We all look for an escape route from life from time to time. We all hit snags in our existance, and it makes us consider if this is really is everything in life? We might make a bad career move, go down a wrong route as far as the life choices we make, and feel that we are living in a place that’s not doing us any favors. Moving to another country is something that we’ve all fantasized about from time to time, but is there any reality in the situation? We all daydream, looking out the window from our dull, gray, artificially lit office and look to a place where the sun shines, the speed of life is slower, and you can feel more like yourself then you have been in years. But when it comes to packing up and leaving everything behind for a sunnier climate, or colder weather, or just somewhere where you can put your feet up for 5 minutes, what are the positives and negatives to moving abroad?
The idea of leaving our old life behind is incredibly liberating, and we can feel a sense of freedom as soon as we signed on the dotted line and bought the plane tickets. The opportunities for leaving your life kicking and screaming in the dust, and bidding goodbye to the shackles of the workaday world that impacted your personality means you can become a better version of yourself. Feeling emotionally free, but also the idea that a foreign land is to be explored helps free you up in an emotional sense. Above all, the overwhelming positive of moving somewhere else is that it’s going to make you a better person. At least that’s what you’ll think, and that’s whose opinion matters the most!
For all of the excitement you can feel about bidding goodbye to your old life, and fantasizing about what you are going to do when you leave, the administration process can take the shine off it somewhat. It’s not just about finding a job and flying by the seat of your pants when you get there, it’s about planning and preparation. You might need a working visa, passport renewal, a considerable knowledge of the economy and if the money you have is going to exchange well now, or in a couple of weeks’ time. If you’re moving to a foreign country, and you intend on buying a property, are you knowledgeable enough about the home buying process to that specific country? It’s not going to be like for like, especially when you’ve already gone through the process in your native country. Moving somewhere in the far east, like Singapore, is made easier now thanks to the internet, but there are still never ending hoops to jump through. Looking at something like the Singapore home loan refinancing rates, the exchange rates, or the house prices, and if you buying a home under duress will end up bankrupting you. The best solution when sorting out the life admin is to plan so far in advance that everything is lined up perfectly when it’s time to head over there. This goes against everything that people dream of when they want to move to another country, but it’s an essential part of the process and one you need to make the time for.
Being exposed to another culture can be a shock in many ways, but the friendships you will make in a foreign setting will automatically expand your social circle. Relationships you nurture in every aspect, from your personal to your career, are all going to benefit you significantly. You are being exposed to new faces, new surroundings, and if you are a fish out of water, it’s a case of sink or swim. That means you are going to not sit back, recoil, and be shy. Instead, you are going to put your best foot forward and get out there and solidify friendships. If you are heading out to a new country and you’ve got no one, you’ve got no choice in the matter but to do this. But for those who have a friend somewhere, it’s important not to rely on them as a crutch. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to be as independent as possible.
In moving to a foreign country, the language barrier is going to be a considerable. And if you’ve moved on a whim, you are going to be in for a shock when getting something basic in a restaurant causes you considerable grief and takes much longer than anticipated. Your two options, either go somewhere that speaks English, or learn the language. If you are serious about moving to another country and they don’t speak the language, it would be foolish of you not to make any effort to learn the lingo. But there are countries, like Singapore, where the main language spoken is actually English. So if you pick a country that is ethnically and culturally diverse, it’s likely that a lot of people will speak English, so you can get by, however, it’s a matter of courtesy to learn their language. And if you really have a burning passion for a specific country and culture, then learning the language should be ingrained into your psyche.
Your potential for growth in another country is massive. Not just on a personal level, or even a professional one, but your knowledge is going to expand greatly. You are constantly being pushed out of your comfort zone. You are learning how this new country works, all the way from the languages to the courtesies. You might learn the hard way but however you go about integrating yourself into this country, you will expand your knowledge, depth, and appreciation for other cultures and religions. This is far more valuable than any online video, but actually experiencing a country up close and personal through you, instead of a computer screen, which is an invaluable lesson to all of us.
This is a positive and a negative. But the culture shock you will experience could either force you to step up to the challenge, or long for home and think about the mess you’ve made for yourself. However, if you long for the rituals of your former life, the best way to get over this is to get out there and immerse yourself in what your new home can do for you. Trying new foods, taking in the culture via museums are art galleries, or speaking to people; the more you take in this stage, the better it will be for you in the long run.
It’s never an easy undertaking, but moving to another country can do wonders for every aspect of your being. It can open your mind up, make you encounter new and exciting ways to see the world, and it can teach you a valuable lesson in life. But moving to another country is something that can be very difficult. If you are thinking about taking the plunge, or you’re just finding your job isn’t doing enough for you, and you are seriously considering running away, think about everything you’ve got in your life right now. Do you crave certain home comforts? In another country, these aren’t going to be there anymore. In some ways, it’s like drawing a line in the sand, and if you really are a person that thinks that the grass is greener on the other side, will you be happier moving to another country in the first place? Moving abroad can do so much for so many people, expats the benefits of an improved lifestyle for a cheaper cost, but the positives and negatives need to be seriously weighed up.
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