Travel

The Expat Experience: 5 Things To Consider Before Moving Overseas

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

There are so many reasons to choose the expat life. Perhaps you’ve secured a job overseas, maybe you’ve finally become a full-time digital nomad, or perhaps your working days are behind you altogether. Whatever’s calling you out into the wider world, you certainly have some exciting times ahead. 

To ensure you get the most out of your overseas adventure, keep the following five tips in mind. 

1. Your taxes might get tricky

Every country has different rules about what makes you an official tax resident. So, before you head off, it’s essential to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re heading off on a working holiday Down Under, save a tax calculator for Australia in your bookmarks. If you’re planning to slow travel through Europe, make sure you understand how long you can stay in any given country before you’re considered a tax resident. To be sure you get everything right, it’s worth speaking to an accountant before you leave.  

2. You may not settle in your original planned country

Many people set off with a dream destination in mind, certain that this is where they will settle down. However, it’s incredibly common for expats to move around a bit before they find their forever home. This could mean moving states or moving countries altogether. 

You may love the beaches in Costa Rica, for example, but find that the cost of living is far higher than you anticipated. Perhaps you adore the food and culture in Mexico City but end up settling in a smaller town once you’ve learned Spanish and done some more exploring.  

3. Find a place where you can fit in

We all have the home comforts that we love, but if you find yourself constantly complaining about the lack of these things in the country you’ve moved to, this is a sign that it may not be the place for you. 

 

It’s important to fit in with the culture and ways of life in any country you intend to settle down in. After all, if you want everything to be just the way it is at home, then why leave home in the first place? 

4. Get to know the locals

As a foreigner, one of the best ways to get comfortable in a new place is to get to know the people around you. One of the easiest ways to do this is to support small local businesses. Buying from street vendors, fresh fruit and vegetable markets, and other small stores in your neighborhood allows you to become a familiar face while supporting your new community.

 

Learn as much as you can about the local customs, and then greet your neighbors in the appropriate way. It’s also helpful to head along to things like dance nights, language exchanges, and other meet-up groups. 

5. Have a life outside the expat bubble

When looking for meetup groups and community events, many new expats gravitate toward those run by other expats. While you should certainly get to know the expat community, it’s important to extend your social life beyond this bubble. 

 

It can be daunting to put yourself out there, especially if you don’t know the language. However, this is what travel is all about. Sitting on a lush tropical island is, of course, spectacular. But it’s infinitely more memorable to explore the place with some locals who can reveal hidden wonders and stories from its past. 

 

These tips should serve you well as you plan and prepare for your departure. Add in plenty of research on your destination of choice, and you’re sure to enjoy a thrilling expat experience. 

Write A Comment