Most of us have considered moving abroad at some point or another. It is fun to fantasise about a hotter country or a more culturally focused locale. But can our dreams be misleading? Oftentimes, people can be misinformed about a country they want to live in, so here are a few considerations from Movecorp to help you be ready for your potential international move.
Cost of Living
In the midst of your dream-chasing, you may overlook the reality of actually living abroad. By living, we mean affording to live. The cost of living is by no means the same everywhere you go. You must take into account the economic status of the country and your area of choice. What is the currency conversion of your currency (Pounds, Dollars or whatever) compared to the country of your choosing? A dramatic change in currency, i.e. £1 = 351 Hungarian Forint, may sound fantastic, but sadly that’s not the case. The cost of living may be higher even if the currency works out to be more. Get it?
Therefore, it is imperative that you visit the country of your choosing, and the region too, in order to experience how much it would be for the following in their currency:
Similarly, you should have an idea of what jobs are available. It may seem fun and free-spirited to just up and move abroad with the plan to “figure things out” once you’re out there, but this could end up backfiring. You should either know what the current employment status is in the country, or even better have a job lined up before you go. Unless you’re rich or have a healthy amount of saving before you move overseas, you will need a job in order to live abroad – just like at home, I’m afraid!
So before beginning your international shipping journey, first consider how you could thrive abroad.
Once you’ve decided how you will live and work abroad, you will need to know how to fit in amongst the locals. When you’re visiting on holiday, you can sometimes miss the reality of life in your chosen country. Maybe you spent the majority of your time on the beach and in hotels, and so you didn’t really notice how to live like a local. Well, you will need to.
Unless you plan to live in a tourist-rich area, you will need to know the language (or some of it) and how to interact with your new neighbours. In Britain, we have mannerisms and traditions that aren’t necessarily mirrored in other parts of the world. The best example is the use of gestures. This is things like the thumbs up gesture, the ‘OK’ fingers gesture, and the simple head nod which are things that mean something entirely different in other countries! These things can be interrupted as very offensive, or at least of a different meaning, so be careful.
Additionally, you should know the polite/correct way to:
- Eat and order food
- Thank someone
- Greet someone
- Show respect
- Ask for something
If you understand the cost of living, your job prospects and even how to carry yourself abroad, you’ll then need to know if the weather is right for you. You may be thinking that the weather is a trivial thing to be concerned about, but think about how you dressed this morning; how you got to work or felt when you woke up. These things are effects of the weather and climate in your country.
If you are doing a dramatic move to the opposite side of the world, then you definitely need to consider the following:
- Extreme weather
In the UK, we are used to weird weather and unpredictability – well, except for counting on rain. However, in other countries this can be very different. There are many countries where it is hot year-round, for example, which would be a shock to the system for people from the UK. Your body will need to adapt to this and if you’re someone who doesn’t deal well with heat, then you need to know that no matter how beautiful a country is, you will have a hard time living there if it’s hot all the time!
Another thing that we British folk aren’t accustom to is extreme weather. We may moan about rain and a little snow, but in reality, we suffer nothing of the weather compared to other parts of the world. Take Canada as an example, their annual snowfall can reach up to 11 feet whereas snow in the UK often doesn’t even settle. Something as simple as snow can affect transport, health, work and our homes so be prepared for that. On the opposite side, you need to consider storms in tropical countries. It may seem like a dream to move abroad to South America or the Caribbean, but they also suffer things like hurricanes, which can have a disastrous effect on everything caught in its path, never mind for someone ill-prepared for it.
Locals Versus Tourism
Perhaps this article doesn’t mean much to you because you visit Spain or New York every year, and so you know what it’s like there. You’re a pro. Well, sorry to burst your bubble but it is one thing to be a tourist and completely another to be a local. It won’t be all tourist attractions and dining out and shopping, instead it will be living. It will be renting, bills, working, groceries, savings, hobbies, new friends, new foods and restaurants to get used to. Instead of having fun every day, you will be working just as you would back home. You will be stepping away from the tourist life, and into the local mindset. This means eating in every day places, not high-end or expensive tourist attractions.
Things to consider about local life:
- Grocery stores
- Entertainment: socialising, drinking, cinemas, theatre, hobbies, crafts, book stores, etc.
- Social life
- Furnishing your home
- Public transport
- Clothing year-round
All in all, there is a lot to consider about an international move. Whether you decide to take a lot of your possessions with you using international shipping or not, you will need to know what it really means to be a local in your chosen country. Be careful not to be led by the dream and forget to plan practically. Good luck!