Have you ever considered leaving the United States and heading overseas to start fresh? Based on the posts I've seen on Facebook over the past few years a lot of people have considered it but few actually did. That opportunity is real though and for people from around the world it has been an option for decades. "Over There" always has a certain sense of mystery and mystique that draws people to consider moving away but what if you actually did? What are some of the things you should think about?
Everybody feels the temptation to escape their lives from time to time. Sometimes life-altering situations force you to reevaluate everything you've done up to this moment in time.
Whether it is a divorce or a desire to make changes in your life and start all over again, going to another country is, for many people, a very definite way to draw a line in the sand. But it may seem like it's not a big deal, but what are the things you have to consider if you are moving to another country by yourself?
Is it really the best opportunity for a new start?
Don't worry, you aren't alone - millions of people become expats every year but to do it without thinking long and hard about the implications is just simply foolish. Here are some challenges and strategies that can help make that decision easier.
|Strategy to Overcome
|Language Classes, Apps, Immersion
|Learn the basics of the language before moving and continue learning in the new country through classes, apps, or immersion with locals.
|Research, Cultural Workshops, Socializing
|Understand cultural norms and differences by researching, attending cultural workshops, and socializing with locals.
|Legal Documentation and Visas
|Legal Consultation, Early Application
|Consult with legal experts and apply for necessary visas and work permits well in advance.
|Local Real Estate Agents, Online Platforms
|Use reputable local agents or online platforms to find suitable housing. Understand local renting or buying practices.
|International Health Insurance, Local Healthcare System
|Secure international health insurance or understand the local healthcare system and how to access services.
|Open Local Bank Account, Understand Tax Obligations
|Open a bank account in the new country and get professional advice on managing taxes and financial obligations.
|Join Expat Communities, Clubs, or Classes
|Connect with local expat communities, join clubs, or take classes to meet people and build a new social network.
|Employment or Business Concerns
|Local Employment Services, Networking
|Use local employment services, job boards, or networking events to find job opportunities or understand business regulations.
|Education for Children
|International Schools, Local Education System
|Research international or local schools to understand options for children's education.
|Adjusting to New Norms
|Be patient and open-minded as you adjust to new norms, practices, and daily life in the new country.
These are just some of the factors that you will need to consider if you are thinking about moving to a new country. Let's take a deeper look at some of the more critical items and make sure this is the right choice for your situation.
The Financial Implications
We have to be practical when it comes to finances. You may look at the exchange rates and see that you would be better off, meaning that you can invest in some of the nicest things in life. And living in an executive condo or driving a nicer car can certainly take the edge off. This sounds like a fantastic way to experience another country, but if you are doing it purely for this reason, you may want to re-evaluate. Sometimes it's nice to buy ourselves nice things, but when we are going to another country to live a high life, this isn't everything. Having nice things takes the edge off, but you have to consider if it will make you happy in the long run.
The Opportunities in Going to Another Country
There are benefits and drawbacks to going somewhere new. Sometimes we go to another country to escape our routine. And it can either help us realize that we are happy at home, or it can push us beyond our capabilities. It's a great thing to get out of your comfort zone.
Moving to another country by yourself is a perfect way to do this. And while it can feel stressful, when you live a life where you are bored of the routine, going to another country takes you away from your “comfortable rut.” And this can be life-changing. In addition to this, you can gain a new perspective on life. When you go to another country, you will realize that things are similar but very different. For example, you may encounter people who react to situations in a different way. This is to do with the culture, and the expectations they have being completely different to you.
And this can be fantastic for your frame of mind, but when you are moving away for a new start, you've got to make sure that you put these lessons into practice. Sometimes, going to another country helps us to realize that there are different ways of doing things, so we think that it's time to come home. But when we come home, it can be more of a culture shock than we realized. Many people are coming back from European countries to Britain because of Britain leaving the European Union. Many people may view it as a big mistake. But the draw of coming home was too big to ignore.
What Are You Running Away From?
Sometimes, the paperwork alone is enough to put people off moving to another country. But if you go through all of this, it gives you the opportunity to think about what you are really going away for. We end up running away from things, and we think that it's purely to give ourselves a breather from life, but if you end up staying in another country, are you just leaving your demons behind? One day you will have to return, either for a family function or out of necessity. And moving abroad, for all the benefits it can yield, can have a major drawback in terms of the fact that you realize you are running away from things, rather than facing problems head-on.
Moving away can seem like a fantastic idea. After all, so many of us go on vacation and think about what it would be like to live in this country. But before we know it, we shake ourselves out of this fantasy and go back to reality. And getting away is good for the mind, body, and soul. But if we decide that we want to run away or go to another country because it is a new start, there are practical things to consider, but we have to really think if it is good for us in the long run. It can be a fantastic opportunity to learn a bit about ourselves. But sometimes, we've got to go away to come back.