Black Flight!: 5 things to do about before moving abroad!
Bonjour och Hello everyone! Here's a continuation of yesterday's conversation. My name is Felicia and I have had the pleasure and the privilege to live and work abroad for many years. My intention with this post is to help YOU begin your journey into moving and working abroad. If you're reading this while currently living and working in the U.S. I don't even have to ask you WHY you want to move abroad. Tensions are high right now and everyday on social media there's another Black person saying how they have to "get out of America" because (fill in the blank). I don't blame you, I understand and I want to help you. After many years of working abroad, I've gained enough knowledge to help you do the same so let's do this!
1. Do your research.
I cannot stress this enough. You have to research your potential new city before you arrive. Research laws, research requirements for work permits, residency permits, perhaps you'll need to hire a lawyer.
2. Know your "Why?
Moving to a new country is a life-altering decision. Make sure your reason or your "why" will sustain you during difficult times Oh yes! There will be difficult times!. There will be times where you will want to cry, to yell, or even scream because you're frustrated with your newly adopted country. There's no utopia. Remember that. I lived in Paris, France and even though it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world, however, the bureaucracy will make you cry in public. Seriously. I've done it. LOL! I laugh about it now, not so much then.
3. Pack Light!
Eryka Badu told you and now I'm telling you too! Pack light! Unburden yourself of all of your "stuff" literally and figuratively. You cannot go into a new land with old ways of thinking. You cannot enter your new home abroad with All of the creature comforts from your former home. I first moved to Paris with two suitcases and a carry-on. When I stepped off the flight, I immediately wished that I'd only packed ONE suitcase. It was hard getting all of my heavy American luggage on the RER, the metro, then up 6 flights of stairs (no elevator) to my beautiful, tiny Parisian apartment. Believe me, the less you pack, the less you will struggle and the more money you will save!
4. Secure a job BEFORE you move!
Don't you for one second think that you're going to move home and hearth to another country and look for a job when you get there. That's not how this works. Even if you do find a job, you'll have to return to your home country (the U.S., if you're American), file the proper papers, etc. All of this takes time. If your company is sending you abroad, you won't have to worry about a thing as your American company will have already procured residency and work permits for you.
5. Don't "Travel while Black"!
While I do understand that you may have some concerns about how you as a Black person will be treated once you leave these American shores, don't let this stop you from traveling ANYWHERE! I'll tell you a secret, I'm so FED UP with all of the "traveling while Black" blogposts, articles, etc.. I have never, NEVER, let my being Black, tall, etc. hinder me from learning about new cultures, visiting any country, being all that I can be for me and mine, and neither should you. Got it? You have a right to do and be and go anywhere you darn well please. Stop listening to others who say that you're better off staying here, "better the devil you know". This type of thinking does not serve you and it only keeps you in a state of fear and struggle. GO! JUST GO! Go with your head held high, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! You will THRIVE! I promise you this! Once you arrive to your new country of YOUR CHOICE, you will ask yourself "Why didn't I do this sooner?"