Moving Overseas is a decision that takes careful consideration, planning and budgeting. However, making the leap and moving abroad could be one of the most rewarding and exciting adventures you could embark on. Whatever reason you have for relocating to a different country, the advantages and disadvantages will be similar for most instances. Whether you are moving to support your career or the opportunity has presented itself since retirement, you will still need to think about the pros and cons of moving away from friends, family, and normality.
Moving Overseas: What is an Expat?
‘Expat’ is a contraction of the word expatriate, which originates from the Latin word ‘expatriatus’. An expat who decides to take up residence in another location from where they were born or brought up. This may be to fulfil personal goals and ambitions or purely for career advancement, as opposed to economic necessity. Generally, expatriates are considered to be residing in their chosen host country only temporarily, with the intention of returning home sometime in the future. However, this is often no longer the case, and in recent years more expatriates have never returned home, enduring a better quality of life overseas.
There are a number of different personal reasons as to why individuals become expats. Some move because they fall in love, others do due to compulsory work commitments while some seek a fresh start and a new way of life. If you have recently retired and are looking for something inspiring and life-changing to do, then becoming an expat could be an appropriate solution. Depending on where you choose to locate to, the weather is likely to be pleasant, the cost of living will be cheaper, and you will be able to enjoy an all-round quieter lifestyle. You may also be able to reside in a community populated by other retirees and expats. This will help to make your transition as smooth as possible and mingle with like-minded people in a similar situation to yourself. If you are still stuck in a predicament of whether to relocate overseas or not, then we have come up with a collection of advantages and disadvantages worth considering.
1. Fresh Start
Moving to a country abroad provides you with an excellent opportunity to make a fresh start in life. If you are mourning the death of someone close to you, been made redundant or have recently ended a long-term relationship, then moving away and starting a new life can be a great source of therapy. Many expats leave behind stressful jobs, considerable financial commitments and strained relationships in search of a simpler life. It also gives you that opportunity to focus on yourself and find out whats important to you without the biased opinions of those around you.
2. New Relationships
Relocating in a completely unfamiliar country demands you to meet new people. This is great for young, enthusiastic individuals who are willing to integrate with the local people. While moving away from friends and family can be a challenge, the prospect of connecting with entirely new characters can be extremely enticing and enriching experience. You will have expanded your social circle tremendously, making lifelong friends from all over the globe who will have helped you to grow and develop along the way.
3. Expand Your Knowledge
By travelling to new places, your knowledge of cultures, histories and languages will vastly expand. Expanding your knowledge won’t just come from visiting the historical memorials, tours and museums, but is gained through conversing with the locals and understanding the cities culture and history from their point of view and memory. You can find out a lot of ancient stories and myths that have been passed down from generation to generation that you won’t find online. Your language skills will also rapidly improve and being bilingual nowadays is a priceless ability to have.
1. Finance Problems
To even consider moving abroad you must be sure you have enough in your savings to afford this enterprise. If you do not have a job guaranteed for when you move, then finding a job overseas can be tricky. It may take a few weeks to secure yourself a new job, so you have to know you have enough money saved up to keep you going until then. We suggest making sure to sort a job out before you leave your home of residence to alleviate your financial worries. Try out different methods of increasing the amount of money you save with apps like Chip.
2. Adjusting to the Culture
Although there is a lot of positive aspects of integrating into a new country and society, the initial shock of the culture difference can be overwhelming and take some time to adjust. Being unfamiliar with the societal norms can make you vulnerable to crime or misunderstandings. Make sure to visit your new country of residence several times prior to moving there permanently and start the process of understanding the different way of life. This will help to ease the transition process and make sure the country you are moving to is safe and suited to your lifestyle.
3. Missing Friends and Family
If you have very few friends or family members, then this may not be an issue for you, but for many of us, moving away to an unfamiliar place can mean being struck by loneliness. There are a lot of communication platforms now, such as FaceTime, Facebook and Skype, that make communicating with companions overseas much more accessible. The longer time you spend apart from close friends and family, the easier it will become; over time you’ll learn how to cope with it. The prospect of being lonely will also prompt you to interact with the new people around you and build new friendships.
These are just a few of the positive and negatives of moving abroad. Only you personally will know how well you will cope with the difficulties of being apart from friends, with balancing your money and with integrating into a new society. For some, this will be a much easier experience than others. If you are considering the move and need somewhere to store any furniture and household objects you need to leave behind, then we provide secure and reliable storage services in London. If you have enjoyed this article then feel free to share it on your social media.