One of the big decisions you’ll find yourself considering is whether or not you’ll expatriate to another country on the first go-around or whether you’ll travel as an ex-pat, until you choose to settle down in one place…or not.
When I began planning to leave the country, it was motivated by a desire to live better with the funds I had. As I began to explore all the possibilities, I soon realized that 1) I couldn’t possibly make a decision to move anywhere outside the country without first visiting for a long period and 2) I didn’t have to.
I’ve always had a longing to travel worldwide, but prior to this I had always thought in terms of tourism. Now I know I don’t have to be a visitor, but rather a resident in each country until I’ve satisfied myself that I understand the nature and culture of that place. I have no desire to skim the surface and see only the lovely spots in a destination but instead I want to KNOW the place – as much as is possible without having been there all my life.
If this is the life-style you choose, wandering until sated, then you’re preparations are completely different than if you’d rather find a place and move yourself and your possessions for a more permanent situation. I’m not saying you have to have decided to live somewhere forever, but instead of living out of three suitcases (as I will be) you’ll be setting up a household wherever you land.
There are some preparations that are the same either way, like making sure your banking can be done internationally, while others will be entirely diverse, such as the purchase of luggage and clothing.
So, first, if you haven’t already, decide which way you’re going to land, on firmly planted feet or winged boots.