So you’re considering an expat life…
A new job, wanting to raise your family in a different culture or just searching for a change of scenery; there can be many reasons that those amongst us uproot and head for foreign climes. Whilst the idea may seem appealing here are a few points to consider before making your move.
Visit, experience, then decide
It’s logical, however to many people looking to move, they simply get swept away in the excitement of moving and fail to prepare – not to mention that it isn’t cheap to essentially holiday in a destination prior to moving there. To make sure that a destination is truly right for you, it makes sense to take a shorter trip to your envisioned destination and spend a short amount of time getting to grips with the local way of life. Make sure that you take all aspects of local life into account – there are many cases where people simply move due to one aspect of the area that they love. Ensure that you’re certain before you move.
Learn the language to love your destination
Settling in can be one of the most difficult challenges that you face when taking on your expat life. To combat that and aid the process, it helps to spend a substantial amount of preparation time getting to grips with the new language you’ll be faced with. It will make a huge difference once you arrive if you can at least recognise common words and phrases.
Don’t let yourself get carried away. If you’ve been given the opportunity to move, it can sometimes lead to our imaginations racing ahead. Whilst it’s okay to get excited, don’t base all your future on your wildest ambitions and dreams. Make sure that you’re realistic about life overseas; you can’t expect life to become one big holiday – you can’t live every day of your new life as a tourist.
It sounds simple, but make sure you strenuously research your chosen destinations – it can help you to click and identify with somewhere that you’ll fit in.
Take into account the financial situation associated with your new life abroad, and don’t just select your new home on your love of a country. Research jobs, salaries and employability figures for your chosen nation, and also look into the banking and housing markets. Are there any restrictions you should know about? Make sure that you’re fully informed on these subjects, to stop yourself being in for a nasty shock upon arriving in your new home.
If you’re going ahead and taking the plunge to take on the expat life, you probably know that you’ll need to embrace a huge life change. Keep an open mind in all aspects of your move; don’t expect to keep habits and routines from your UK lifestyle. To truly make the most of your life on foreign soil, simply embrace it.
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