Saying Goodbye to Neighbors and Friends

Once you start to think of forever, it becomes heartache to say goodbye. Don’t forget that no matter where you are moving there should be access to the Internet and apps like Skype and social media platforms. However, there are a few nice touches or traditions you could adopt so no one forgets you easily.

La Despedida (Goodbye Party)

The Spanish know how to say goodbye in style. They hold a fiesta-like party called a “despedida” where everyone you know is invited to come, bring a dish or bottle of wine and say goodbye to you with smiles and cheers. One neat trick with this tradition is to hold it right before the day of the departure so you won’t have time to feel depressed. The party can even continue on the road in bringing you to the airport or convoy up to the outskirts of town. Of course, there has to be at least one sober person who can drive the car.

Send A Card

In the 1960s and 1970s it was a tradition and proper etiquette to print out cards about your move. The details would include your forwarding address and sometimes a short, personal note to the recipient. We don’t see this tradition done as often because of the convenience of the Internet but it would still be a nice gesture to send out printed cards with your new contact details.

Giving Goodbye Tokens

Buying small tokens of your appreciation and giving them to special friends and neighbors will be meaningful and unexpected. The token can be a keychain, picture frame with your photo, something religious or spiritual like a book, or a something as inexpensive as a bookmark. There are no limits to what this token can be and it can be something you made or an item that will remind them of happy times together.


Items Not Allowed on Airplanes or Moving Trucks

One of the frustrations of moving to another city or country is being forced to part ways with friends, family, and neighbors. However, one soon finds out that another aggravating problem is the fact that there are so many restrictions with moving truck companies and airlines as to what can and cannot be carried.

If you are planning to rent the truck, you won’t have restrictions imposed on you by the truck rental company although if you happen to carry contraband and get caught, the truck company is not liable at all. On the other hand, if you plan on hiring a truck company to move your things, they may restrict you depending on the point of destination. In big cities there are city laws on the size, length, and tonnage allowed on inner streets. Parking may also be a problem. Thus, you may have to assume the cost of more than one load if smaller trucks only are allowed.

Also, some truck companies will not accept animals or certain inflammable items.  They will also not allow perishable goods like cooked or raw food, vegetables, and fruits. It would be best to settle all content issues before signing on with any moving company and making sure that there will be no problems at the other end when the movers arrive at your new house as well. If there are international issues, far better for you to work with those who have experience in delivering items overseas. You may have to rent a container van and send your items over via ship if they are too many or too expensive for a plane trip.

For smaller items that you wish to take along with you in the plane trip to another country, don’t assume that the country of origin and the country of destination have the same restrictions and laws.

The United States is extremely popular among travelers for being overly cautious about what can or cannot be brought on planes either as cargo or hand carry. Not all countries follow the same guidelines but it must be confirmed before you leave in order to avoid problems at the airport and with immigration officials.

Top Most Forgotten Items Before Moving

Relocating to a new place is usually fraught with tension and stress. It’s the act of moving your life and all your belongings from one place to another that is most stressful because once you settle into your new home, it’s generally smoother. Because of the circumstances, it’s not unusual to forget certain items or to leave certain things behind – even with a checklist. This is why most experts advise preparing a checklist at least a month in advance so that you have the next 30 days to keep adding to your checklist as you go about your daily routine.

The top most forgotten items people regret during a move include the following:

  1. Forgetting to pick up your dry cleaning – Many who depend on dry cleaning but have an erratic schedule for pick and drop-off can easily forget that last set of dry cleaning. Unfortunately, if you are leaving the country, you may never get it back since many dry cleaning operations do not store items over a period of time. Your best option would be to ask someone to pick it up and beg that the items be given to them even without the ticket. Otherwise, you may have to fax in a letter authorizing someone to pick it up for you. Then you will have to deal with the shipping of the items to your new home.
  2. Your other phone book – Don’t we all have more than one phone book? The other phone book is usually stored away since it contains old numbers or number of people we rarely talk to. However, in many cases, the old phone could contain important information that you may need once you get settled in your new home.
  3. The mobile phone charger – If you are like most people, you have gone through several mobile phone units with different kinds of chargers. Be sure to check that you take with you the right charger and not one from an older phone.
  4. Garage door remote control – If you are traveling by car, you might forget to leave behind the remote control for the garage door. This is usually kept in your car and in the rush of things; you may forget to leave it behind.

