More Britons than ever before are considering starting a new life abroad. But what are the key considerations people should make before taking their first steps to becoming an expat? There are many and leaving your home country to set yourself up in a foreign land is truly a huge life change.
Britain is a tough place to live in at the moment. The seismic aftershocks of the recession continue to take their toll and unemployment is very high. People can get more for their money if they choose the right location to live in. Here are some guidelines to set you on the right track to a rewarding future as an expat.
Without doubt, one of the key considerations should be whether you can afford to become an expat. You will need to have a significant sum in the bank to cover all eventualities, those planned for and the unforeseen. Initially, you may have to cover a few flights back and forth as you relocate and will have to quickly arrange the selling of your current house and perhaps some of your property.
You must budget everything carefully. That includes the cost of your new home, which may also need redecorating and fitting. Making the move without financial security is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.
Do you plan to work? Whether you’re planning to move alone or with your spouse/partner, earning a living will remain an important part of your life. In the best case scenario, you will already have found a job in the country you are moving to.
However, this isn’t always possible. Those considering starting up a business, perhaps a restaurant for example, should conduct research in the region they are looking at. Is it commercially viable? Information can be found online, but visiting and speaking with local businesspeople is a good idea.
Of course, sometimes to be able to speak to the locals properly you will need a sound knowledge and capability with the language. Learning the language of the country you are moving to should be at the top of your action list. Not only will it enable you to communicate effectively with your new neighbours, it will also help you to get accepted and integrated more quickly.
Practical concerns covered, you must also consider the mental and emotional impact moving to a new country can have. Can you cope with being away from your family and loved ones? Think deeply on this, becoming an expat only to suffer profound homesickness will ruin the experience.
Starting a new life as an expat can be the right move providing you are practically, mentally and emotionally prepared. Many have found it has greatly improved their quality of life.