One of the most useful ways to get information and support about moving abroad is by listening and learning from other expats and their first hand experiences of moving to a new country.

So we have compiled interviews from Expats all over the world who have made the bold decision to move abroad.

We hope that by listening to their personal stories you will find inspiration and helpful information about how you too can make the move abroad.

So before you know it you will be living your dream life abroad!

1. Brief Description of Self…

My name is Miranda and I am 27 years old. I was born and raised in the Florida. I went to University in Virginia and have been living in Chicago for the last five years working in advertising. I am not married but am in a long term-relationship.

2. Where did you move to and from

I was living on the outskirts of Chicago and I moved to Bali, Indonesia.

3. Who moved with you…

Just me!

4. Why did you decide to move abroad?…

Well that is a bit of a layered answer but I think largely I moved because life in the United States felt too difficult and not aligned with how I wanted to live my life. I was living in a big city and working at a great job in advertising. I loved my career and made a great salary. I had so many friends and a cute apartment. But at 27 years old I already felt tired with the day to day grind of life. I didn’t see the path forward that was anything but working more and more. I wanted to slow things down and have more freedom in my day to day life and schedule. I wanted to travel and cook more and it was just not possible with the schedule and demands of my job and keeping up with the overhead.

5. How did you go about deciding what country you wanted to move to?…

I had gone to Bali when I was in my late teens and fell in love with the country, people and lifestyle. I loved the beaches, the climate and the food. I worked with a travel abroad coach named Colleen(internationalfamilylife@gmail.com) who helped me tremendously as I explored the visa requirements and other important factors and it seemed like everything was pointing me in that direction.

6. What did you do before you moved that helped you prepare for the move abroad?…

I did a lot to prepare for the move before hand because I was a woman moving alone and I also did not have a lot of extra cash. So in order to cut down on my unknowns and fears I tried to get as many things settles as possible.

My Job: The first things I really needed to sort out was how I was going to work. I approached my current boss and told him of my plans. I asked if they would be willing to keep me on as a remote worker and unfortunately they said no it was not possible. However, they did tell me that I could do some odd jobs as a contractor which I was thrilled about. This at least meant I had some income secured. So the next thing I focused on was how to get additional income. I started to look into all the ways to make a living while being a digital nomad and living abroad. My background and education is in marketing and advertising so I focused on remote skills that included these areas of expertise. I created a resume and reached out to literally 100 companies offering my skills on a remote basis. I heard back from six of them and started to do side jobs for them in marketing and advertising before I even left. And while I was still working my other full time job. I also put my listing on Upwork and Fiverr and started to get jobs there as well. This was a lot of work I am not going to lie. But it gave be the confidence I needed to know I could make a living while living anywhere in the world. So before I left I had over six small contracts bringing me in work.

Housing: I had visited Bali almost a decade earlier but could not afford to go find housing before I moved. So I searched dozens of real estate sites trying to find the right place to stay. I ended up connecting on Facebook with other expats in Bali who were looking for roommates. As a woman I was a bit nervous about moving into a house with people I did not know but it was with two other women from Australia who were also digital nomads and we talked three times before I made the decision. I ended up securing the room in the house with them for three months upon my arrival. The house was in a great location and three months cost me less than my utility bill in Chicago!

Belongings: I ended up brining many of my belongings back to my parents house in Florida. But I also sold or donated a lot of my clothes and personal household items.

7. What was the most challenging part of leaving and moving?… 

The most difficult part of leaving for me personally was dealing with my fear and apprehension. I was not that sad to leave Chicago or my job to be honest and most of my friends were already planning to come visit me. But for me just going alone to a new country was intense and intimidating. My move abroad coach was incredible because she was also a trained psychologist so we worked through a lot of the fear. I learned that it is so normal to be apprehensive with such a massive decision. I had played things pretty safe my entire life and went to college close to where I had grown up and so I was not used to making such bold moves before.

8. What actions or choices made settling into your new country easier?….

I took a risk on moving into a house with two women I did not know but this decision was a game changer for me and helped me settle into Bali in such a great way. the girls were amazing and are still two of my closest friends. They showed me the ropes and introduced me to so many people. They had done the hard part for me honestly and I benefited from their experience. If you can meet anyone at all before you move I highly recommend it.

9. What has been the best part of moving abroad?…

It is hard to say just one BEST part. This move has totally transformed me as a person in absolutely every single way. Living in the United States brain washes you a bit into thinking the way of life there is the only way but the truth is it is quite limiting. There is such a quality of life that happens in Bali that I just never experienced in the United States. There is a focus on food and friends and nature and just taking things so much slower. In Chicago everything was about consumption and producing and here things feel entirely different. It has taught me how to move through the world in a really different way.

I also gained so much courage and grew into the person I always wanted to be. I never really felt like I tested or pushed myself before and after this I feel like I can do anything.

10. What has been the most challenging part of moving abroad?

Fear and loneliness are very real when you move across the globe. Everything is foreign and everything is harder and it can feel very scary and unnerving. Even things like going to the market and navigating foreign currency and language is a challenge. Also, even though I met such incredible people you feel like an outsider and this can make you feel quite lonely. The reality is you are an outsider and you always will be when you are not in your home country. I missed my family and friends and just all the familiar things.

11. What do you wish you would have known before you left or what would you have done differently ?…

I would have tried to be more brave and not been so nervous. It made my departure really difficult. I should have trusted more in the process and believed that things would go well.

12. What person, website, resource or app was helpful when relocating abroad?…

I could not have done it without using Facebook for Expats in Bali. Reddit also comes in handy for getting answers but it can be a little less reliable. There are so many people on these platforms with so much knowledge and ready to help. They can advise you on everything from finding a doctor who speaks English to the best way to get to and from the airport. A lot of people are critical of expats and not meeting locals but the truth is you can do both. Expats are people just like you and it is a unique club that you need to rely on in the beginning.

13. Please provide any other information, or thoughts not included in the questions above…

I think it should be required for every single person to live in a different country at some point in their life. Every single person I know that has moved abroad is better for it and would not trade it for anything. The other small but important piece of advice I would say is don’t bring much. Things are so much easier if you travel light and you can find everything you need in your new location.

I highly recommend moving abroad!

If you are looking to move abroad and don’t know where to start we highly recommend our Guide: Choosing Your Perfect Country to Move Abroad! This easy to follow workbook walks you through the exact steps you need to move abroad and start living your dream life!

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