Other items that are often forgotten are medical records, vet records, school records, work papers, work certification and records, buried treasure in your back yard, and informing the credit card company and other important people about your change of address.

Making a Survival Box Before Moving: Emergency Needs

Moving to another state or country is not just about uprooting your life but also making the transition as smooth as possible. One way to do this is by preparing a basic survival box where you put in everything you could possibly need to survive a few days. It would help make your arrival at the new place less stressful since you won’t have to open all the boxes and luggage looking for a directory or your bag of medicines and daily toiletries. In case the moving company fails to arrive on time, you also won’t be frazzled since you have your survival kit with you.

Knowing what to put in your survival kit would really depend on your personal circumstances. If you have daily maintenance medication, this should be at the top of your list. Plus, you should have more than just a few days’ supply. Make sure you have enough to cover at least 2 weeks or more.

Another important item in the survival box would be your phone directory and photocopies of your personal documents like passport, identification cards, and the details on vital information like insurance, etc.

Other essential items you will be glad you included are coffee (even the best instant variety you can find), sugar, coffee mug, tea, plastic utensils, soap, shampoo, bath tissue, one towel, other toiletry items in small quantities, and a flashlight with extra batteries. You might also like to include items like scissors, paper, a pen, bottle and can opener, tape, a box of Band-Aid, an alarm clock, toolkit, sewing kit, and some dried food like snacks and dried fruits.

If you are traveling with your family, you might need to either include their important things or have each one prepare their own survival kit. Of course, you should expect the children to pack their favorite blanket and toys but not think about essentials like flashlight – so that would be your department as an adult and parent.

Tax Concerns for Americans Moving Overseas

Working in a different country does not necessarily exempt an American from paying taxes. Plus, the US has tax treaties though with more than 42 countries which simply mean that tax information is shared between the US and these countries. It helps government monitor their citizens on tax payments due. Obviously the US is a country that is strongly committed to collecting taxes from its citizens since it provides the services they need so much so that even if you decide to change citizenship, there is no guarantee that it absolves you from any tax obligation.

Overseas workers are required to pay expat tax or at the very least file the necessary tax documents every year, income or no income. This will prevent the state from having to audit you and look for other loopholes you may have missed. Fortunately, it’s easy to find out whether or not you are supposed to remit your taxes or not. The IRS is not lax in providing a guide for all citizens abroad to follow.

Some of the basic tax guidelines for expats are:

  • Tax free earning for income earned overseas is $95,100 as of last tax season 2011 to 2012. Earned income does not include capital gains, investment earnings, interest, or even income from renting out your apartment/house while you’re away
  • Not all your living costs can be considered as tax breaks and if you should find yourself eligible for living cost tax breaks, you will have to prove it by submitting documents such as proof you are residing in a foreign country and away from the US for 330 days.
  • The limit for exclusion on living cost expenses in your taxes is 30% but you must confirm this with the IRS website since there are certain cities with higher limits.

As always, it is best to stay on safe side when calculating your tax obligations which mean consulting with an accountant or checking the IRS website.

