Moving Overseas – Am I making the right decision?
The idea to move abroad is born – and with it comes excitement, anticipation and a renewed sense of direction.
At first, that the idea is just a spark and we ask ourselves, “Could it be achievable?” Then a plethora of possibilities opens up. Before long, we are enquiring about property prices, cost of living and employment. Our daydreams turn to visualisations of a possible new life overseas.
Most people have the idea and the spark, but soon lose their drive. Then there are those who have the passion and desire to carry their plans to fruition. Regardless of your resolve, there will always be times when you doubt yourself. Your excitement will allow you to make massive strides, but at some point you will probably stop to catch your breath and wonder if you are making the right decision.
Mrs Turner, new to the world of overseas living, explained “I spent all my spare time planning, preparing and ticking off endless lists. After a few months I felt overwhelmed – was I merely caught up in ‘living the dream’ or did I truly understand what was to come? And how could I make sure that I wasn’t making a big mistake?”
Unfortunately, there are quite a few people who return to the UK not long after an overseas move. Sometimes people repatriate due to health matters, missing family or simply missing their old way of life. Others move back because the dreams they floated on did not match the reality.
One way to ensure that you are making the right decision is to “play house” in your overseas location.
Try to make arrangements to stay in your desired location for as long as possible, be it a few weeks or a month. Then make plans to enjoy the location without being a tourist. This means rather than stay in a hotel, rent a villa or better yet, do a house swap. Instead of visiting the main attractions, check out all the things that locals do. Go grocery shopping, check out employment adverts and do everything you would normally do if you were moving from one town in the UK to another.
When Mrs Turner felt overwhelmed, she decided to book a two week trip to her future destination. Although she had spent several holidays there, she never spent the duration knowing that it would one day be called “home.”
Mrs Turner said, ‘It was the best decision I made. By spending two weeks in my future town I was able to better set my expectations. I went to the doctors, paid a visit to a community centre, made enquiries about a local art class and made sure to eat most of my meals at home. By the end of the two weeks, I realised that some of my expectations were a bit too high whereas others were too low. Overall, the holiday gave me the needed push to set me back on track.”
By giving yourself time to be a resident, rather than a tourist, you will get a more realistic idea of life in your desired location. As with Mrs Turner, time spent in your future destination may also give you even more reason to fulfil your plans.
As with all areas in the world, there will be pros and cons and without experiencing life as a local, it is very easy to make a move without knowing exactly what the negatives and positives are.
Spending time on holiday is very different from making a holiday destination a home. During the process of playing “house”, you might want to test public transport to see how reliable it is, stroll through the area at different times of the day to listen out for noise, buy the type of groceries you normally purchase to determine if they are available and at what price – and definitely check out health services – how far away are they and will they cater to your needs?
The more you match your needs to your overseas destination, the less likely you will be to ask, “Am I making the right decision?”
Kim Brown is the author of the Emigration Guide. The guide helps people through every step of the overseas relocation process. get a copy of the mini version of the guide here.
You may also like these related posts:
- How to live the dream of moving to Cyprus
- Feature – Moving Children to Property Overseas
- Moving from suburban Telford to rural Liguria
- Making the right impression in French property
- HOW TO GET MORE DOLLARS FOR YOUR POUNDS