Moving Abroad Fast
I know what you are thinking. What is with the picture, Jared? Well, that is the sight of one happy man…fine, boy…gulping down some of Europe’s finest free H2O and thirsty for more. As I write this, I am contemplating a move to Spain, first helping a friend settle in the eastern town of Murcia, before heading either north to Barcelona or to a completely different country and city. Taking moving abroad fast to a new level…
Did I mention this idea was constructed less than a week ago and I would be leaving in nine days?
Sound crazy? I thought it was when I first seriously considered the idea. A few days ago during a routine family dinner outing, I casually mentioned to my parents that my close friend had recently found an apartment in Murcia and was paying a ridiculously low rent on the place (Murcia was listed as the “poorest” city in Spain based on employment figures, wages, etc.).
As I sat and started to contemplate the thought, things began working themselves out in my head and the realization hit me that moving in a split second is actually quite easy, given you have the right mentality and about a week or two of preparation (for the responsible travelers out there). Here is how my thought process functioned:
Flexibility gives you the power to be patient enough to find and buy the cheapest flight available in the upcoming days or weeks. The key to flexibility is not the date as much as your willingness to fly on some pretty shitty flights. In my case, 35 hour total journey with a stop in Istanbul…overnight…which means meeting friends…partying…no sleep…and one rough flight back westward to Spain. Also, it means being flexible enough to only buy a one-way ticket with the idea that if shit hits the fan, you can hop on a flight back pretty quickly and regroup. The key is to always have options open so if one fails you can lean on the other.
Sense of Adventure
Going on this trip, I would be extremely cash strapped, battling a 3-month Visa deadline in the EU, and essentially homeless past a certain point. With these thoughts in mind, the situation seems idiotic. With a little sense of adventure and once again flexibility, you can spin the situation in your favor. My first solution was Workaway, a really incredible website where hosts post open volunteer opportunities that grant free rooming and food for about four hours of work a day, five days a week.
I instantly found open opportunities in incredible places, not only in Murcia right next to my friend’s new flat, but also in every European country. I could work in a vineyard in Tuscany, a small beach town in southern Spain, or at a picturesque chateau in the French countryside…all on a moment’s notice, for free, with no expenses incurring. To bridge the gap, I could use Couchsurfing to stay with locals on the journey to whichever Workaway city was selected.
To battle the Visa, I could take a flight to Israel or perhaps Lebanon, stay until my Visa is reset, and then head back. Once again, I was able to find extremely cheap flights given the flexibility of dates.
At the moment I am trying to develop a website and expand my writing portfolio so time is the key commodity worth fighting for. Given the Workaway scenario, I would have literally zero expenses besides hygiene products and 19 hours free during the day to work on these projects, with hopefully one of them being profitable eventually. If you find yourself not doing Workaway and speaking English, there will always be work available as a tutor or teacher, given you hustle a little bit and advertise your service. If you really want to go Rick Ross on the situation and hustle even harder, there are families that look for English tutors for a few hours a day and are willing to provide housing. I see these ads everywhere. Once again, no expenses.
Look, as in any scenario, there are some non-negotiables. If you are in the middle of your degree at university, have a contract signed at an employer, helping a sick loved one, have a dentist operation in six weeks to fix a chipped tooth you broke while biting into a slice of New York’s finest cheese pizza (I knew a guy, true story), then obviously it would be much harder to pack up and go. Technically, you could quit school, quit work, and walk around with a bag on your face and call it a day, but chances are you have some priorities and standards in your life. I was fortunate (or unfortunate if you look at it that way) to not have a job at the time of this proposal. I wasn’t really looking for a job in all fairness. Creative projects on the computer have become my passion, granting me the ability to “work” anywhere.
Given no job, no chipped tooth, no boss to argue with, and support of the people I care about, why not go? That is the real question and the mentality that most people should take in life. Things have a tendency to work themselves out. Worst case scenario, you end up back home a little poorer financially, possibly deported, and without a job, but you have an amazing story and a trained spirit that will let you become the decisive, risk taking, dream following, passionate person you have always wanted to become. Sorry, I speak about myself in third person sometimes.
Seriously, after you quit a good job once, take a big chance, follow your gut, it all becomes so much easier the second time around and as long as you have your health, you are winning in the game of life. If I can quit the FBI at 23, in my prime, a few weeks shy of a promotion, while being lucky enough to live in one of the most amazing affordable apartments in New York all to move abroad on a few weeks notice, then you can too.
First, I suggest reading my post on minimalism. In short, spend a few hours packing your most needed, used, and practical possessions into a moderately sized suitcase and voila. It is the easiest thing to do and should not be a source of any type of stress, period.
Quick Solutions to Inevitable Excuses
I welcome comments about anything that may be hindering your ability to go. Explain your situation, send me a message, write a comment, and I guarantee you I can find a solution to overcome your mind’s natural wall that is pumping unhealthy doses of realism into your dreamy outlook. I hear all of them all of the time and there is always a solution, ALWAYS. I say this to emphasize that with flexibility, a sense of adventure, and at times some balls of steel, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from moving, given you want it bad enough. We are Generation Y, let’s gallivant together in a quest for instant gratification. Pura vida.