Anybody embarking on an adventure overseas should seriously think about the pros and cons of living abroad. For many people, a new life of sun, sea and sand is an enticing dream that breaks up their daily life. Yet, bear in mind, experts say moving house is one of life's most stressful experiences, so to move and live in another country is something to be carefully considered, thought out, planned, and navigated. Nothing about living abroad can be conquered, only accepted, and carefully managed before you successfully transition to a happy expat. So, let us consider the pros and cons to help decide if living abroad is what you want. We will start with seven advantages and then list six common disadvantages.
Pros and Cons of Living Abroad
1: Weather and Climate
Of course, this is one of the big reasons to move abroad. Many people, especially those in countries like the UK, dream of hot temperatures and seaside living. They want to live in shorts, t-shirts, and sunglasses on their head instead of wrapping up warm to battle the cold and winds. Day times abroad are not the only pleasure since night-times are spent al-fresco style dining on rooftop terraces. In most places with hot summers, the winters are mild provoking favourable year-round climates.
2: Cheaper Cost of Living
For many abroad, mainly American and UK expats, the cheaper cost of living in another country is a monetary bonus. Many retirees abroad on good pensions enjoy decent lifestyles thanks to how far their money can stretch from monthly rent payments to food shopping to dining and eating out. This means no more scrimping and saving to pay the electric bill. But instead, comfort and pleasure abroad. Remember, though, to take everything in moderation.
3: Better Outdoor Lifestyle
So, the weather and decent living prices form the perfect outdoor playground abroad. Many retirees moving to another country often start new hobbies. For example, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey's Belek region are all golfing hotspots abroad. Additionally, many take up walking, with some completing routes like the 516 kilometres Lycian way in Turkey, covering the Mediterranean coast and including a visit to fascinating ancient cities left behind by the Lycian empire.
4: Boost Your Life Confidence
One noticeable thing in all foreigners abroad is new confidence. Undertaking monumental life changes boosts our morale and gives us a unique strength of courage. The newfound confidence then impacts other areas of our lives in another country, from making friends to learning foreign languages to overall self-esteem and well-being. Granted living abroad is daunting at first, but at the same time, it is the making of new characters.
5: Broaden the Mind
So, you have this life dream to move abroad, but where to start? By starting the move to another country with new eyes, open to learning about new cultures, languages, history, and public life, you change the way you think for the better. Routines are great for stability and familiarity, but they keep you trapped on Groundhog Day. Moving abroad means looking at things differently, and experts say this new advantage is good for our mental well-being.
6: New Social Circle Abroad
Most foreigners agree that making new friends is easy when moving abroad, despite language differences. Maybe the outdoor lifestyle encourages people to be more open and friendly abroad. In places like Turkey, expats have many Turkish friends because hospitality and welcoming attitudes are engrained into the living culture of their new country. In addition, for towns and cities with a foreign presence, go online to find local Facebook groups. This is where to learn about different meetups or people that meet for activities like walking or volunteering at local charities.
7: Great Feeling of Life Accomplishment
Okay, so it might take six to 12 months to feel this, but the feeling of accomplishment is quite pleasurable when it happens. This feeling descends typically when you settle into your new home country and get over the initial hurdles like residency. Knowing you accomplished something with your life is something to be proud of.
So, we listed the pros of living abroad, but now is the time to look at the downside of living in a different country, and the first is homesickness. This experience strikes at any time, from immediately arriving to one year after living there. Missing friends and family back home or the little things like our favourite chocolates usually provoke homesickness. In addition, when something goes wrong, people think this wouldn't happen back in my home country. There are solutions, however. Wade it out. Most cases of homesickness usually disappear within three months, so give it time and then start to enjoy your home and life in a different country.
9: Culture Shock Abroad
Holidaying abroad is great, but living in a different country is a different experience. Once expats see how daily society is behind the tourist scenes of hotels, bars, and restaurants, they sometimes experience culture shock. For example, many people say they often assume Turks are arguing when they are just talking. In Turkey, there is also the annual fasting across the country, which takes place for thirty days. Many people cannot understand why Turks do that, especially when the fasting period falls in the hot summer months. So keep an open mind and learn.
10: Language Barrier
Language is by far the number one complaint of people living overseas. They complain that they try but struggle to learn and speak the language of their new adopted country even if they attend lessons and download apps. If this experience happens to you, do not despair. In many places, the local community speak English. In addition, there are apps like Google lens that provide instant language translation for ingredients on supermarket items or instructions on new electrical items. Also, try to learn one word a day, and by the end of the year, you will have learned 365 new words—one step at a time when learning new and different languages.
11: Leaving Friends and Family
Unfortunately, there is no way around this experience unless your family moves with you. You will miss your friends and family, who know you best. The people whom you click with and rely on for moral support. Although video messaging does not match seeing them in person, these days, apps like Skype, Messenger, and What's App mean you can video every day. In addition, do not forget you will make new friends, so this is just a transition.
12: Overseas Currency Fluctuation
Moving to another country that does not operate in the same currency needs careful management. For example, Turkey has seen the Turkish lira value drastically drop over five years. While foreigners benefited because the exchange rate worked in their favour, the consequences of the lira devaluation soon made their way into the local cost of living. Generally, when moving abroad, have monthly buffer zones to account for currency fluctuations. This means giving yourself an extra budget for those emergency experiences when living abroad.
13: International Paperwork and Red Tape
Unfortunately, paperwork and red tape are necessary aspects of life that we cannot avoid, even when moving abroad. We remember people who moved to Turkey 20 years ago because regulations and red tape were easy or non-existent, but then Turkey tightened up its procedures. You must consider aspects like residency, healthcare, driving abroad, and bringing pets in. The solution is that fixer companies always help and assist for small fees.
Also, About Living Abroad
Is Turkey a Good Place to Live? To date, the destination of Turkey is home to thousands of expats. While working expats tend to head to large cities like Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara, retired expats mainly settle in Aegean and Mediterranean coastal resorts. So naturally, living on the coastline, also known as the Turkish riviera, brings many benefits. This article looks at reasons to love Turkey and why thousands of foreigners live there.
Buying Property in Turkey: One reason expats purchase property in Turkey is lower prices compared to places like Spain, Portugal, and France. If Turkey interests you, browse our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in many areas like Istanbul, Bodrum, Fethiye and Antalya. Each listing contains everything to know, including the price, location, home features, and contact details to find out more or arrange viewings. Alternatively, contact us via email to learn more about the pros and cons of living abroad.
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