When clients buy holiday homes, they sometimes ask if living abroad is a good idea? The concept of international living, whether this is for work, retirement or studying, is the new norm. Especially when compared to eras like the 1970s, when affording a package holiday abroad was a luxury of life. Living abroad is often marketed as a great thing to do, not only for retirees but also for young adults in the workforce. However, people rarely consider that it can be a challenge and won't involve lying on beaches all day long. Before deciding to move overseas, do some soul searching. This article and guide discuss everything to know to make a wise decision.
Is Living Abroad a Good Idea?
1: Better Sense of Self
Such is the growing popularity of living abroad, Harvard performed studies to understand how moving to another country affects our sense of self. They say a sense of self is essential in life and contributes to our wellbeing, but there is limited information on how one can obtain this. So they tested 1,874 participants, half of whom had lived in another country and half who had not. The ones who had lived abroad had a more precise life direction and a sense of purpose, values, and visions.
2: Growth and Expansion
Harvard also says exposure to new cultural values abroad can benefit and is not something to be feared. Generally, humans live life in one of two ways. Either self-survival in which they focus on just getting by. The second is growth and expansion, in which they seek to broaden their understanding of the foreign world. Although culture shock is expected when moving abroad, those who overcome the process add to their vision of what they want from life. By being exposed to different cultures and different standards when you live abroad, a person can truly reflect on their own culture and beliefs.
3: Global Networking and Awareness
Stay in the same village or town your whole life, and making new friends is unlikely. But when you move abroad, especially to places of various nationalities of expats, you broaden your friendship circle globally. Meeting and making friends from a new culture is exciting and happy as you learn about their food, traditions, and beliefs, and in some cases, a new language. Additionally, one thing we always advise people to do is learn about the history of the country they plan to live in. Doing so is an absolute revelation into the world’s diversity.
4: Better Work and Career Experience
Nine times out of ten, future employers love applicants who have worked abroad in another country. Because their experience shows, they can step out of their comfort zone, expose themselves to learning, and integrate into new social groups. Living and working abroad adds to your career resume, giving much future potential. Additionally, in some career niches, working abroad is your chance to broaden your network of contacts abroad faces to face, rather than just relying on LinkedIn.
5: Be Able to Manage Money
Are you bad at handling your finances? Do you find your spending often exceeds your income? If so, you have the perfect opportunity to learn how to be a good money manager, especially if you move abroad to a different country with another currency. You will learn the critical aspect of budgeting abroad and watching currency fluctuations, good banking skills, and effectively knowing how to make sure the money you spend has value. This expat skill will be with you for the rest of your life.
6: International Travel, Adventure and Places
When you move to your chosen country, travel somewhere new every week, whether this is historical sites or places of natural beauty or interest. Whether you stay close by using local transport or go further afield for a weekend away, getting to know your new country by travelling to different destinations adds to your resume of life.
Disadvantages of Moving Abroad
Okay, we think there are enough advantages; however, life and the world are never 100% like a pure utopia. There are many disadvantages and more than one challenge. Even though we know more success stories than doom and gloom of people moving abroad, on the odd occasion, some people have let the disadvantages get the better of them and returned home. We also say forewarned forearmed, so here is what to expect. Remember, one can be one man's fear is an easy opportunity for another.
Pro: You do not know or speak the language, which hampers day to day living. Likewise, locals don't speak English.
Solution: Start learning right away, before you move.
Pro: You don't have any friends
Solution: This is the power of the internet. Join expats groups and find out where local meetups are.
Solution: Give yourself time, and keep in touch with friends and family back home
Pro: Feeling like an outsider
Solution: Integrate and develop social skills to make friends with local people.
Pro: Navigating red tape and bureaucracy for opening bank accounts and residency permits.
Solution: Other foreigners living there can help and advise. Additionally, local fixers help with such procedures and translate in many countries.
Pro: Discovering you hate the country you have moved to
Solution: Pick another one or go back home. At least you tried.
Good Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving
1: Is the Move for Myself or Someone Else?
In most cases, when people return home, they don't move for themselves but for another purpose. Maybe, it was the only available job opportunity, or they moved to be with someone in a romantic relationship. Do it for yourself and no one else.
2: Living in World Utopia
Some people think when they move abroad, all problems disappear. It never works like that. There will still be problems that need time and patience to sort out. Be realistic and prepare yourself for those moments of stress when you need to have a level head.
3: Be Ok with What You Give Up
If moving abroad means leaving their managerial job or your long-term partner behind, make sure you are ok with that. Even if the best-case scenarios, where people say they will wait for you, or companies say they will hold your job open, things change. Ensure there is no regret about what you are giving up because there is no guarantee; people and jobs will still be there when you return.
4: Your Goals in Your New Country
To ensure you make it through the rough times, know your goals and what you want out of the move. For example, if retirement is your plan, think about what hobbies you would like to indulge in now you have free time. To give back to the community, look for local charities asking for volunteers. To learn a new language, look at schools and classes and practical experience.
5: Trying to Find Yourself Abroad
Occasionally, people run away from something or try to find themselves abroad, like in the film Eat, Sleep, Pray. However, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. If you look for the reassurance of who you are, you will never find it because you are who you are as you stand in this minute. It is cheaper and easier to meditate at home. Remember, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
6: Research the Country
We have done it. Bought a plane ticket, packed our bags, and disappeared abroad, never to return. Would we recommend everyone does it? No. We were naïve, and looking back, many things could have gone drastically wrong. We also took many risks we would not do now. Before you get on that plane, start researching as much as possible about your chosen country. Preparation is key.
Also, About Living Abroad
Things to Do Before Moving: We recommend following a checklist of things to do before moving to another country. After all, being prepared for significant lifestyle changes minimises stress and gives the confidence to deal with setbacks or problems. Taking care of the small things also enables ex-pats to look after the bigger picture. This article discusses them in-depth and gives helpful international tips for moving abroad.
About Us: We hope we gave given enough information about whether living abroad is a good idea. We are Property Turkey, and our service has helped many foreigners buy a property and relocate to the country. To find out more about expat living in Turkey, browse our blog.
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