Changing your life: moving abroad

fitness passion businessPerhaps you’ve recently gone through a relationship breakdown, suffered a terrible loss or you’re simply becoming more aware of your mortality, there are numerous things you can do to change your life.

Moving abroad is one of them. 

Consider your reasons

First of all, it is vital to consider why you’re wanting to move abroad. What do you hope to gain from it? Many people have a lifelong dream of living abroad in sunnier climates, but that is not the sole reason.

Soaking up and embracing the culture, history, food and language of another country can be a very special, unique experience. If you’re hoping to move abroad in order to move on with your life following a troubled time, ensure that it is really what you want before making the big leap. 

Consider your location

There are a huge number of places that you may consider moving to once you have finally decided to take the first step towards becoming an ex-pat. What sort of climate do you prefer? Could you cope with hot weather day in, day out?

Perhaps, you have allergies to certain foods or you are a vegetarian. Does the country you are considering cater for people like you? If not, you can rule it out. Furthermore, there are certain countries where being openly gay is frowned upon.

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It is so important to take all of these things into account prior to making a decision. Have you visited the country before? If not, plan to spend a couple of weeks there and see how you feel about it afterwards. 

Consider your finances

Have you thought about how you will make money once you move to your new country? Does the job you are trained to do even exist over there and, if so, do you have the right language skills to be able to carry it out effectively?

Finding a job, accepting it and then seeing the money coming in can take quite a long time. Do you have enough money to live off until that happens? Perhaps, you are considering setting up your own business. If this is the case, be sure to research the area carefully and see what your competition offers.

Do also take into account what would happen if you fell ill. If you are lucky enough to currently live in a country with a secure health system, you may find it challenging paying for healthcare via insurance or not. There are many factors involved with finances and it is imperative to gather a clear picture prior to making any firm choice.

Consider your future

Is your move abroad forever or do you plan returning as you get older? Living abroad for significant periods of time can impact on what you are entitled to back in your home country, so make sure that you are prepared for that and understand the sacrifices you are making. For those people with relatives back home, are you able to accept that you will see them infrequently? If the worst happens and illness strikes, can you cope with knowing you won’t be there to hold their hand through treatment or spend precious last minutes with someone? Thinking about mortality is really difficult, but something worth thinking about.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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