How Long Does It Take to Move Abroad?

Quick question:How long does it take to leave?
Answer: about 3 months.  Three months from decision to your new country.

This is not the same as how long before I board my flight (airlines require you arrive 2 hours before your flight …okay, a small joke)

But seriously, how much preparation time do you think you need? If you already made the decision you want to live abroad, then it takes 3 months, from start to finish. That’s my experience and I see no reason why anyone else couldn’t have a similar experience.

Below is our timeline when we moved from the US to Prague, Czech Republic:

Our Timeline:
23 March: Initial inquiry about a couple jobs
03 April Telephone interview w/manager
02 May Face-to-face interview in Prague
05 May Offer tendered and accepted, to start 3 July
26 May Wife’s last day of work
31 May House on market; luckily sold soon from real estate boom
21 June House sale ‘closed’
5-11 June Jeff & friend went apartment shopping in Prague
30 June Jeff leaves for Prague
3 July Jeff starts first day at work

Okay, that’s 3 months and a week. But it’s way faster than 6 months. And definitely not two years, or even 1 year.

The next 20 years will fly – don’t you think it’s time you did, too?
Don’t live with regret for not trying, not going for it.

moving to london
Linked to where I help


Still Stunned & Still Overwhelmed

It’s been one month since Trump, the POTUS, took office. I’m still shocked, stunned and amazed.

Disclaimer: this post is shallow, political, and self-promoting. If you want real advice, then just write me or get with the program (“Gin1Year”).

Still Stunned

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Hillary Clinton. Bernie should’ve been the party pick. But all that aside, in the final race, HRC was the lesser of two evils. She was the clear choice over Trump.


Still Overwhelmed

Right up to about midnight on election night, I knew Hillary would become the next president. “surprise!” My mouth has been gaped open ever after.

Every day since, I watch the news. I watch it more than I ever did, like some addiction. Do others do the same?

Still Reading?

Look, I’m not here to say America is fucked. I’m not crying “you’re all doomed!” But…

Please know your situation in the US today, and over the next 4 years, is likely far worse than what you could have in a country more like you.

Lots of websites say “GO” but no one says “how”. I’m here to show you how.

Get with the program.

Timeline to a New Life

Below is a post I first wrote in November 2009. (Whew, how time flies!) I figure it might help a few others with the same questions I had back then.

expat man jumping shipIf you’re thinking about starting over completely new, you may wonder “How long it will take?

Fair question – and here’s my answer: 3 months. Three months is all it takes to drastically change your life, self and all that’s around you. And that’s assuming you have a house, job, perhaps even family as we did. Even as “settled” as we were, it was just 3 months from wondering about getting work overseas to all moved and working overseas.

Continue reading Timeline to a New Life

I Heard You. You Need Step-by-Step

After dozens of consultation calls, I see the pattern. It’s clear…

You Want Step-by-Step

Often I give what I call “big picture advice.” That means what people ought to do next, and why. For me, it’s the “why” that’s really important. It’s the reason, from my experience, it’s just why. But, many people don’t want why; they just want to know what to do. Okay, fine.

Okay, I Am Writing Step-by-Step. It’s Coming

UPDATE: It’s Done. Check It Out Here

I’m writing the step-by-step you’re asking for:

  • how to get over what’s stopping you (debt, job position, relationship)
  • how to write your resume (& CV)
  • how to apply for residency (a few different ways)
  • how to find the good job openings (how it worked for several clients, plus myself)
  • how to apply for the job
  • how to move abroad
I'm Writing a Full "A-to-Z" Plan
I’m Writing a Full “A-to-Z” Plan

You Also Need Tailored To You

Everybody’s unique. That’s why I offer consultation calls. However, not everyone can afford $120 $150 for the consultation.

I figured out how this can work. It works for each person (even you), but won’t cost even half as much.

So I Offer Custom Help as an Extra

Everyone’s situation is a bit different. And yet, the majority of questions are similar.

Still, there are always a few questions that really just need a personal touch. That’s why I’m offering support, after you’ve read the Step-by-Step Guide.

