There are always some things that you don’t really think about before moving abroad – little things that will complicate life, but are not as obvious culprits in the beginning.
For instance, you expect that the language will be hard to adjust to, and know that you won’t be able to get every product or food that you want. But the one thing that we didn’t think about, was the issue that we were going to have with purchasing things. This has darn near driven me crazy, and as we’re trying to book various services for our wedding, it’s driving me closer and closer to the crazy person edge.
So advice to anyone moving abroad temporarily (this will bore all others – sorry) – keep a credit/debit card with your U.S. address (or DPO, if you don’t have a U.S. address you can use), and have one credit/debit card with a billing address in the country you’re in. Maybe this is just a problem for us since we’re in a very developed country that has a lot of credit card security, but we realized early on that we needed a card with a UK billing address in order to pay for things as simple as refilling our tube cards and paying our gym membership. So, just change your billing address, and no more problems, right? Well then, when you try to buy that one U.S. item that you’re craving online, you realize that certain places will not accept an international address for billing. Problem. This is where the card with a U.S. billing address comes in handy. Regardless though, there will still be the times where your bank will think there’s fraud, for example when you’re trying to order dinner, even though you’ve already told them you’ve moved. It will happen.
I will step off my soapbox now. Happier posts to come, because I’m finally heading back to London on Friday evening. Woohoo!