Anthony DePrato: Returning to the US after 17 Years Abroad
Anthony has been a Director of Technology since 2009. He completed his Principals' Training Center Admin Certification in 2016. He was an expat from 2002-2019 and has worked in Japan, UAE, China, and South Korea.
Transcripts are automatically generated and may not be an 100% accurate transcription.
Nicole (Host): You're listening to the moving roadmap podcast powered by Avvinue.
Nicole (Host): My name's Nicole, and I'll be your host for the show. In this episode, we're excited to introduce our guest, Anthony DePrato, who has been a Director of Technology since 2009, Anthony completed his Principals Training Center Admin certification 2018 has been an expat from 2002 to 2019 and has worked in Japan, UAE, China, and South Korea.
Welcome to the show.
Anthony DePrato: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Nicole (Host): Absolutely. Okay. So, you lived in many countries, worked in many countries. Where are you from and where are you now?
Anthony DePrato: I'm originally from Kentucky and the United States and, we just relocated in August of 2019 back to the United States for a few years. And we are living in Mississippi. And I'm, I've joined a fairly large, private school in Mississippi to be their chief technology officer. Yeah.
Nicole (Host): Amazing. Okay. So, all around the world then came back to the US you said for a few years. So, do you have plans to go back somewhere else?
Anthony DePrato: Well, we think so. my wife and I have, like, if you live overseas for a while, you get to a point where.
You just did some limitations and if you want to be able to. Do certain things like expand, maybe your assets buy property, etcetera. You really need to set a home base where you have permanent residency. Now, some people can achieve this. Like I have a friend who decided he wanted permanent residency in Hong Kong and you know, he's all through the process and he has by now, but it's a big commitment, like whatever you want and spending 10 years ago in Hong Kong to get permanent residency versus moving back to the US or Canada. If you're from North America for like three or four years. So, but it's the same concept. I mean, at some point you definitely need to say, okay, like maybe I can do this another 10 years, 15 years or 20 years, but if I want to retire So, well, and I've got to have a place to go. And unfortunately, Nicole, I think a lot of expats don't understand like residencies and visas very well.
Most countries, I would say the majority of countries have very strict age. limits for how long you can live there. And, all of the issues that you see in the news though, like the US and Canada are actually pretty good places to live when you, you retire. And So, that's kind of the focus. And the other reason is that if you're in certain fields that are.
Let's say quasi educational like mine. So, I'm a chief technology officer, but I also, can teach. I also, help, like with developing innovation spaces, STEM labs, that kind of thing. So, I'm constantly crossing between non-classroom, classrooms, business side and the education side. When you need to get professional certifications for the nonacademic stuff.
It's really difficult if you're not in your resident, home, your country of residency. So, like, for example, for most IT certifications that I would want to get, if I want to do those in English, which I really need to do them in English, I need to be in an English speaking country because you know, I was in Korea and I'm like, Oh, it's really affordable to do this, like AWS certification.
And I looked it up. And they have online stuff, but if you can go to do some courses to prep, it's better, especially if you want to have your company pay for it and you don't want to fail, right. Like you want to succeed. And all the prep courses were in Korean and I'm like, this isn't going to work for me.
Yeah. That's kind of edit. We decided what we needed. And we just had our son. So, like we wanted him to spend like the first few years, like. Closer to his family and his grandparents. We thought that was important. So, we made that, you know, we made that decision and, So, far it seems to be going okay. I have a podcast where I give expat advice and I'm definitely planning on doing one soon.
That's probably like three parts about relocation because it's tough. It's like you gotta have a good plan. And my wife and I, we planned it for almost three years before we did it.
Nicole (Host): Yeah. Awesome. And you just went straight into where I was going to go next. you know, with how long did it take you to move?
What did you do during those three years to prepare for your move abroad?
Anthony DePrato: The first thing we did was we had, I have to look at all the immigration issues because my wife is Canadian and we're moving to the US and, we were planning on having a child. So, we really needed, we had to look at all of that first immigration, birth abroad, what that looks like.
For passports and everything. And, we did all of that first. And then we started looking at, we started asking ourselves. What parts of North America are completely off limits? So, where would we move? That would be a disaster because of cost of living or other reasons. And, everybody has a different answer for that.
That took a long time. I mean, I, I researched jobs, that I, I was planning on taking, I just started researching jobs and the economy in certain areas. And then housing. And, we got into that first because we really needed to target. And then the next step was really the recruitment process. So, I signed up with recruitment agencies and told them what my target date was for moving.
And at that point, you just start going through the recruitment process. And if you're recruiting for admin jobs, that means finding ways to fly back to North America on a regular basis to interview, which is rough and to do interview stacking. So, for example, in one week I did 12 flights and four interviews.
and you're technically still working at your other jobs. So, having those conversations with your current employer.
Nicole (Host): Wow, that's crazy. Okay. You said one week 12 flights?
Anthony DePrato: 12 flights, four job interviews.
Nicole (Host): Oh, my goodness. yeah, that's I can imagine jet lag, just being exhausted and then having to use a burst of energy to explain how great you are and, and throughout your interview just could really drain you, that’s insane.
Anthony DePrato: In-person job interviews in America, even for teachers are relentless they're five to eight hours long. It's not like you're going to a job fair or something for overseas jobs. So, it was, it was exhausting. And then after that, like after we kind of locked in, our initial landing spot. Isn't where we are now. So, my first job back here was actually only in Texas, but it was on a shorter contract and we weren't really sure, like we were like, okay, let's go to Texas.
Let's just rent. And we'll get the market there for housing and see if we like it. And if we don't, we just start looking for a job again. And that's really what happened. I think that's common. I talked to some friends who just relocate and they're like, you know, your first job back. It's very unlikely to be where you stay for more than a year.
Or like a year or two, because you're taking the first job back, but you haven't lived in America for a long time. So, you have like this, like culture shock, people say reverse culture shock, but I don't think there's a reverse, like you leave. Like I was out of the country for 16 and a half years, So, I'm coming back only for holidays and see my family.
So, when I moved back and I have to do everything from like the DMV to the utility company, that's actual culture shock. There's no reverse to it. You're starting over. Right. Everything is new to you. And the worst part is people just expect you to know everything because they're like, Oh, he's American. How come he doesn't know this?
Nicole (Host): Right. Well countries change over time.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah. After we got our target, the next thing we started looking at was like shipping and, all that stuff. Cause you know, shipping can be really expensive, and we started kind of making a budget. So, we actually made, we laid out a spreadsheet and made out of budget, figure out how much money we would need for the first six months and what we were going to buy, what we weren't going to buy.
And we started building all that out so, that we had a good idea of the finances. And, you know, if you start doing that and you start making adjustments and you're like, Hey, we actually really need all this stuff and we don't have enough money, then you can't move. you know, but, you know, luckily, we made a plan, So, it was, it was fine.
And then, yeah, then we got everything packed up and shipped out and then started to make the slow way, you know, back home.
Nicole (Host): Wow. And that's wild that you, you know, spent 16 years abroad and then. Finally decided to return back to the US and navigate, where is the right way place for you and your family?
you know, starting in Texas and then. Moving around. So, it's really, really interesting. Thanks for sharing that. And, and even seeing what the steps you took, prepare, it sounds like a lot of sacrifices with the traveling back and, you know, discussing for, employment, a lot of different things, but.
You can definitely see where planning upfront helps the process be much smoother. So, in your case, you know, you took three years. Other people take many years, some people move within a month or two weeks. And So, you can see kind of the difference between those who plan upfront. Of course, nothing is going to be perfect, but planning upfront helps So, much.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah. I, I, I don't know. I couldn't do that in an emergency of course, but like, I couldn't do the one month, like just show back up in America and hope everything works out. I think that would, that would have been a disaster for us.
Nicole (Host): So, share a little bit about maybe some challenging aspects of coordinating your relocation, that it could be either your return back to the United States or even any of your moves abroad.