Early Bird Sign-Up. Save 50%

Done – I Did It! Sign Up Now



My Permanent Residency Interview in Canada

Yesterday was a big day….I went to my interview to finalize permanent resident status here in Canada.

Yes, I should write up a big post about how I got permanent resident status.  But for now, I’ll share how the interview went:

Continue reading My Permanent Residency Interview in Canada

5 Quick Actions To Do Today To Live Abroad

I can write all day, but the fact is, nothing matters, unless you take action.  Here’s a post to help just that.

Here are 9 things you can do, today.  Each thing puts you closer to moving abroad.

Action #1:  Decide “I Stay” or “I Go” (time: 1 minute)

I’ve wanted to move abroad for so long.” or “Ever since I vacationed in X, I dreamed of moving there.”  Sound familiar?

I purposefully made this first action the toughest action.  In crude English, it is time to “shit or get off the pot.”  Decide yes or no.  Decide to stay or go.

How to Decide to Stay or Go

  1. Ask yourself, do the benefits outweigh the costs?  Another way to ask: does being stable now with later regret outweigh temporary upheavel and transition?
  2. Answer and Decide.

Do Benefits Outweigh the Costs?

Benefits depend on where you move, but usually include:

  • you experience new cultures, food, people, and places
  • a better lifestyle, better outlook on life
  • sense of accomplishment and confidence, a.k.a. “I did it!”
  • wider, more open view of the world
  • greater tolerance and openness

Costs largely depend on where you are today in life, but usually include:

  • moving expenses (flights, shipping, temporary accommodations)
  • distance from family and friends
  • temporary upset in life

There are also the “soft costs,” like leaving your (stable?) job, having to say goodbye, having to clean house.  Then again, many would call these things benefits, not costs.

What are the Biggest Benefits?  Feeling a unfamiliar freedom, openness, experiencing new culture/food/people/space.  Kids get enormous benefit, too, way beyond what adults are capable of.  With just a small experience abroad, children benefit for the rest of their long lives.  How about you career professionals?  Professionals will see substantial value added to their CV or résumé.

How?  You decide and believe it will happen.  The “how” will follow.

Why this is important: Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.

** It’s important to take regret into consideration.  Looking beyond today’s costs & benefits … how about in 10 years?  Will you regret your decision?

Continue reading 5 Quick Actions To Do Today To Live Abroad

Why Are People Leaving The US, Part 3

Reason 3: Seeking Better Quality of Life

We already covered two reasons for leaving the USA already: Frustration and Seeking Adventure.  Now, we talk about those of us just wanting a better life.  And that about covers everyone.

Hey, Jeff, that’s vague, what exactly is “a better life’?”  How about a better standard of living.

Does that mean better healthcare?  More personal liberties?  Lower cost of living? YES, all the above.

So, I mean health, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Problem to Fix: Healthcare

I’ll make this short.  Healthcare will not improve in the US for your or your kids’ lifetime.  Sorry it’s a short, sad conclusion.  If this is important to you, move.

Okay, I’ll give my disclaimer.  I don’t know the future, but I do know it would take a revolution to undo the death grip on the healthcare system by the private healthcare industry.  The affordable care act (ACA) is definitely a start, but it will take more than that. They won’t let go for as long as there’s money to be made (and shared with legislators and lobbyists).  Doctors understand this, but they have no say in how it’s run.  And as baby boomers come of old age, health care providers are providing less health and more bills.  Prepare to pay more, or move.

Need an example?  Look no further than the notorious Johnny B Truant.  Johnny’s a Type 1 diabetic and has blogged about it several times, how he overcomes it with great health (though it hindered his 30-day no-carb diet trial).  Healthy lifestyle or not, his insurance premium keeps skyrocketing.  Well, that changed – Johnny quit his health insurance! Johnny said, and I quote, “Fuck this. I’m jumping over the walls to get that carrot.” (you have to read his cute story to get the carrot bit)  I applaud the guy – he broke the rule of “Everyone NEEDS insurance.” and is now saving himself a grand a month.  Nice work JBT.