Related Article: Relocating To Another Country: The Good And Bad

Moving To Work For More Money

 Moving to another country is a massive undertaking and needs to be propelled by an overwhelming desire. However, it can be made easier with proper planning.
Asia is considered to be the new frontier for business and a better life. It’s relatively untouched by the ongoing economic hysteria seen in many parts of Europe and the US. There is an Asian culture that is very different from the western way of life. For instance, confrontation and direct negative criticism is not always acceptable. One has to take a roundabout way in dressing down a subordinate or grocery clerk.
In the homes, it is common to hire someone to clean and cook for you. You have a choice of hiring someone as a “stay-in” or “day help.” Obviously, the former lives in the house while the latter goes home every day.
Hired help who live in get a cheaper wage if you provide them with free food. Otherwise, the wages are more or less the same. There have been hundreds of documented cases of abuse towards household help in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Japan does not encourage stay-in help mainly because apartments are small and have limited rooms. If not treated right, household help or domestic helpers will not think twice about leaving and looking for another employer. One thing that holds them back is if there is a contract agreed upon in writing.
If you have children, there is always a local school nearby. You can also opt for an International School which follows either the British or American form of education. In these schools, the children of foreign parents are not required to follow local education requirements such as learning the local language. International schools are expensive just like private schools in your area although if you are an expat, this is a benefit you can get as part of your work incentives along with free housing and car.  If you aren’t going in as an expat, you still have a certain stature as a Westerner, and you will probably enjoy just as many perks as an expat just without the higher income.

Related Article: Relocating To Another Country: The Good And Bad

Pointers on The Cost of Moving to Another Country

. The most important rules you must try to keep in mind are:

Be Organized

Don’t allow anyone to rattle you. If you are feeling lost, don’t commit to anything or make flash decisions. Take a breather first and analyze your situation. If you are organized, you would always have a back-up plan. You would know what you are getting into, how it would cost, and who’s got your back. You should also make sure you have access to local currency as soon as you land. Within a week or two, you should have a bank account, local mobile phone, and a credit card that is accepted in the country without international charges. Many local banks offer a credit card system that is guaranteed by a minimum deposit amount from you.

Double Check The Documents You Need

Your budget could go way out of whack if you happen to be holding the wrong visa or work permit. Make sure you have everything checked by the country’s embassy before leaving home.

Do Research on the Country

It is necessary to know the country you will be living in so that you can avoid making unnecessary expenses. Every country has its own quirks such as expensive taxis, price difference for locals and for foreigners (consider yourself a local if you will be living in the area), and any misconceptions the locals may have of people from your country. For example, Japanese tend to be careful when dealing with young Americans because of the idea that Americans are party-going, noisy persons who love to drink too much. Being in a conservative country, you have to expect these kinds of barriers and deal with them accordingly without being disrespectful.

In summary, while there are many details to think about especially with regards to money, as long as you think before you speak and avoid flashing your wealth around, you should be able to blend in eventually.

Related Article: Relocating To Another Country: The Good And Bad

Moving To Top Asian Cities: How Much Will It Cost?

Asians have been noticing an increase in foreigners moving to their cities. The general perception according to many Canadians, Europeans, and even American citizens is that Asia is the future. This is the place to be to make money. The increase in expats or entire families uprooting themselves to find higher income opportunities is pegged at over 20%. For those who are still in the planning stages, the question in their minds is: How much does it cost to move to top Asian cities?

Asia is divided into developed countries and developing countries. Developed countries are Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Other Asian countries are considered to be developing countries. The exodus to China has slowed down considerably in the past 2 years. Business people are now looking at other Asian countries like Malaysia, India, and Vietnam.

The cost of living in developed Asian countries is very high. Apartments are hard to find especially in the business district. However in most Asian countries, food is relatively inexpensive as is clothing and shoes. Unless you can find a job offering an expat salary, the chances are you will have to struggle just as if you were in your own country. Expats on the other hand live a life of luxury with household help (sometimes 2 to 3 per home), personal driver, high-end accommodations, and the best education for your children.

The cost of moving increases as you add certain luxuries like club memberships, extra cars, local travel, security, and an active social life. Among developing countries, Delhi is the cheapest choice and Tokyo is the most expensive. However, Tokyo offers a more efficient government and less corruption.

