This is a short list of the top five things you need to move abroad. Keep in mind this is completely from my (Corey’s) perspective and Erica’s list may vary greatly as I didn’t consult with her before posting this (sorry, love). But I needed to get this out, so here it goes.
1. Money – Yes, I said in my last post that you don’t need to be rich to move abroad, but you do have to save a few chips. For our move, we did so by living off of one income for eight months and completely saving the other income. But, we also made small monetary sacrifices that added up. We went without cable for two years to save money, skipped out on weekend turn-ups and festivals that would drain our finances, didn’t buy new clothes unless it was absolutely necessary and made other concessions to reach a dollar amount we felt comfortable with in our savings account. We also sold most of our belongings, because we knew we could’t bring them with us and storage units are expensive. Crazy right? Glad you agree, because that brings me to the next thing you need before moving out of the country.
2. A Touch of Crazy – There has to be a little something wrong with your cranium if you’re willing to leave the comfort of your daily routine for the unknowns of living in someone else’s country. It’s scary, it’s rare and it’s completely unheard of when you come from Clayton County, Georgia. The looks people gave me when they asked me what I planned to do when I got to Thailand and I responded that “I don’t know” were priceless. They appeared to be baffled by the decision and unwilling to understand my perspective: this move had to happen for me and I don’t need a specific reason to make this decision a reality. People are going to question you if you do something that’s out of the norm. But, we have to be crazy enough that our dreams of traveling abroad, despite what others think, will work out. If it does work out, then we took life by the horns and made our dreams come true. If we fail, the worst thing that will happen is that we’re back at our parents’ house with no jobs. And if that’s the scariest thing in the world, then I’m cool with that. Our experience will be worth it, no matter the outcome. A great man once said, “I had to get off the boat so I could walk on water.” I think it was Plato. Or Jay Z.
3. A Passport – This should be a no-brainer but I have to reiterate this because many people don’t have one. This is literally your ticket off the island. You cannot see the world without that little book, and in America, it is so easy to attain. Look online for the requirements, pay the money, and save up for a plane ticket out of here. I’ve only had mine for five years but it feels like twenty. Every passport stamp tells a story that only you can fully relate to, a memory that cannot be taken from you. Once you start traveling, you’ll realize the world isn’t as scary as the media makes it seem. I had to get that first trip under my belt to even consider living outside the U.S. Yes, it started with baby steps, the Caribbean, Mexico and then Europe. But now, we’re in Southeast Asia.
4. A Strong Support System – Yeah you need money, the mindset and a passport, but this trip would not have been possible without our friends and family rooting for us. For every person that told us we’re crazy, we had a friend or family member share their support and tell us that we’re making the right decision for ourselves and that it was the right time. It seems all glitz and glamour once you’re on the plane on the way to your new home, but we would have drowned in all of the blood, sweat and tears that come along with making this a reality if we didn’t have our people there ready to throw the life vest if needed and give us the moral support we need. We don’t take that for granted. Thank you.
5. A Solid Game Plan – You can have all the bravery and money in the world, but without thorough research and a plan of attack you’re subject to be a victim of circumstance rather than a curator of your own good luck. Granted, we don’t know everything that will happen when we get to Thailand (we left early Tuesday morning, it is now late Thursday and we still aren’t there…long story) but we have planned for almost every possible scenario. We have an idea of how we’re going to make this a sustainable lifestyle, and plan to take the steps necessary to do so. Keep in mind, this is not a vacation for us. We won’t post Instagram pics with cocktails on the beach every day, because we plan to build our lives here until it’s time to move on. Aristotle once told me over a glass of beer that if I wanted to make God laugh, I should tell him my plans. Hopefully He will keep the chuckles to a minimum throughout our journey.
Though these tips lend themselves to people who are moving abroad, you can also use these parameters as guidelines for your next international trip. Meet us somewhere abroad, and we’ll buy you the first drink.