Problem to Fix: Personal Liberties

Are you a Ron Paul fan?  Keep up with the (ever fun but educational) blog of the Lugwig von Mises Institute?  If so, label yourself a Libertarian.  But you knew that already.

Why do I bring up Ron Paul?  I was at a meetup just last Wednesday.  The organizer casually gave his view on government: “I believe we need only two laws: Protect our own property and protect our liberties.”  I smiled and asked if he’s a Ron Paul fan.  He smiled back.  The organizer echoed the classic tenets that define libertarianism.

Are people leaving the US because of eroding personal liberties?  I doubt it’s the sole or even their main reason.  But I do agree that personal liberties as a whole are eroding away at a faster clip than ever before.  And that pushes more people to think about leaving.

[Here is where my wife steps in and says “Well, don’t just mope about it – do something!“]

If you’re pessimistic like me that things will change for the better, then it might be time for you to leave the US. Find a country that provides stronger liberties. Find a country that offers better income equality.  And find a country that offers free healthcare (because you’re just entitled to that as a tax-paying citizen). 

For all those, the top countries are:

  1. Sweden (why am I not surprised?)
  2. Finland
  3. Denmark
  4. New Zealand
  5. Norway
  6. Netherlands
  7. Switzerland
  8. Canada
  9. Ireland
  10. Australia

The US came in between the UK and Estonia.  (Yes, not even close to the top 10) Here is my source table.  For my list, I used their scoring, plus a bit of my own bias to reformat as a numbered list.

Some last words about personal or civil liberties.  Some liberties may be more important than others.  For you, it may your right to practice a religion, women’s rights, or racial equality.  For me, I focus more on personal privacy of information.  I don’t mind someone looking up my phone number, but I do mind when someone (without my consent) listens to a phone conversation or predetermines my chance for a disease. But that’s me… how do you feel about it?  Leave a comment.

Problem to Fix: Cost of Living

Relying on a pension isn’t what it used to be.  And today, does anyone stay with a company long enough to earn a pension?

Thankfully, a mediocre pension cheque in the United States isn’t so mediocre in many other countries.  Same goes for that meagre social security if you’re a senior, or the humble rent profit if you’re a landlord, or the dividends if you’re an investor, or even a passive income from some online business.  In all cases, the amount goes farther if you spend it in a country that costs less.  (The better case is if you’re earning in that country, rather than exchanging from the declining dollar, but that’s another story.)

Thinking of leaving the country because of your taxable portfolio?  Well, leave now while the going’s good, because there’s likely to be legislation that may follow you abroad.


Next Up: Patriotism

Stay tuned for the next (#4 – “Patriotism“) reason why people leave the United States.  There are over 5 million of us abroad – why not you?

Until then, I ask you just one favour.  If you like this post or the others, hit the Facebook Like button below and share it with your friends.


Final Word / Final Offer

Yes, this is where I write a plug for myself. If you are getting serious about leaving the US, I can help. Hire me as your expat consultant – the price is overly fair (for now).






International Moves: Difference Between Packing and Slacking

Packing for a move is a big job. It scrambles daily life, be it dressing, cooking or even walking from room to room.

Here I offer a simple strategy for how to pack for international moves.

Continue reading International Moves: Difference Between Packing and Slacking

5 (Bad) Excuses Why People Don’t Move Abroad

My #1 goal on this blog is to share about becoming an expat. I feel that living abroad makes some significant, positive changes in a person. so I guess I feel living abroad is something pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it’s also something pretty scary for those interested. But scary is just an alternative to exciting, given the right mindset.

To date, I’ve helped a handful of people with their move abroad. The most popular help needed is deciding to “go for it.” In my experience, there are 5 big reasons why people don’t follow their dream of living in another country. After each, I tell you why each reason doesn’t really matter.

#1. Work

Number one reason is “I have a job.” People actually ask “How could I leave my career?”

To people who offer this excuse, I say you aren’t hurting your career, you’re helping it.

Continue reading 5 (Bad) Excuses Why People Don’t Move Abroad