This blog focuses on the things you need to know about moving to another country, living abroad and making the right choices, so your new home transition can be as seamless as possible.
Firstly, if you are moving to another country with a completely different culture, language, government structure etc. I suggest taking a long term holiday before you make the move. I spent 8 months in Mexico before making the decision to set up camp in Oaxaca City. This amount of time gave me the opportunity to explore other states and make an informed decision.
Everything is pretty different. But thats why we travel, yeah? To experience different corners of the world. But, different at times can be annoying. Like when you need to buy furniture for your new home, but the only place that has anything that you like is in another state. Or, when you go to get your hair coloured, and instead of blonde hair you walk out a brunette. I am still sour about the hair situation. And then, there are the little inconveniences like language barriers, how to go about setting up bank accounts and figuring out the dodgy mail system.
There are plenty of differences, but the adventure is tackling them head on and coming out the other end extremely proud for accomplishing your tasks whilst being a fish out of water.
These are some of the questions to ask yourself before you decide to pack up your live and dive full speed ahead into moving to another country:
Can I live/work here long term?
The location needs to provide everything you may need. Work opportunities, lifestyle, and a variety of activities to keep you occupied and interested. The best jobs for living overseas are the ones you can take with you, so if you can base your work from your laptop, thats perfect. There are so many creative office setups all around the world theses days too, so you will still be able to network and expand your client base in your new location.
What are the housing options for me?
Where can you afford to live and what will you get for your money, are big factors. You might love Paris, but will you love living in a shoe box on which you spend 3/4 of your income? Quality of life is priority and it should not be sacrificed. Try to live within your means so you can let go of money stressors when considering moving to another country.
Will I have everything I need while living abroad?
Hopefully you have spent time in your new location prior to moving there, so you know it provides you with everything that holds your attention like, restaurants, theatres, nightlife, events, art etc. But, you also will need access to hospitals, doctors, schools, dentists and other resources throughout your time abroad, so make sure you are happy with what your new town offers you.
How safe is living abroad?
I live in Mexico, I love it here but I also am very well aware of the deep issues this country faces. I keep myself updated on current concerns and areas to be wary of. But, I also do not live in fear, my town is very community based and I have yet to have a bad experience over here (knock on wood). Common sense prevails in most situations, my suggestion is to do your research and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding to move to another country.
What is the cost of living abroad?
This varies person to person. If you spend a bit of time in your new location before deciding to move, you will be able to do the math. You need to take into account food, rent, bills, transport, entertainment and any other expense that relates to your life.
What Visa do I need to live abroad?
Check out the government website of the country you are planning on moving to for more in depth information on visas and residency applications.
Of course, everyone is different, with different needs and expectations. A lot of people I know would choose not to live here in Mexico and that's okay. I fell in love with Oaxaca City, this is my happy place. Your happy place could be Egypt or the suburb next door to you, who knows? But you will never know if you don't go looking for it. That's even if you want to, but what I can tell you is that living abroad is a huge, amazing, adventure full of crazy obstacles and I will never regret making the move and expanding my view on life.
So many expats also do the whole "snow bird" thing, which means they purchase or rent a home abroad and head there for their countries winter. This is a great idea, and contains less risk than fully moving to another country entails. You get to see family and friends often whilst jetting of to your exotic abode during the colder months. Its a 'have your cake and eat it too' deal.
But not all of us have the luxury of keeping a house in our home country and buying one in another. But, who knows what the future may bring?
Here are some great resources to find work, visas, housing and more information about making the move or just testing the waters: