How to quit your job and move to Australia, in 52 easy steps

It took only three weeks from the moment I decided to leave to the time I ended up sitting in a cafe in Sydney writing this blog post. The question on everyone’s mind – how did I do it? And why so fast?

In the past two years, I’ve learned a thing or two about project management. That helped. When I created the plan, I was dumbfounded to realize that, by completing just 3 or 4 tasks a day (in no particular order), I could make this crazy idea a reality in just two weeks. And as part of my “life’s too short” mentality, I decided to go for it. Of course, being the practical person that I am, I gave myself three weeks. Just in case.

For those of you curious about what a person needs to do to pack up her life and leave the country, here’s the action plan I created to make it happen.

  1. Apply for a visa.
  2. Freak out.
  3. Make a to-do list.
  4. Calm down.
  5. Make sure your passport won’t expire while you’re away.
  6. Book flight.
  7. Book first night’s accommodation.
  8. Register intent to travel abroad with Service Canada.
  9. Pack suitcase.
  10. Ask someone to drive you to the airport.
  11. Fly out.
  12. Write your resignation letter.
  13. Resign from your job.
  14. Notify coworkers and colleagues of your resignation.
  15. Gather all key contacts to take with you.
  16. Prepare a portfolio of your work accomplishments.
  17. Put your car up for sale.
  18. Clean car.
  19. Cancel car insurance.
  20. Take winter tires out of storage.
  21. Ask family member to store car if you can’t sell it.
  22. Gather all vehicle keys and maintenance records and leave with family member.
  23. Get an international driving permit
  24. Put your condo up for rent.
  25. Make any repairs/maintenance needed to rent condo.
  26. Change condo insurance to match new circumstances.
  27. Ask a friend to act as your property manager while you’re away.
  28. Prepare rental agreement, power of attorney, banking info, and copy of bylaws for property manager.
  29. Cancel buzzer code.
  30. Have Canada Post forward your mail to a family member.
  31. Cancel phone and internet.
  32. Notify condo board of move out.
  33. Book movers.
  34. Book elevator for moveout.
  35. Clean apartment for moveout.
  36. Sell whatever is worth selling.
  37. Throw out whatever you’re too embarrassed to sell or donate.
  38. Donate possessions you can’t sell.
  39. Pack whatever is leftover.
  40. Meet with your financial advisor.
  41. Automate all bill payments.
  42. Notify bank and credit card companies that you’ll be travelling internationally.
  43. Set up an international bank account.
  44. Figure out how you’re going to pay your property and income taxes.
  45. Let your family and friends know.
  46. Go for drinks and say your goodbyes to as many people as possible.
  47. Get emergency travel medical insurance.
  48. Get individual non-group medical coverage for prescriptions.
  49. Notify Alberta Health Services.
  50. Order contacts.
  51. Cancel fitness memberships and get a refund if you can.
  52. Make sure you have all necessary vaccinations.
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