in many different categories. Their statistical data includes thousands of topics on hundreds of countries—something anyone who’s moving or traveling abroad can use.
World Data Atlas - Another good tool for your pre-move research, this website has similar information as the one above, but is presented in a more visual fashion. Some of the topics here are also covered in a greater degree of detail.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.