Moving abroad may be just the thing you need to get you out of a rut or over hard times, to kick-start your career, or to help you truly relax after retirement. But how do you choose where to live? You need to choose a country that you can afford to live in and that will provide you with a high quality of living. But, above all, you need to choose a place to live that suits you and your particular needs. Why not start whittling down potential countries to move to by judging them against the following key criteria provided by Send My Bag.
Don’t forget to read the many other helpful guides for ex pats that Send My Bag has to offer, from Purchasing A Home Overseas, to the Hidden Costs of Moving Abroad.
Am I allowed to live there?
Before you begin dreaming of a life of sea, sand and sun, you must make sure you are eligible to live in a given country. You may need to obtain a visa in order to gain permanent entry to a country, which in turn may be dependent upon the skill set you possess, securing a job offer before you move, and your ability to support yourself financially.
What jobs are available?
You should find out whether your skill set is in demand in the country you are thinking of living in. Assess whether you are likely to get a job and how much competition you are up against. If you did secure a job, would the salary be attractive enough to make it worth your while?
What is the climate like?
Chances are that dreams of a warmer climate were a significant driving force behind your decision to move abroad. Make sure this dream becomes a reality by thoroughly researching the climate of the specific place you want to live. Consider things like exposure to strong winds or bracing sea breezes that might make sunbathing sessions less than enjoyable
What is there to see/ do?
A location might have stunning scenery, but is there enough for you to do during your free time? Are there places to visit on day trips? Are there towns and villages where you can go shopping, meet up for coffee, or go for a night out? Make sure you pick somewhere you won’t easily grow bored of.
Where is the country located? How good are the transport links?
The idea of a remote location may sound idyllic in theory, but in practice could make your life very difficult. Trying to move all of your possessions to a remote location will be stressful, as will your own journey to get there. Plus, it will be a monumental hassle trying to nip home for family visits or special occasions. Consider a location with direct flights home so you can fly back with minimal notice, when necessary.
What is the culture like?
A culture vastly unlike your own would certainly be fascinating to experience, but what about adapting to it long-term? Consider whether you would be able to integrate easily or whether the culture shock would be too great. Feeling extremely far away from what you are used to isn’t going to help with issues of homesickness. Also consider language barriers and whether you will be able to pick up the language if you don’t speak it already.
What is the cost of living?
Get out your spreadsheets and do a detailed break-down of how much it will cost to live in a given country. Consider housing costs, utility bills, grocery shopping, petrol costs, etc. Compare this to your potential income to see whether or not you can live comfortably.
Is it safe?
Do what you can to guarantee your safety by researching the political stability of the country, the general attitude towards foreigners and the crime rate of the area you are thinking of living in.
Once you have decided which country you want to move to, you can use Send My Bag to transport your belongings abroad. Just package your items in suitcases or boxes and arrange a collection with Send My Bag for fast, reliable and cost-effective international shipping.
In years to come you will look back with fondness upon your time spent studying abroad. Gradually, however, your memories will fade and details will be forgotten. This is why it is important to make the effort to document your experiences when they happen. We aren’t suggesting you spend the whole time looking through a lens at the expense of actually enjoying yourself, but that you take the time to document the places you have visited, who you went there with, and the things you did there. There are a myriad of different ways to document your time abroad, from travel scrapbooking to vlogging. To help you choose which method is best for you, Send My Bag brings you seven ways to record your time abroad.