I mentioned recently that Agi and I were leaving Bangkok and moving to Poland. Working remotely is great because we don’t need to worry about our income but it’s not all easy. Here are a few thoughts about what to consider when moving country.
Unless you are the kind of remote worker who travels constantly you will need to find somewhere more permanent. Of course, you could opt to stay in hostels or Airbnb places but you’re going to get a much better place at a lower price if you can find somewhere to rent for a while.
This is one of the big differences between Thailand and Poland so far. When we arrived in Bangkok and wanted to find somewhere to live we called a few agents. The next day we saw 5 apartments. We liked one and the deposit was paid, contract signed and keys handed over within a week. This is a symptom of the fact that Bangkok is a buyer’s market. There are more apartments than people to rent them. As a result, a lot of apartments are sitting empty, meaning you can move in quicker and also negotiate a discounted rent.
Poznan on the other hand is a seller’s market. When we arrived we found a decent number of apartments advertised for rent. Not as many as Bangkok but still a pretty good selection. We arranged viewings and found one we liked very quickly. However, there are not lots of apartments sitting empty waiting for you to saunter up and take your pick. Also the landlord would not budge on the price.
The apartment we chose was still occupied and would come available a month later. It’s not that unusual but, if you have just moved to a new country, then you will need to pay for a hotel or something. If you work for a large company then they usually pay for your accommodation during this period. As a remote worker, and especially a freelancer, no one is going to cover this cost for you. This wasn’t a huge problem for us because we were able to stay with Agi’s parents until the moving date.
Take a look at where you want to move before you do so and find out about the rental market there. Are there a lot of apartments available? How long will you have to wait? Where can you stay in the meantime?
I talked in my Brexit post about the best ways to access your money when you are travelling. I would like to add a point about opening bank accounts. I have experience opening, or attempting to open, bank accounts in Thailand and Poland.
Thailand was extremely confusing because the information available online was… what’s the word for it? Wrong. The staff in the bank itself had no idea what was and wasn’t possible. I was told foreigners cannot open bank accounts, I was told you need this piece of paper, that piece of paper. In the end it was really easy. I took my passport to the bank and they opened the account. They didn’t think they could… there was confusion and hand waving… they had to check with a manager… but it turned out they could!
Poland is actually a lot easier but you need to have a Polish ID number. Everyone has to register their residence in Poland. Foreigners automatically get an ID when you register. I am going through the process of this at the moment and I will get my number eventually but I can’t get a bank account until I do.
Again, do some research before you move and find out what the requirements are. There may be things you can do up front to make the process smoother.