Anthony DePrato: So, the hardest part about relocating, if you're based in Asia. And So, I was in Dubai for a long time and I moved from Dubai to Shanghai and I experienced every form of shipping too. So, I have like a budget for my job, for shipping and, in order to fit everything within that budget. I used to like three different shipping methods and that was very, very complicated.
And I would never do that again because I ended up going customs in Shanghai, four times. And that means four, four, eight-hour days. That's what that means. I lived at the customs place for 32 hours basically to get my stuff out. And here's the best part of that story. When I had, when I finally got it finished.
And I had to pay for it. It costs me one us dollar. I spent 32 hours total and I had to pay the government of China. $1 to get all my stuff out. Yeah. So, anyway, after that I stopped doing my own shipping. Basically. That's the story. When you moved from Asia in North America and there's a lot of expense in Asia, this is what happens when you're going from almost any country to Asia.
The schools gave you a really good allowance and the cost of moving is really affordable. But when you're in Asia and you're moving back to North America, or you're moving from Asia to Europe, for some reason, And I don't really know where the cost is. The cost is two to three hundred percent higher to get your stuff back home.
So, if you know that your goal should be to take very few items with you to Asia and not buy anything in Asia that you really want to bring back. I mean, if you do that, you're fine. But no one does that. Like, they bring a lot of stuff with them. I know people that like ship furniture, So, they would have their own furniture in Korea.
Now, these people were coming from Europe. So, not only was it expensive, but like the furniture is not going to fit. Right.
Nicole (Host): Yeah. And imagine even American furniture.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah. So, it's like, they're just stuck with all this and they're going to have to like, get some kind of specialized container and cargo to get it back if they leave.
So, this is the like most frustrating part is like working out your shipping. So, in our case, we just decided. that we were going to use two methods for shipping, and we knew how much it costs like a year out. So, we just started saving her money. And we, we basically decided to get rid of as much of our stuff as possible, because we knew that we needed to be kind of lean for traveling.
But I would say shipping, getting quotes for shipping, dealing with the different companies and making arrangements for how it's delivered and if it's going into storage and if you're going to use. Like sea freight versus air freight versus like luggage forwarding. All of that gets really complicated.
And then there's the problem with electronics, which people don't even think about. If you have any electronics, you basically have to take them with you on the plane or use luggage forwarding because. They electronics like, like a laptop with the lithium battery that you forget about can like break your entire shipping down and it just gets held in customs.
All these things can happen. And I think shipping is one of the most complicated things that people face. And generally what experts do is they'll ask somebody like, who did you use for shipping? So, they're asking someone who already moved. Now, if you ask that person, like the week after they moved, their information is solid, but if you ask them two years after they moved, which is usually what happens, you're like, I don't think that's correct. You know, I don't think that's right.
Nicole (Host): People are quick to forget certain things. So, definitely understand that, you know, you ask someone who just moved yesterday versus. You know, several years ago. Good point.
Anthony DePrato: So, shipping then taxes like knowing if you're a us citizen and you're relocating back taxes are tricky the first year now. Again, if you have an accountant and you're doing research, you can sort this stuff out, but it takes a lot of time. So, my wife would tell you, I spend approximately every tax season I spend about 12 hours reviewing all the tax stuff that's changed before I even. Decide to do it myself, use turbo tax or get an accountant.
There's those three, those are the options all the time based on the rules and what expats back to America like don't understand is that well, first off they don't. Most of them, I don't understand the concept of bona fide residency. They don't understand what their tax status is. They're just literally going off of what somebody told them.
I've found that to be really calm. You shouldn't like, if they're not sure they should get an accountant, it's like four or $500. They're not paying tax anyway. They can spend four or $500 to make sure their stuff's legal. But my point is that when you're moving back, you're in this weird situation where, Half of your income that year is foreign.
And the other half, if you've got a job is going to be domestic and that's tricky and not having a tax plan. When you moved back is something that will smack you in the face in January, February. if you have a tax plan, then what you have to do is before you leave the country, you need to organize all the stuff you need for your taxes, from your employer.
And, I've known people that have left the country, not organized their tax information. Then the HR department where they were working changed or their school like merged, or there was a business change and they literally couldn't get the documents they needed or they didn't know who to ask or what to ask, and it was really complicated, or the documents weren't correct.
Like. You know, if things are coming from China, they're not really going to be accepted by the IRS. They have to have a letter with them, and everything has to be explained. And then you're supposed to actually keep a spreadsheet that tracks your, you know, your money in us dollars because the exchange rate fluctuates.
So, if you get paid 12 times a year and you're in China for three years, you should have a spreadsheet with 36 entries that shows this is your room and be of value. And this is your us dollar value for every month based on the conversion. Right. And people don't do that. And then they get back and they're like, Dude. I have no idea what to do here. I'm just going to make up a number and that's a mistake.
Nicole (Host): Wow. It sounds like you've learned a lot. You prepared a lot.
Anthony DePrato: I think I learned a lot from being kind of being the person like when you work in IT, people they come to you with IT problems. But then after a while, if you're the kind of person who listens to people, they come to you with their other problems.
And they're like, Oh, Tony works in IT. Maybe he knows it was about shipping because there's like a website with a form. It's like, he works in IT. Maybe he knows about taxes because there's a website with a form. So, they come in and they tell you like problems and you start asking them questions like. Oh, well, how did this happen? Have you ever done this? Did you do this? Do you know about this? So, I just started like kind of making a note of all the problems we're having. And then at every school I worked at, I volunteered to be on the like new hire committee for helping people assimilate when they move. And one of the reasons I do that is because I'm their first contact point.
Cause I give them their email address and get them into whatever online platforms we have. And I'm like, I can take that a step further and I can give them information about, the country and the city. And we can like existing people. Through that process too. Well, the new people coming in and tell you, they ask you questions, like how do you do this, and how you do that?
So, I just started kind of making notes of what were the most common. Things people had problems with. And then I started building little FAQ for wherever I live to send out to people like, if you're in Shanghai and you need to do this, and that way we would have it already. Yeah. That's kind of how I think that really prepared, you know, in my family, it was really through the experiences of other people.
Nicole (Host): Yeah, absolutely. And, and it's interesting too, because even with corporate relocation packages, some people may relocate for our company, but maybe not all the support is there, on the nitty gritty details, especially because it's relating back to your home country and they're more focused where you are or where the company is. So, sometimes getting that insight from others is really valuable.
Anthony DePrato: Here's the one that's kind of a recent change in the last few years. And, this is one of these things that we were talking to some of our friends, So, we moved to Houston. My wife's like really good at making friends immediately. I don't know how she does it.
I just come home and she's like, Oh yeah, I met so, and so, so, anyway, it's a, the couple was kind of like us. They're like Dutch and American and they'd moved back to the US and the. The husband he worked for, he didn't work in like an, a school, like, like I did, he was like you said, it was like corporate relocation package.
And they gave them like twelve or thirteen thousand, something huge, like maybe twelve to fifteen grand. It was a big range for moving and they could use it for. Hotels shipping, whatever they wanted. Right. They just had to like keep the receipts. So, they used all of the money and they got reimbursed. And then at the end of their first year, they got this massive tax bill because that fifteen grand was taxed as income based on the new IRS rules.
And they told us that, and then my school that I was going to. You know, they had a pretty, healthy relocation plan. But after we learned about this tax thing, I looked it up and I'm like, Oh, it was in a sense. Like, it's really not that, that new, it's not, it's not that new, but it's also, not that old. Like I hadn't heard of it.
And I looked into it and I was like, yeah. So, we need to actually spend the, you know, the least amount we can for moving because it's gonna, the tax is going to come out. My first, in this case, my work is taking the tax out on my behalf. So, I don't have to wait until the end of the year and they're going to take it out the first paycheck.
So, like my first paycheck is going to be impacted by, by this, even though you get your reimbursement, it's still, well, it's like a cashflow issue. And, So, those things are weird. I mean, if you were moving back and you had this great job in America, and they gave you like ten grand to move back and you spend ten versus seven and you only really need to spend seven.
You're going to get the seven back, but you're also, going to get a tax penalty. But if you, So, all of these things like you don't look into, and then they just kind of smack you in the face. And there's been quite a few times where my wife and I are like, why are we doing this? Why just stay in Asia?
Wouldn't that have been remind ourselves like of our goals? Like.
Nicole (Host): Yeah. And like you said, you know, you're finding a place for retirement and preparing for that and you have a son. So, that's really the motivation behind moving back to the US there's always opportunities if you want it in the future to move abroad.
Of course. sometimes even when you move abroad, you start thinking, was this the right decision? some of these things that creep up on us and maybe more. Expensive than expected. So, it goes both ways. So, tell me on average, because I know you really budgeted a lot of different things for your relocation and it sounds like a lot of it was through corporate relocation or was that more personally relocating?
Anthony DePrato: So, I just want to separate this out. First is cash on hand, meaning money that you need to spend. That's not a credit card when you relocate versus. Like resources that you need to finance or pay for shipping. Okay. I just want to separate those things out. So, I would say you need twenty-five hundred to three- thousand dollars cash per adults.
If you are a just for moving from one country to another country, it doesn't matter what country I found that that amount of money. Based on the fact that you normally get your housing covered and your initial expenses are kind of like subsidized a bit. I think that that amount of money gets you where you need to be and get, lets you buy everything that you need pay for additional fees you weren't expecting.
And also, for moving from one country to the next, if it's not back to like North America where you like buying a house and stuff. So, let's say that you're in the UAE and you're moving to Japan. Japan's really expensive, more expensive than UAE. twenty-five hundred to three- thousand dollars is getting, get you everything that you need in a place like Japan, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, it's going to help you get settled.
It's going to help you participate in any social activities, which are really important initially. And, all of that stuff is important to you, right? And you will feel comfortable and you can open bank accounts and you probably won't even spend all that money. You also, would have enough money at that point.
If you needed to put a deposit down, if you're required to put a deposit down for stuff which happens like utilities or whatnot, sometimes when you relocate the school or a company give you two options, like option one for housing is you live in. Company provided housing. I've seen corporations do this and schools both, or you can get your own housing.
I try to tell people to opt in for company sponsored housing the first year. Because if you get your own housing, you're going to need to roll in with a pretty big deposit. And those deposits in a lot of countries can be two to four months’ worth of rent. Yeah. Some, some places covered deposits, some don't.
So, I would just say like, as a general rule, twenty-five hundred to three- thousand dollars and if you have a child, I would say count that child is like an adult and also, like two thousand to twenty-five hundred dollars for that child. That's like liquid cash, no credit cards. If you can do it. because you don't want to build up debt and have to pay money back to your bank and stuff while you're traveling.
That is very annoying. and then for shipping, I mean, if you're gonna move with all of your stuff, I think one general rule people need to look at is the value of their things. I do a lot of risk managers, rule number one for risk management is not to spend more money than the thing is worth. Like, like you don't want to spend, you know, eighty-thousand dollars a year on a security system, if you're protecting twenty-thousand dollars’ worth of stuff.
So, you have to look at it like that. I think, a good amount for somebody to have to move personal life items since then. And to take everything with them on the plane, they're using luggage forwarding. So, it's with them all the time. Would be fifteen-hundred dollars to two-thousand dollars would get you quite a bit of luggage and luggage forwarding.
And that would be, yeah. All of your important documents, papers, laptops, iPads, all of your electronics that you want to keep. Yeah, I think that would do it. You could do it less than that, but you know, airlines from country to country really change things. And one thing that we found is that let's say that I budgeted like fifteen hundred for shipping.
What I'm going to try to do is actually just use that money to get a business class ticket So, that I can just take extra bag. Depending on where I'm going, maybe even a first-class ticket So, I can take even more bags. You don't have to look at it as just paying for bags So, you can look at it as just having a better flight.
And if your company is giving you money, like let's say, they're like, okay, we're going to buy you an economy, class flight. If you ask them, if you can reimburse that up to a certain amount, they're like, yeah. Yeah. Usually I've never had anybody say no to them like that. You can reimburse up to twelve hundred say, okay, great.
Buy a ticket for three grand. They're going to give you twelve back. You're paying the rest, but you're getting all of your stuff. It's all coming with you. You know, that's, that's another way that I've done it, but if you're moving furniture and stuff like that, I don't know, man. I would say like, if you're gonna send it slow somewhere between three to five thousand dollars, if you want to move your stuff like, and that's a pretty, I'd say that's like a 900 to 1200 square feet of apartment.
And that would get it. That would get it done. So, and that's customs fees, packing. you usually want professional packing. You normally need somebody to do the custom sheet for you. Don't be like me and think you can do that paperwork. Can't do it like you think you can. You're like, Oh, I have this many of that.
And so, you don't know what you're doing. And you just need somebody to do it for you. I don't know if it's made it complicated on purpose. I don't know why, but I feel like I'm fairly intelligent and every time I've filled out these papers it's been wrong, so.
Nicole (Host): I completely understand what you're talking about. I actually used to do a lot of shipping of hospital equipment, country to country, and every time going through the paperwork was. Daunting. So, definitely get professionals who are able to do that and kind of commenting on what you mentioned about don't ship something, unless it's worth the value of the item.
But then there are cases where let's say you have something of sentimental value and. Depending on, of course, how attached you are to that item. It may obviously make more sense. Then.
Anthony DePrato: I have a friend who does not really have, like, she has a family, but she doesn't really have a home back in North America, even though she's a resident of the state.
And she doesn't have any place to put her stuff. So, she changes jobs. She has to take all of her stuff with her. She could put it in storage in her home state, but she doesn't feel like it's safe. So, the, there are people like that, and they do have, have to factor their shipping in because that's everything that they own.
And I don't blame them for it, like you're right. But you didn't ask me about the most difficult thing to transport and that. That would be your pets. Oh my God. Pets. I look I'm just as guilty as anybody else. I wanted to move a cat from Shanghai to, South Korea and the flight was an hour and a half, and we spent like $850 on the paperwork, the microchip and, the transportation. And we spent So, much time because cause we had to go to all these different agencies in Shanghai to get all the stamps. We even had an agency do all the paperwork for us, but we still had to go in person to these two airline offices. And I know that people who spend a fortune and taking their animals from country to country, we wanted to get this cat out of Shanghai because Shanghai is not a good life for a cat, but, once the cat was in Korea, we decided to leave the cat there.
Cause the cat does not want to travel at home. And she had a really good, like quiet place to live there. So, that was fine. But I know people that spend a fortune with their pets, but I've also, ran into people who took their pet from. Country a to country B. And then when they try to leave country B to go back home, their home country would not let them bring the animal.
Nicole (Host): Oh, wow. Okay.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah, because the country, they were living in at some level of disease or something and, or they didn't meet certain standards for vaccination or for microchipping. So, they literally would, they spend all this money to move their animal, but then couldn't take it back home to their home residency.
Nicole (Host): Oh, wow. Very interesting. So, anyone, yeah. Anyone who is listening and is preparing their pet. Okay. Do the research.
Anthony DePrato: Look, if you care about your pet. And if you care about your pet, don't show up at the airport with your pet. I, there are agencies that do pet transport, and there's all kinds of things that people don't know.
Like. In America or Canada, if you're flying and you have a pet, the airline will not put your animal at risk. Okay. They will take care of your animal in China. There are certain flights where the cargo area does not have oxygen. They won’t necessarily explain things to you and you could sign something and your pet could go in and in a cargo area that doesn't have fresh air or it's not oxygenated.
So, if the flight last too long, your pet can suffocate. I mean, that's real. And they won't tell you or they can't explain it. So, they just don’t, and you don't, you know, like. This goes back to value. If you love your animals, I would say, find a professional service to at least explain the process to you.
So, at least if you get a quote, normally they explain all the steps and then you can look at all the steps and decide if you want to do them on your own. If you're really busy and you're working like full time, it's hard to get around to all those government offices to get all the paperwork you need.
Nicole (Host): Yeah, absolutely great point. Definitely hire professionals when it comes to transporting your pet, if it makes sense. Obviously, there's So, many different things involved, and it adds onto your already relocating you and your family longings. And obviously moving your pet is just adding another complicated layer to it, but definitely get all the information needed to figure out if it's the right decision for you.
Nicole (Host): Awesome. And also. All the things that you've shared cash on hand shipping, this is all related to more corporate relocation. Of course, if you're moving on your own and you're financing things on your own for your move abroad, things might be a little different, especially when it comes to housing.
And what you need to prepare for deposit for housing. And every country is So, different, what is needed in order to even secure a temporary or permanent housing. So, definitely look into that.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah. And there are rules. Like a lot of countries won't let you know somewhat. I've heard people say like, I'm just going to stay in an Airbnb for like three months.
It's like, you can't do that. There's a maximum number of days in those countries. You can like, you know, home share. It's not ninety days and it's, it's a lot, you know, it's a lot less than you think. And So, research is really, really important. you know, the first time I went overseas, I didn't have a lot of like corporate support.
It was, it was mostly on me and I did, you know, as much research. As I could. But it was rough and, it was early days, like, well, before the internet was how it is now. And, you, you know, you can, you can get stuck and you can feel really trapped if you're not. If you're not planned. Well, if you're by yourself, it's okay.
But if you have a family, like take those extra steps, like don't move your family somewhere. And then at the airport realize you can't take your dog.
Nicole (Host): Yeah. That's the perfect scenario you've been giving. So, now looking back and you've moved lives in different countries, worked in different countries.
What would you have done differently in planning your move?
Anthony DePrato: I think honestly, I would have, if we go back to the very beginning, 2002, I would have literally just taken. One bag with me and not brought anything else. I literally, would have just gone as local as possible after I arrived. And I was moving to Japan.
That's where I went first. And it was rough man. Like there's no English. Like I learn, I like study to learn Japanese. I could do stuff. And, that was great for me. But. It was tough, but having stuff, you know, turned out to be a problem, it would have been better if I was like leaner and faster and able to move.
And So, I would say like, start looking at your possessions as things it's like, I really need this. Or I, this is sentimental. I need it. Like if I'm having a bad day, I really need this with me. And if it's not one of those categories, don't move it. Like just sell it, liquidate, get rid of it. And, you know, if you need help, I always recommend the Marie Kondo stuff to people.
It does work like I've seen it change. It's a motive, man. It is, but it's just like asking those questions, like, does this stuff make you happy because you're moving it around with you. If it doesn't make you happy, don't, you know, don't move it. So, that would be number one, like pair down, like if you're an expat and you're taking any kind of job.
Your goal should really be when you're not working to be traveling and experiencing the world. Like if you're not doing that, like what's the point, right? When you can't really travel and experience stuff, if you're always carrying like hundreds of pounds of stuff around with you. So, I would say pan it down and just being leaner is something I would have done a long time ago and it would make life a lot better.
And then. The other thing is, give yourself a little bit more peace of mind. Like moving is really stressful and it's much better. If you can arrange, like make a plan, arrange things, have companies and services who do what they do support you like use a moving company, find a way to use a moving company or shipping company.
Let them get your stuff well, before you need to leave, like. Get down to what you need for that last, like three weeks in your country, get rid of all your stuff. And then that last three weeks, you know what you're doing? You're like saying goodbye to people. You're having a good time. You're relaxed.
You're starting your move with like positive energy. So, you don't want to go from like one country into the next carrying emotional baggage and anger. And I've seen that people show up, they're mad at the shipping company. They can't get their, whatever their furniture stuck in customs. Their new job is like, Dude, we can't help you.
Like we told you not to bring X and you brought X, Y you know, we can't really do much about it. we need you at work. I I've seen all of these scenarios play out. I would say that. Re leaving your stress as much as possible that last month before you have to leave is really, really important.
Nicole (Host): I love that. Great advice for sure, because you know, people who are, let's say they're downsizing and they're getting rid of things, but haven't really thought about those last few weeks in their home country. It's really good to end with a positive energy.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah. And the last few weeks are important. I mean, you want to. You know, it's hard to maintain relationships when you travel. And if you want to do that, you need to have a positive in point where it's not an end. It's like, Hey, you know, like we got to hang out, we got to do this. I'll see you later. If you're So, busy packing and you can't say goodbye to people, it leaves like a void, you know?
And you don't want that. Like it's just regret, and you can't ever get that time back. And time is much more important than stuff, so.
Nicole (Host): Absolutely, beautiful advice. All right. So, just to wrap up, I'm going to ask the random question. Where is the best city you visited?
Anthony DePrato: My framework, just big city to, to you know to like to hang out in and relax in it and shop and everything is definitely Bangkok. My wife totally agrees. we always find like amazing stuff to do in Bangkok. Just enjoy it. And, we've gone every time of the year. We've been gone monsoon season and we liked it.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah, I love like we love Thailand, but Bangk’s great. Cause it has like kind of everything. It has every experience that you could once when you walk outside, but not the level of chaos and calamity that you find in other cities.
And then, you know, I'm very partial to. Japan. It's kind of where, like, in a lot of ways, it's like where my heart is. Cause it's where I started. And I've been to places like little small towns and cities in Japan that are my absolute favorite places to go whenever I can. And most people would never go there, and it would be difficult to recommend, but you know, if you can get to Japan, there's a town up in the mountains called Matsumoto.
It's great. It's an, it's a great place to stay for three or four days. It's right. It's an easy train ride from Tokyo and it's beautiful and quiet and there's enough touristy stuff. That's why I'm recommending it. I can recommend lots of places, but if you want to just have a relaxing time and be able to find anything that you want to do, Bangkok one of those places.
Yeah. You won't have to, you know, you don't, you're not really worried about crime or. Crazy pollution or just all the other stuff that you see out there. I mean, I lived in Dubai for a long time, for short vacations. Like if you want to go somewhere, that's like no place you've ever been. Get off a plane, have a great time for like three days and leave Dubai is great for that. It's got everything, like you leave the airport and you're at your hotel and like 30, 40 minutes. And then teachers are everywhere and there's something to do every single day. So, it's great. But most people, you know, they feel like it's kind of artificial. I wouldn't say it's going to like to give you any kind of cultural nourishment, sort of speak.
I don't know. There's a lot, there's a lot of great places. My wife loves, like she loves Europe a lot. I mean, you're in, France, I would say. I like Prague a lot, probably because it's like, not as expensive as most of Europe, but there a lot, there was this point where every time my wife was like, where do you want to go on vacation?
I would say Japan or Germany just use because it was just like vacation time. I wanted to go somewhere. That was that I could get around easy. The trains were on time and I didn't have to worry So, much.
Nicole (Host): Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for sharing those cities. I'm sure. People listening. If they've been to any of those studies, they're probably like, yep. That's a good choice. So, where can our listeners find you on social?
Anthony DePrato: I know it's boring, but I'm on LinkedIn @tdeprato. You can find me there. I post there all the time. Cause most of the stuff I post is for like related to my work. I have, a website called www.tdk12.net and that’s the links to all my social media and podcasts together.
Nicole (Host): Okay, awesome. Thanks for sharing that. and also, just thank you for sharing your, your journey with us. the challenges you've had, the tips and advice for those who are planning their move abroad. And it's just always exciting just to hear a new journey on our podcast. So, thanks so much for sharing with us.
Anthony DePrato: Yeah. Thanks for interviewing me.