If you are an expat who has decided to return home, then leaving gracefully is the order of the day – and that requires some planning.
So here are some must-do tips – not in any order of importance – to help you break those expat ties:
- Do talk your leaving over with your boss and make sure you exit with good grace – you will need a reference
- Check with your HR person whether any formal process is involved with leaving the country – especially if you work in a Gulf Co-Operation Council country
- Settle any local debts, credit cards and fines or you could be on the airport black-list and banned from leaving when you turn up for your flight
- Tell your mates – whatever you think, most will be sorry to see you go
- Cancel like mad – satellite TV, broadband, phones, gym subscriptions, bank accounts, credit cards
- Sign off for health services
- Sell any stuff you are not taking home – or arrange for shipping
- Check if you company offers a repatriation allowance. The allowance probably will not cover the full cost of moving back home, so look for several quotes before signing a removals or shipping contract
- Think about your pets, if you have them. Do they need vaccinations and a pet passport and how will you ship them?
- If you have hired help and their staying in the country depends on a job to underwrite a residence permit, help them sort out their visa and job issues
- Pack your belongings carefully and make sure the boxes and indexed and labelled so you can find what you want easily when you get home
- Set up a file in the cloud – on a service like Google Drive or Dropbox – which is easily accessible from a computer through a browser. Scan copies of any important documents and receipts to the folder so you can access them in transit if you lose your papers or passport
- Take some pictures of your mates, local places and tourist sites and store them in the cloud as well so you have some memories when you get home. Add your friends to Facebook before you go
- Sort out your finances so you have some money in cash and an accessible account en route to home
Lastly, don’t forget to have a great party before you go – preferably not the night before you fly to avoid hang overs and tiredness the next day. Take some time to say your goodbyes.
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