Hey friends, Jana here. I’ve been working with Jenny on the conceptualization of the blog but this is my first written post; from me to you!
I grew up in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to Tallahassee, Florida at the age of 20. I lived throughout the United States (Tallahassee, Destin, New York City) for 17 years and decided it was time to move back home. I moved back home to Bangkok in March. Relocating to another country is a massive undertaking, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on the topic:
First of all, the process—
There will be a lot to consider when you start processing your relocation. Are you moving for work, does this require providing notice to your employer? What about vehicles? Do you own or lease? Are you turning vehicles over to the dealership, selling them, or shipping them to your next country? If you plan to have a vehicle in your next country, go ahead and obtain your international driver’s license and research the driving laws for foreigners in your next country. If you don’t have an on-going revenue stream, do you realistically have the savings for the move? Without a prospective job, I’d recommend having at least $10,000 USD before relocating to Thailand.
What about the actual relocation expenses? Are these covered by your employer? If not, start thinking about what you actually consider precious! International shipping gets really expensive really fast. This is the perfect opportunity to gift some of your great items that simply don’t make the cut, or donate it to those in need. In the weeks before I moved, close friends of mine lost everything in a tragic house fire. So I passed on a lot of my furniture to them as they tried to rebuild their home.
I used Rama Enterprises Inc. for shipping my possessions back to Thailand; for the amount of stuff I had I found it to be affordable but definitely price shop!
Make a list of all the little things because they will add up: mail forwarding, closing of accounts for utilities, internet, etc. change of address on banking and credit card information, etc.
Be prepared for this process to be exhausting. It’s a lot of work, and even if you start early it’s going to feel like a lot. It IS a lot, but you’re making a big change for big reasons. Don’t lose sight of that.
Once you make the move, know that change will continue coming. Even the little things might frustrate you in the beginning. After living in the U.S. for 17 years, I’ve come back to a country that uses the metric system! No more weight measured in gallons, no more cups for quantity; you’re driving in kilometers, weighing your produce in kilograms, and calculating gas based on liters. It may sound small but it feels like learning a new lifestyle. It’s worth it though, remember that. Embrace the uncomfortable moments in life, they are the building blocks for great character.
I’ve been back in Thailand for about two months now. I’ve been traveling a lot and picking up freelance work as needed. It’s been great to see family and old friends but I have felt a major adjustment in lifestyle. The cost of living has significantly increased by the way!
Anyway, those are my thoughts on international relocation thus far. I’ll make sure to be in touch regarding my travels!