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A Guide to Relocating Abroad: How I prepared for moving abroad to Morocco 

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Moving abroad can be a complex process. I have always wanted to relocate and move abroad as a Diplomat. Never believed it would become a reality. I can still vividly recall those days of intense studying International Politics during my undergraduate years at university. Back then, I held onto the hope that my degree would one day lead me to a diplomatic role on foreign shores.

I applied for many roles and was consistently rejected, believing it wasn’t my destiny. It was when I was close to the end of my Postgraduate Master, where I studied Global Diplomacy at SOAS, that an opportunity finally presented itself. 

Last year, I took a chance and applied for a diplomatic posting, initially for Egypt (it was later decided that the posting would be in Morocco). To my astonishment and immense gratitude, within just a few weeks, I received news that shocked and elated me!

The road to this point has been paved with countless rejections, making the reality all the more surprising when it finally arrived. The sheer joy and disbelief that followed cannot be overstated.

I’ve decided to document my experiences thus far and share the lessons I gathered in this new chapter of my life. 

What is a Diplomat?

A diplomat serves as a representative of the United Kingdom. These dedicated individuals are strategically stationed in London and at diplomatic outposts such as embassies, consulates, and high commissions worldwide.

Arrival and First Impressions

For those of you who keep up with my Instagram updates, you might have noticed my frequent trips to Morocco. My most recent relocation coincided with a sombre event—the tragic earthquake that struck in September.

My initial impression of Casablanca was one of bustling energy and diversity. It’s different from Marakessh, which I visited for the first time in 2015. The atmosphere is more vibrant and is similar to that of Europe. The streets are filled with modern skyscrapers and traditional architecture, creating a unique blend of old and new. The people are also super friendly, which is always a plus. 

Moving Abroad

In my previous international travel experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to live, visit and study in Singapore, which you can read more about here. I want to share some valuable steps that I have taken for my move abroad: 

Research 

Before moving, I delved into thorough research to understand Morocco’s rich culture and way of life. This fueled my excitement and helped me prepare for the adventure ahead. I wanted to understand dress codes as Morocco is a known Muslim country and know where I would purchase my usual foods if there was a Black culture in Casablanca. Here are some food markets and supermarkets I’ve been heavily visiting: 

  • Bab Marrakech 
  • Medina Market
  • Marjane 

This ensured I could adapt quickly to my environment and cook local dishes like stew and my ultimate fave, spag bol! I also learnt about apps like Glovo (like Deliveroo and UberEats). 

Tip: I recommend meeting with your new colleagues before you move abroad so they can give you further depth on how to prepare for your move. 

Finances and Budgeting 

I set up a bank account with Monzo to avoid international charges to transfer the funds needed. This helps so that when I get paid monthly to my standard UK bank account, I can transfer money to my Monzo account every month. 

I also use my Monzo to withdraw money, as cash is highly used in Morocco, especially when using taxis, getting my hair or nails done, etc. If you are moving abroad, consider getting an account that doesn’t charge International fees. You can get a Monzo card here.

Understanding how much I will need each month has been challenging, but overall, I have spent much less than usual. 

Packing and Storage 

Packing for an international move is undoubtedly challenging. Adding to the complexity, I had to make a significant decision regarding my property – whether to sell or rent.

Given the circumstances, I chose to rent out my property while abroad. This decision meant I had to relocate a substantial portion of my belongings into storage. I opted for Yellow Self Storage. If you’re considering moving abroad and using storage, you can receive a 50% discount. Feel free to contact me via email at info@mybreakingviews.com.

To ensure a smooth transition, I started this process well in advance. It involved determining what to bring along, what to sell, and what to donate. To streamline the selling process, I turned to platforms like Vinted for selling clothes and Trift+ for donating and selling clothes. 

Vaccinations and Health 

I visited doctors to ensure I received all the necessary vaccinations for my international stay. These are the vaccinations I received: 

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid

I already had Yellow Fever and was advised not to drink tap water, so I’ve been drinking bottled water since my move. I recommend speaking with a health specialist about what vaccines you may need if you are considering a move abroad. The vaccines you need will depend on the country you are moving to and your home location. You can also check vaccines or medicines on the Find a Clinic page.

Languages 

The primary languages spoken in Morocco are Arabic and French. To gain a decent amount of the local language, I enrolled in an intensive language course at Kings College London, where I was fortunate to benefit from alumni fees.

In addition to formal instruction, I’ve used apps like Duolingo and Google Translator to facilitate communication with locals during my stay. My goal during my time here is to immerse myself as much as possible in the French language, hoping to acquire a proficient level of fluency.

Goodbyes and Farewells

Saying goodbye to friends and loved ones is undoubtedly one of the most emotionally significant aspects of preparing to leave for an extended period. Spending quality time with my family and friends was essential to my move abroad. 

I proactively organised various activities with my friends and family, from delightful brunches to memorable dinners. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Black Food Market – This has been a fantastic way for us to bond over our shared love for one thing – food! It’s an experience we all cherish.
  2. Brunches/Dinners: We’ve explored diverse culinary delights at places like Hotto PottoOrginal FlavasBochachaThe Skinny KitchenProdigy Lounge, and many others. These dining experiences have been delicious, fun and a great way to spend time with loved ones. 
  3. Get-togethers and Game Nights: Hosting get-togethers and game nights has been a great way to connect with my close friends and family. 

Despite my international travels and my flight back to London being just a quick 3-hour journey, I often return for friends’ birthdays and special events. Spending quality time with my loved ones is also now convenient, given my frequent flights for broader international adventures.

I hope that these steps prove helpful to anyone considering a move abroad. If you have any questions or need further advice. Please don’t hesitate to ask; I will do my best to answer.

Would you consider moving abroad? Where?

Love MBV XOXO

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