Expatriation//What I’d Do Differently

Making a hash of immigrating wasn’t my intention.

This is what I’d do differently, if I were to move from England all over again.

Research the Final Destination thoroughly

In some ways, I’m very fortunate. As a retiree, I had all the time in the world to research and plan my great escape. If I was to do this all over again, I would certainly spend some more time carefully considering where I’d like to live, instead of flying off on a madcap adventure.

Luckily for me, I had an easy option. My friends Maria and Joseph may well live in one of the most expensive areas of Italy, but their spare room came free of charge. This gave me plenty of time to get settled into living in Italy and make an informed decision as to where it is I’d want to eventually lay down my roots.

As with all things, you can find some great advice online as to where might be best for you to move. You can try sites like Nomad List (https://nomadlist.com/region/europe) for a quick rundown of the pros and cons of a certain city. However, the best way to find out about a place is to visit it.

Take the Drive a little easier

When I drove down to Portofino a fortnight ago, I did so in a mad rush that spoke volumes about my fractured state of mind. Motivated by impulse more than anything else, I didn’t plan the 800 or so mile drive down to Italy and I really wish I had.

If you’re considering driving yourself to your new home on the Continent, then it’s best to do some preparation beforehand. Relying on your phone as a Sat Nav might get you so far, but you run can the risk of losing signal in rural areas and losing your way.

Always plan your route ahead of schedule and buy a physical map, if you can. It’s best to load your car with essential travel gear as well, many traffic police in Europe will stop and check your car for this – so, unless you want to avoid a hefty fine, it’s best to be prepared before you set off.

Consider Using a Removal Service

For example, if you’re considering making a move from England to Spain, then there are companies that specialise in helping you do this.

Advance Moves (http://www.advancemoves.com/) take care of the logistical issues of immigrating. So, instead of cramming your car with your most precious belongings and leaving the rest to rot in your last house, you can take as much of your home comforts with you as you’d like.

They’ll help with everything, visiting you in your home to explain to you how the process works as well as packing and loading your items, making sure that precious items are well protected when they’re stowed away.

Have a Long Term Plan

I went into this adventure head-first and without a paddle. Everything from packing my vehicle to the drive down was essentially borne from improvisation. This had it’s benefits. It’s been an incredible exciting and invigorating experience. However, there have been drawbacks from not planning for the future.

I have enough money to keep myself happy here for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to work. In order to get paid for any services that I render as a teacher, I’ll need to apply to the Italian government and make sure that I’m paying tax.

Of course, that’s if I even want to teach. Although it sounds unlikely, at the age of 65 my future is more unclear than it has ever been. However, I’m trying not to let this bother me too much.

There aren’t many people my age who have the opportunity to essentially start their lives from scratch in a brand new country – so I’m going to make the most of every day.