Most of us have, at some point, considered what we would do if we could start a new life in a different country. Three months ago, I left Kenya, sold and gave away everything I owned, and moved to Nigeria.

Lagos, Nigeria 📸: Namnso Ukpanah

My last days in Kenya were hectic what with trying to find people to buy my household things, preparing to travel in the middle of a pandemic with covid tests to be taken and an immeasurable amount of government and airline forms to fill, and of course, trying to spend as much time with my family as possible. 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

– Maya Angelou

Things You Need To Do

Looking back, there are a few things I wish I knew or did, and today, I’m happy to share them with you!

  1. Give Notice to Your Landlord Early

Almost four months since I moved, I am yet to get my rent deposit back. Nairobi landlords are just scammers, to be honest. When you’re moving in, they give you all the rosy assurance that should you need to move out, your deposit will be sent back without hassle. Lies! ALL LIES!

Before you move, make sure to read all the terms and conditions for deposit refunds, because that’s where the secrets lie. If you’re looking to get your deposit back, make sure you follow all the stipulated conditions for that to happen. Some lease agreements will say you have to give one month’s notice in order to qualify for a refund. Another clause could be that before you move out the caretaker has to have a look around while you’re there to establish what condition you’re leaving the house in. Lease agreements are different, just make sure yours is set up in a way that doesn’t give you the short end of the stick when you when you decide to move out.

2. If you’re planning to sell some of your stuff, social media is your friend.

For me, using an influencer with great traffic on Instagram worked like a charm. All of the stuff I wanted to sell was purchased in a day. Thanks to the covid-19 pandemic, most influencers on Instagram now have ‘Market Days’ of ‘Classifieds’ where you can post your business or services for a fee. There will always be people looking to buy stuff online. Use that to your advantage.

One very important thing to keep in mind, is that you should prioritize your safety. People looking to buy might ask if they can come and have a look at the items. Have your caretaker, apartment security guy or someone else you trust with you as they come to have a look at the stuff. Don’t just let anyone into your house. The world is a crazy place with crazy people. Stay safe.

3. Understand the Covid-19 requirements of the country you’re moving to

Unfortunately, this is now something that is a MUST DO before you travel to any new country. Travel is no longer as easy as it used to be. There are so many nuances — 72-96 hours test validity, fill this form and that, you must pay x amount for a covid test x days after you get into the country…it’s a lot. Moving to a new country is already expensive as it is, you don’t want to spend any more money just because you didn’t know the requirements. All countries, as well as airlines, now have a website where they list all the requirements for inbound travelers. Be sure to find your destination’s website. Make inquiries if you’re uncertain. Call offices to confirm things if you must.

That’s it for today! Do you have any suggestions or advice that worked for you before you moved to a new country? Help someone out by putting it in the comment section below!

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