Many people dream of starting a new life abroad, but don’t quite know how to make the dream a reality. Sometimes they try, but things don’t work out. As someone who made the move, I know how difficult it is, and so here are some tips if you also want to emigrate. All learned through experience! Here are my 8 helpful hints for starting a new life abroad...
Make sure that you have ample funds to see you through several months. Unless you have a job lined up, you need to be able to support yourself until you find work, which will probably take longer than you think. Either way, you will need money to pay for rent in advance, deposits, and so on.
Do a LOT of research into your chosen destination, both the country and the area. Look into education if you have children, healthcare, and legal requirements. It’s a good idea to visit first, and get a feel for the place. Remember, though, that there is a big difference between being on holiday, and living somewhere all year round.
This is absolutely essential, plus it’s also courteous to your host country. Unless you pick an English-speaking country, how do you think you will manage when dealing with the inevitable bureaucracy, medical problems or when something needs fixing in your flat? It does take time to acquire a reasonable knowledge, but practicing every day really does help.
4. Go Native
I really don’t understand why other British people move to Spain, just to hang around with other Brits and eat British food. They might as well stay at home. Mixing with locals really does help you feel part of the community and settle in to your new home.
It takes a LONG time to establish yourself. Finding suitable accommodation and work, making friends and feeling at home won’t happen overnight. Chances are though that if you stick with it, and work through the inevitable problems, that you will make it work.
6. Vive La Difference!
I do occasionally find myself muttering, "they don’t do this back home," but for the most part I accept that they do things differently in my new home. That’s not really a problem – if you choose to emigrate, it’s because you want things to be different.
7. Try before You Buy
If you sell your home to buy a house in the new country, and things don’t work out, you could find yourself stuck and unable to sell the foreign property. It’s much better to rent at first, get a feel for the place, and decide over a period of time if it’s where you really want to be.
8. Be Realistic
Moving abroad is not all fun in the sun. You still have to do all the boring stuff like cook, clean, shop and earn a living. Sometimes, you realise that the move wasn’t the right thing for you – well, at least you tried. But accepting that it is going to be tough at times means that you will stand a better chance of making it work.
I hope that these tips are helpful for anyone contemplating new horizons. It’s certainly been the best decision I ever made! If any of you have moved country, how did it turn out? Was it what you expected and hoped? Did you choose to move, or did work take you overseas?
Top Photo Credit: Liz. :)