expat network

How To Decide If Becoming An Expat Is Right For You

Becoming An Expat


Ever since the beginning of time, people have been traveling from their current residence in search of a better life. Throughout history, some jobs required relocation – being a diplomat, a merchant, a missionary.  Times and technology have changed and now many jobs can be done remotely, which gives us a grand opportunity to work from any place of our choice. However, how to know if becoming an expat is right for you?


Signs that becoming an expat is right for you

Lately, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, most of us have been working from home. The lockdowns and long periods of isolation have made us hungry for travel and company. But the pandemic has also put many things into perspective for virtually everyone. Numerous people are considering a move abroad. If this applies to you, the following list will hopefully help make your mind up and take that next step in becoming an expat.


You are ready to get out of your comfort zone

A girl in front of a white car, looking at a map.

Packing your whole life and moving abroad is frightening, but it can also the most rewarding experience of your life.

Moving away from home is not an easy decision, especially when it comes to faraway destinations for long periods of time. If you have never moved before, that can even be more of a hurdle. Packing, organizing the relocation, obtaining all the documents, finding a new job are only some of the move-related tasks. Still, you can get a new job and pack the entire household hassle-free, but the actual challenge is the mindset.

When you take that leap of faith, you need to be open-minded and willing to leave your place of comfort. If you live in another country, there will be cultural differences, both big and small. It is scary going into the unknown, but amazing things are about to happen when you meet those differences with an open mind and an open heart. As they say, magic happens just outside your comfort zone.


You want to learn a new language

When you are moving abroad, there is a big chance that your country of choice will speak a language different than your native tongue. Sticking to English is great. It is widespread, and many use it all around the globe. But the level of English usage in a specific country truly differs, and that is why it’s so important to prepare yourself before the move.

Moving to a new country is an excellent way to learn a language. You will be surrounded by it, integrated with it, with lots of opportunities to practice. Using their native tongue gives you an immediate upper-hand with the locals and will make it easier for you to meet people and integrate. It also gives you a better insight into the culture and customs of your ex-pat destination.

If you have enough time before your relocation, covering the basics of the new language from home can make a huge difference in setting up your life in a new country.


You want a reduced cost of living

A man sitting next to a pool with a laptop on his lap.

You could be sitting next to a pool in a faraway land that you call home while working and staying connected.

It goes without saying that the cost of living differs from country to country, even from city to city. But for many expatriates, the reason behind their change of location is precisely to lower the cost of living. Many countries have marvelous living opportunities, especially for foreigners.

When choosing your new home, you need to set your priorities and research the cost of living and work options. Some countries are more expensive than others, while some are more affordable but offer fewer employment prospects. If you opt for a cheaper ex-pat destination, the savings you should be able to put aside can surprise you! This could give you that overhead to support your travels and the lifestyle you are dreaming of.


You are searching for better education

Whether you want to continue your studies or you are relocating with family and searching for education prospects for your kids, you are in luck. Many countries, such as Finland, offer free schooling combined with excellent quality of learning.

If you are moving with children, choosing the right school for them is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent when relocating overseas. You will need to look into academic models and opportunities and calculate that into your decision as well.


You are eager for a fresh start

There is a myriad of reasons to move abroad and join the expat community. From following work aspirations and financial freedom to buying a property and seeking a better quality of life, you name it. There is a common denominator here – that desire for a new beginning, for a fresh start, that guides us into the unknown.

When you move to a new place, you can organize your life the way you have always imagined. Start a hobby that you always wanted to try but never had time, money, or courage. Visit all the places you thought about and make new friends on the way. Try a dish that you normally wouldn’t. Wanderlust spreads like wildfire once you ignite the flame.


You want to become independent

A person holding “The adventure begins” mug in snow showing that becoming an expat is right for you.

Imagine all of the wonderful things waiting for you. The adventure really begins!

When you become an expat, especially if you go into this venture alone, you will need to rely on yourself considering most things. By moving abroad and away from everyone and everything you know, you allow yourself to find that inner strength and become your own best friend and most trusted confidant.

Having no safety net and a support system can undoubtedly be challenging, but it could also end up as the biggest blessing in disguise.

When you move away from home and leave everything that you know behind, so many doors open. Living as an expat provides you with the opportunity to experience different cultures, meet exciting people, make connections, try new things. It can also entail a prominent financial advantage – you could be spending way less while enjoying a decent lifestyle. We hope this article gave you a nudge in the right direction when deciding if becoming an expat is right for you. Remember: life is an adventure, don’t forget to have fun with it!