Finally, the language may be a problem. The countries that speak and understand English are Singapore, India, the Philippines, UAE, and Malaysia.

Related Article: Relocating To Another Country: The Good And Bad


What To Bring When You Move To Japan

You feel excited about moving to Japan but the packing is just stressing you out. You cannot figure out what you should bring and what to leave behind. Packing is time-consuming if you do not have an idea how to do it. So, to help you pack efficiently and be less stressed before landing in Japan, here are some tips you can follow:

What to Pack When Moving to Japan

Do not bring anything that is readily available in the country particularly disposable items. This includes toothpaste, hair products, sanitary pads, razors, dental floss and many more. You will find most of these things in Japan and it can just take up space in your luggage.

Some things that you can bring are deodorants especially if you only use a particular brand. You can bring Ibuprofen or Tylenol medication with you since the pain killers in Japan are said to be less effective. But, if you need to, SurvivingnJapan has a great post about how to find ibuprofen in Japan.

If you are using a particular brand for skin and face products, it will be a good idea to bring it there unless that brand is quite popular around the world.

Bring your camera, cell phone, laptop and other gadgets that you need. Most of the gadgets here will use a Japanese application and the Japanese keyboard will not be any help to you too.

Make sure you bring your international driver’s permit with you if you have one. This license will allow you to drive in Japan for at least a year before you can get your Japan driving license.

You should definitely bring your clothes with you. If you are staying in Japan because of your job, bring your dresses, suits and formal wear. Formal clothes are more expensive to shop for in Japan and it is always easier to buy casual clothing here.

It is important that you bring your most comfortable and needed shoes with you. Japanese feet are quite small so you may have a hard time finding your size in Japan.

Packing your things is just a matter of what you really need and what you can do without in the first few weeks. After all, Japan is a modern and trendy city. It will not be hard to find the extra things you need.

Relocating To Another Country: The Good And Bad

Relocating or migrating to another country, such as Tokyo, Japan, is sometimes necessary especially if great opportunities are available for the person oversees. This is why expatriates are present in almost all countries around the world especially for countries like the US, some European countries, and also in some Asian countries.

A Night View in Tokyo

Relocating to another country or a new big city like Tokyo is definitely not an easy thing. Exploring new places and getting to know new people is fun but in order to successfully adapt in the place where you relocated, you need to know the ways to make adaptation and adjustments easier.

The first of many other difficulties is finding a place to live. Local people usually know the area and companies that offer great housing at discount prices. For example, in Tokyo it is often difficult to find an apartment. Even if you do, you usually have to pay lots of fees to a Japanese real estate company. But, if you’re a local in Tokyo or even in Japan, you might have heard of companies like Tokyo Apartment Rent which lists apartments with no agency fees.

One of the great things when relocating to another country is meeting new people, making new friends and connections. Making new friends in a new place like Tokyo makes adjusting and adapting to the new environment easier and smoother. However, to make new friends and connection, you need to have good interaction skills. This means that somehow, you need to understand the people especially their language, like Japanese. This is the bad thing about relocating. If you want to adapt to the new place, you need to study their language. If you find it difficult to learn to speak the language, at least learn to understand it. If you came from a non-English speaking country, such as Japan, at least learn to speak English as your second language since this is the universal language around the world.

Another great thing about relocating to another country is learning new cultures, practices, and traditions. This is a great thing especially for those people who get fascinated with new people, new customs, new cuisines, and new places and it widely available in big cities such as Tokyo. However, the bad thing about new cultures and new places is you need to know these things, respect it, and adapt to it if you want to adjust properly and be accepted in the new place you live.

You definitely do not need to ultimately change your religion and beliefs just to adapt but you need to respect the people’s beliefs and traditions in that place to avoid violating society rules and standards. If you are relocating with your family and you need kids, you should also make sure to relocate in an apartment near the school with kid-friendly neighborhood. Tokyo has plenty of apartments near schools, it’s worth a try to find a good real estate company to help you.