If I had a dollar for every person who’s told me they wanted to move overseas and they were going to – just as soon as they saved enough money.
It sounds like a perfectly good plan. Save money. Move. Enjoy the world.
The only problem is that plan is usually only good in THEORY.
Today I’ll share how to make your dream of living overseas a reality. And if you’d prefer to just travel more, I’ll give you some tips on that too.
Saving vs. Selling
Saving money to move overseas is like saying, I’ll start going to the gym as soon as a I lose a few pounds. The chances of average Joe reducing his expenses by resisting the latest iPad, eating at home and filling up his piggy bank are slim to none. Those not so average Joes who are great at saving, tend to be obsessed with it – meaning it will never be enough for them to take the leap.
The most effective way to stop spending is to start selling.
Derek and I found it effortless to say no once we decided we were moving overseas. Each month I had a list of things we no longer needed and they went up on eBay or Craigslist. We sold everything we knew wouldn’t make the final cut, so it just didn’t make sense to buy anything our last four months in the States. It also helps to think of how far the money you want to spend on a dinner out will go in your new home.
Find your fortune.
Most people don’t know just how much money they could make by selling everything they own. From cars, to property, to collections. The easiest thing to do is start in one room and make a list of everything that you want to sell and find the best outlet to make the highest profit. For example, Derek had a huge collection of Easton Press books and they paid for our plane tickets and luggage fees to Albania.
Shut up your inner hoarder.
I’ll admit right now, this isn’t difficult for me to do as I am not a collector of anything. I despise clutter and could care less about nick-nacks, but if this is a hurdle for you, leap over it because travel is no fun when you’re weighted down with stuff. I moved overseas for the first time twelve years ago and I soon realized that half the possessions I hauled across the ocean were useless to me in my new home. One of the trade offs for travel is letting things go. The good news? You won’t miss any of it.
Say no to storage.
Everyone figured we’d put all our things in storage but we really did not want to get a storage unit for a couple reasons: we didn’t want to spend the money and if we could live without if for a year or two, we could live without it for good. We ended up with some personal items that we did not want to sell, such as Derek’s paintings, wedding pictures, family gifts etc. so we sent them to our parents. Ultimately, it depends on what your long term plans are and how much your inner hoarder wants to give up.
Take more small trips.
The only way to make a trip a reality is to start making plans. The internet is full of information on just about any country you want to visit.
Find out when the low season is (aka cheapest time to go).
Compare ticket prices.
Look up hotel/B&B/hostel rates.
Calculate food costs.
Get a grand total.
Then log in your bank account and look at how much you spend on restaurants, clothing and entertainment in a month. Decide to cut that by at least half and put the other half toward your trip. You won’t remember the meals out or movies you missed, but you will always have awesome memories from your trip!
For five years Derek and I talked about moving overseas but we couldn’t figure out how to live in the U.S. and save enough money to move overseas. Once we changed our tactic, we were gone within six months. If living overseas is something you’ve always wanted to do, go for it! And we happy to share our journey with you, potholes and all.
“When everyone dreams but only a few realize their dreams, that makes cowards of us all.”
~Paulo CoelhoHungry for More, Monique Alvarez *Have you downloaded my free ebook, The Hungry Soul’s Manifesto? It’s all about remembering what’s important in life – creating purpose and passion, instead of just passing the time amassing stuff. p.s. If there are typos, spelling or grammar mistakes in this post don’t worry about. Those are the kinds of things I’ve worried about for FAR too long. It’s time to just get it out and who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart!