Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Relocation Karma

I think I could put together a viable business helping people relocate to Mozambique, in particular Maputo. It's amazing to me how little resources there are on the internet regarding expat life here, and how even the professional relocation companies seem to have Moz a bit under their radar.

However, though I am completely convinced this would be a feasible business, there is part of me that is happy simply helping people and would never want to profit off these connections. I believe in karma, I believe in meetings that are meant to be, I believe that helping fellow travelers/expats without expecting anything in return only paves my own path that much smoother for future relocations and adventures.

I have met so many people through my blog since moving to Maputo last year. Some people have come and gone quite quickly; others have stayed more permanently. Regardless of actual time together in Maputo, I can say that some of my best friends today are people I've randomly met through my blog.

Jenny, Lies, Lacithecat, Marcos and Kelly, fiery little A. and her husband...

I am currently in touch with about 5 people planning to move to Maputo in the next few months. I am excited to meet them, genuine in my willingness to help them nagivate housing or finding roommates, happy to forward along CVs to my professional network. I look forward to taking these new residents out for a beer or a coffee, to sharing our stories and, perhaps, forging friendships during our shared time here.

9 comments:

brendan said...

Definitely look forward to meeting up when I get there or when you get back from Brasil, your blog has been a good insite into things there in Maputo...either way beer and bbq will be on and ready once I move in to the house

stefanie said...

Ali! I just got home and found your wedding invite. Yeh! Smile ...

And I think that is an excellent idea - but you really should recoup basic expenses. Otherwise you will run yourself ragged and end up not enjoying it. Plus, it always looks more professional to have a real business - even if the charges are reasonable - in my book.

Looking forward to Rio ...

Linda said...

Since I live in France, I get many requests for information about living here. So many that I ran out of energy helping. There is hardly a woman living who doesn't want to live in Paris and many want to know how to meet French men. I don't think there would be anything wrong with starting a little business and getting paid to help people relocate there. I have made some good friends through my blog.

Ali la Loca said...

~Brendan - Time is flying! You are almost here. Can't wait for the churrasco and cervejinha gelada. :)

~Stefanie - Yay! The invite arrived. Half are going out from the US, half from Moz...yours was in the first batch, so no delays. Hopefully the rest arrive at their destinations.

I think it would be reasonable to charge a basic fee for services that take up my time and energy. But for many people, I just email a document I prepared some time ago with info about cost of living, housing, etc. and that's that! Definitely something to consider, though...

~Linda - I am glad that I live in a place that's not at the top of the list of desired locations to live! I can only imagine the number of requests for relocation info you must receive.

As for me, I certainly don't put myself out helping people with the process. Many times, I've actually told people that I'm unable to help, becuase I am aware that I have limits and that one can easily become burned out and tired of this kind of assistance, especially with no remuneration.

bart said...

go for it sunshine... you've got a good nose for opportunities and a kind heart as well, which would make the job a lot easier i suspect...

keep well ;-)

Turner said...

I was thinking about the same thing over here... not too much call for it, however.

Ali la Loca said...

~Bart - I would definitely go for it if I *wanted* to turn this into a business...but I don't think I do. I realize it would likely be a successful venture, that there is demand for this service, but I like the idea of helping people and making friends in the process (not that charging for information would mean no friendships in the process, but you know...it changes the dynamic).

~Turner - The nice thing about helping prospective relocaters on a selective basis is that you can totally do it on your own terms. I'm surprised you don't get more people asking you for information on moving to your corner of the world.

jessiejols said...

Hey, I have been reading your posts about your life in Moz. My boyfriend which is south african but was born in Moz is planning to open up a small catering business there sometime this month (hopefully**).. I will land in Moz in September and we'll see how it goes from there. If I can extend my visa for longer then I'm keen on that hey!

Anyway, I just found out that I can get the visa at the airport upon my arrival (this is very good for me, since I am holding a Filipino passport). I am currently learning portuguese (thanks to my mozambiqan born boyfriend) and was just wondering if it's kind of easy to get a job there?

I have been reading your posts and you seem to be having the laid-back kind of living and oh how I so envy you. And those kitties!! I am a sucker for cats! ;)

Anyway, I stayed in Johannesburg for 2 months late last year but due to some circumstances unfortunately they weren't able to help me extend my visa at the home'affaires.. so I had to go back to Qatar (which is my current residence at the moment because of work).

Oops, I just can't stop typing! Anyways, I hope you can help me with my queries.. and for that business helping people move, go for it! We need more information on living in Moz!

Jess

Ali la Loca said...

~Jessiejols - Hey, it's nice to meet you. Thanks for commenting, and best of luck with your potential move to Mozambique. I'd love to know what catering business your boyfriend is going to start if you don't mind sharing that info.

Yes, you can definitely get your border visa at the airport, good for a 30-day stay. After that you can cross the border to South Africa or Swazi and re-enter on another 30-day visa. I'm sure in theory there is a limit to the number of times one is allowed to do this, however it's quite common and nobody I know has ever been denied a tourist visa at the border.

As for job hunting, it really depends on what area you are wanting to work in. Fluency in Portuguese and English certainly makes it much, much easier!

Best of luck, keep in touch!