|Now more than ever, people are flocking to start a new life in foreign countries and discover what other cultures have to offer. There are a variety of reasons -practical and not--that motivate expats to pick up and relocate to an unfamiliar place.
No matter what your reasoning for moving overseas, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of your life-altering decision as well as conduct thorough research on any potential destination you may decide to call home. This guide will outline some of the most popular reasons for international relocation as well as provide you with some advice for making the move.
The main reasons most expatriates relocate to a new nation are employment opportunities, advancement, and the possibility of higher pay. Depending on your job industry and the economy in your home country, increased and superior job prospects may be available abroad. According to a survey by HSBC, 60 percent of expats that relocated for their career are now in a better position to save money and have greater disposable income than prior to their move overseas.
Of course, before moving to any new country for work, be sure to do your research to ensure the destination of your choice will have ample opportunities in your field waiting for you. The optimum situation would of course be to acquire employment before relocating--moving to a new country without the security of a job can be quite a scary circumstance.
Expanding your horizons and immersing yourself in a new culture can be very enriching. However, for some adventure-seekers, traveling and experiencing life elsewhere as a tourist is not sufficient. Sometimes the best way to really gain a perspective on other cultures is move overseas and become immersed in a new way of life.
Meeting new people, learning different customs, speaking various languages--all of these exciting experiences can give you a fresh outlook on the world. If you are bored and crave a drastic change, moving overseas is a great way to achieve it. Of course, no matter how much you desire change and a fresh start, culture shock can be staggering and you may need some time to adjust.
Well some people may choose to move overseas for work, others opt to spend their retirement in an exotic new country. Lower costs of living, lower taxes, pleasant weather and a peaceful, quieter lifestyle are all factors considered by many retirees when choosing a new nation to call home. The most popular retirement destinations are South American countries like Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia.
If you do choose to relocate overseas after retiring, you can settle in a community populated by other retirees and expats like yourself to ease your transition and help you feel more at home. However, if you're looking for as much cultural change as possible, you can also opt to simply live like one of the locals.
Politics and government can be quite a hot-button issue with many people, and citizens can often feel forsaken by their country if laws and policies contradict with their own personal beliefs. While patriots will often hurl the slogan "Love it or leave it" to those that disagree with a country's governmental policy, some angry citizens may actually take them up on the offer and move elsewhere.
However, when moving overseas due to political beliefs, it's important not to come to your decision hastily. The grass often appears greener on the other side--you may think your new country is more aligned with your personal belief system, but the reality of being a citizen may make you realize otherwise. Make sure you consider this move carefully and find out as much as you can about your destination country before moving to ensure that it measures up to your expectations. A prior visit or several is also essential to find out if it truly suits your coveted lifestyle and outlook before you take up permanent residence.
Following a Loved One
Sometimes the decision to move abroad may not be your own. If your family or spouse is relocating for employment, the military, or any other reasons, you may be persuaded to transplant your life to a brand new country.
If the choice was not your own, you may feel at first reluctant or even resentful about the move. Relocating to a foreign country is a staggering lifestyle change, and you may understandably have difficulty adjusting. However, it's helpful to think of the move as a life-enriching learning experience that will cause you to grow and evolve as an individual. Exposure to different cultures, lifestyles and attitudes will teach you a great deal about being accepting, open-minded, and worldly.
Cost of Living
High costs of living may inspire you to try living in a new country. Some nations such as the U.S. have ever-increasing living expenses coupled with a poor job market that can leave you struggling to survive. Some parts of the world can offer you more a affordable lifestyle, and possibly greater job opportunities. However, it's important to do thorough research before you relocate--some nations that are much cheaper to live may not have a promising job market in your field. They may also have a much lower quality of life than you are used to, or be very under-developed. Make sure that you find a place that is not only affordable, but balanced by promising career opportunities and a sufficient standard of living.
Climate may seem like a fairly superficial reason to move to a new country, but it is an influential factor. Warm, tropical climates have a paradise-like appeal to residents of colder regions, and can definitely fuel the desire to relocate. However, moving to a new country because you dream of lying on the beach everyday with piña colada in hand is certainly not the best reason. Moving overseas requires a great deal of thought, consideration, planning and research. A potential nation to call home should have much more to offer you than sunny days and beautiful beaches, such as affordable housing, a promising job market (unless you are retiring), and a favorable and safe standard of living.
Another motivation to move overseas is connecting with your own cultural heritage and visiting the homeland of your ancestors. You may have family there with whom you would love to reconnect, or you may simply desire to authentically experience the life of your culture. Whatever the case, moving back to the land of your heritage can be a self-awakening and enriching experience. However, before you make the permanent trek to your homeland, take some vacation time and visit. While the allure of getting in touch with your roots may be enticing, experiencing it firsthand before you make your final decision will help you ensure that it can provide you with the lifestyle you desire.
Planning an International Move?
If you are planning a definite move overseas, it is important to compare quotes from several international movers before choosing one for hire. You can start right now at Movers.com--simply fill out the fast and easy quote form and begin browsing up to seven quotes from reliable international moving services. Be sure to check credentials to verify any overseas mover you are considering for hire is trustworthy and qualified, ask the right questions to avoid making common mistakes during an international move, and be sure to have all of your necessary documents prepared before you relocate.