Transitioning to Another Country? What Will You Do With Your Stuff?
When you have made the decision to go travelling, it is a good idea to consider all possibilities and think ahead to the kind of circumstances which may surround your trip. Many people may not know how long they are going to be away and may even be hoping for the opportunity to start somewhere new long term.
When travelling overseas, it can be a difficult job to decide what to take and what to leave behind. If you are going to be travelling for a long period of time it can be especially hard. For example, if you are planning to travel around Australia for some time or are hoping to eventually settle, you will need clothes for all seasons. Certain states can get fairly cold in the winter, such as Victoria where Melbourne is located. If you arrive there in winter you will want jeans and jumpers, maybe a coat and boots. Even though Australia has a warmer climate, it is a very large country so the temperature between states can vary considerably. Temperatures in Melbourne can drop below freezing in winter, but can be above 40c in summer. So you may be worrying about what to bring and having too much to carry around.
There are many different ways to go about your travelling experience. You could gain a lot and even get your career going. It can be profitable to work in another country for some time. Certain countries will give the opportunity to work on a visa. In some countries you will need to pay little or no tax which can mean you end up with a much better wage. There are certain countries which may have more demand for certain skills as well. This could also serve as an opportunity to gain valuable experience if your skills are in demand overseas, especially if there are no opportunities in your home country. If you are thinking of working overseas but are not sure for how long, you will certainly have a dilemma with regards to what to ship over and what to buy.
You may prefer to live out of a suitcase and stay in hostels, rather than rent an apartment or house when you are travelling. You may want to stay in one city for several months to earn more money. But renting when you do not know many people in a foreign country may not be the best plan for everyone. You may prefer to stay in hostels where there will be others in similar situations to yourself and where there will be a better opportunity to meet people. But you may have concerns about the safety of your belongings in this sort of environment, where people come and go. You may have certain equipment which you really want or need with you. You may have heavy and expensive lenses for example for your camera or your laptop. Another dilemma is if you want to bring larger items such as camping equipment. You may want to base yourself in one place and possibly work and then go off into the wilderness as often as possible. You will not have the room to be carrying around camping equipment.
Consider self-storage as a solution to all of these dilemmas. You could rent a locker for your expensive equipment or larger equipment. You could keep out of season clothes in a locker and swap as needed. You may have items such as mementos or gifts which you have collected. You will not want to be carrying these around. Some self storage facilities will take delivery of items or post for you, meaning you can send extra items for storage even if you are not in the area. You could even offer to share with a fellow traveller to keep costs down. Self storage will be a safe environment for your belongings. With many self store companies you can often access your things at any time. If you have decided to relocate permanently, self storage can be a good option when you are looking for the right accommodation, or if your space is just a little too small.
You may also want to leave things in storage back home. If you have given up your rental property but want to keep your furniture, you can set up self storage for while you are away. If you are a student you may wish to travel over the summer before a new term starts. This is when a storage unit for your things will come in useful.
Matt writes for ABC SelfStore in London.