24 Feb How to announce your departure overseas:
Quite often these days, I receive messages on my social media asking me how to announce the great news of a departure overseas but especially when is the best time to do so. I might disappoint you here, but there unfortunately is no perfect time. Believe me it’s not an easy conversation! I remember well when I announced to my family and my friends that I was going away for a year to live in Australia. Some of my friends looked at me with big wide eyes as if I was crazy … I was expecting a surprised reaction and thought that I was prepared but the thing is we are never really quite prepared.
The first reaction of some of your loved ones will be to dissuade you from leaving by enumerating a long list of excuses / reasons why it might go wrong. The reality is that many people dream of going overseas and even more broadly, to leave their routine for an adventure but only a few jump in this amazing experience because it requires a lot of courage. As human beings, we tend not to like new changes in our lives, so your loved ones might project their own fears on your dream. You will probably hear all the possible excuses including unimaginable ones to dissuade you from leaving. Do not panic, there are some tips that will help you get through this process more easily.
Some tips to serenely announce your departure to your family and friends:
1. Prepare your departure:
The idea is all new, and I am sure you are already excited about this new project, and you just can’t wait to tell your family and friends. Unfortunately it’s a rookie mistake. Before announcing your great new project to the rest of the world, you need to do some preparation and answer a number of questions such as:
- With whom am I leaving? Am I leaving alone? with a friend? a girlfriend? my pet? my boyfriend or partner? my children?
- Why? For work? To discover the world? To learn a foreign language? For a personal quest? The reasons are different for everyone but it is essential to know the why of your project.
- When? What is the best time for you? How much time do I need to prepare my project?
- Visa and flight ticket: do I need a visa? do I need an open return flight ticket? what is the cost for a visa? and especially what kind of visa do I need?
When it comes to visas, my advice is to go to the immigration’s website of the country where you want to travel and/or move to, for reliable information. For airline tickets, it is important to check if you are covered with your credit card in case of loss of suitcase, or cancellation of flights for example; otherwise you might want to subscribe to an online insurance.
- Insurance: Am I covered by my current insurance if I go abroad? do I need to subscribe to international insurance?
- Cost of the trip: what is the average cost of this project? can I support myself if I can not find a job quickly once overseas? what is the cost of living in the country where I want to go?
- Work/study: Can I take a few months off or a sabbatical leave to travel? will my employer allow me to leave my job during the time of my trip? will I get back to my job if I want to come back?
- House / apartment: do I keep my furniture? do I sell everything before leaving? do I rent my house/apartment if I am the owner?
Do not be afraid, I already picture your face after reading all these questions. It is important for you to gain a clear idea to organise your project but it is also the best way to reassure your loved ones and to get credibility when you will announce your departure.
2. Announce your departure to your loved ones:
Now that you have prepared your project, you have a clear idea of the why and the how. It’s now time to reveal your project to the rest of the world…
In my opinion, it is important to take time for your family and friends when you will announce your departure, this is not the kind of news that is announced in five minutes. Be prepared to receive a lot of questions from them but also to hear their worries. I remember well the moment when I announced my departure, the majority of my family and friends were very positive, others were negative, others expressed their worries not to see me for a year, and some others were jealous.
I talked with a lot of expats about this topic, and do not worry, you are not alone in this process, it is perfectly normal. I wish you all the best, but you may be disappointed by some people’s attitudes to your decision, and unfortunately we are never quite prepared.
I also remember having the feeling of constantly justifying myself on my decision, and I sometimes lost my temper with those around me. In hindsight, I can now tell you that they just needed to be reassured, so I know it’s not always easy but take the time to talk to them and answer as many questions they may have as possible.
3. Take advice from other immigrants/expats/travellers:
The best advice I can give you is: “Take advice only from people who already have what you want”.
What it means is avoid asking advice from people around you who have never lived overseas. They will be unable to answer your questions and the only thing they will bring to you is simply more doubts. There are many Facebook groups where you can ask your questions, you can also send me a message on messenger, instagram or email, I would be happy to help you in your project. You will find my contact information at the end of this article.
I have also created an expatriation manual to help you through this process. You can download it now by clicking on the link below:
You can reach to me on:
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- Email: email@example.com