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The world is a big place. Incidentally, it’s also your oyster, which means that you have no reason to live forever in the same place. More and more families choose to move abroad for a variety of good reasons, and very few of them find the need to come back. They are happy in their new life. If you find yourself in a position where you need to move to a new country, it’s important to know that it could be a positive step in your life.
There’s one important question that needs to be answered at first: Why would you want to move abroad? A lot of people move for professional reasons: They are offered a promotion and take the next logical step in their career. Others choose to move for family reasons. Finally, some people need a change in their life, and they decide to get a fresh start away from their everyday stress. There are many circumstances in which you can decide where to live. So where is right for you and your family, assuming you were in a similar situation?
The expat life, what for?
When you’re thinking about moving abroad, it’s natural to feel nervous about it. Moving homes it stressful, but changing country in the process can feel overwhelming. However, don’t panic because the expat life makes you happier, healthier and – best of all – wealthier. According to this article telegraph.co.uk/expat/health/does-expat-life-really-make-you-healthier-wealthier-and-happier/ that reviews the experiences of expat citizens in the world, a whopping 69% of expats found that their life abroad has had a positive influence on their health, which is over 10% more than people who have not left their country. Don’t they say that a change of air is good for you? The expats agree about it: Living in more than one country makes you healthier. More importantly, 63% of expat reported that they were happy in their life, with is again 10% more than people who stayed at home. While this might sound too good to be true, in reality, a lot of expats struggle when they go back to their country of origin, as they found that living abroad was stress-free and more relaxed. They’ve redefined home as the place where they feel good in their skin, and more often than not, that place is under a new sky.
If this has convinced you to live in a different country, you will need to take things slowly at first. It’s big decision to take, especially when you have a family, so it’s essential to plan it carefully and to discuss it at length with your other half and your children. Kids, especially young ones, thrive routine and stability, so you can expect an international move to throw them off balance for a time.
(Related post: Things You Need To Know Before Moving To A New Country)
Therefore if you want to live the expat dream described above, you will have to take the time to introduce the idea to your kids and to help them understand the implications. Take their feeling on board too: Being scared and stressed is to be expected, and you shouldn’t ignore their fears. In fact, the more you talk to them about it, and explain how the other country is going to be, the easier it’s going to be for them. Additionally, kids are not the only ones to stress out. Moving abroad means that you need to think of finding a property, dealing with a new healthcare system, and getting used to new foods and routines. In short, the earlier you start to gather information and plan for your new life, the smoother it’ll be.
But there is still the question of where to move, where you expat life is going to be. If you can pick a destination, it’s crucial that you stay true to your priorities and to the things that you have built your happiness on. Below, you will find a few ideas to get started to look into new destinations around the world.
Somewhere close and known
If you don’t want to dive into a completely unknown and unfamiliar culture, you could try to look into the neighboring countries. Canada, especially, is an excellent choice for families as the population is renowned for being one of the friendliest on the planet. Canadians are indeed incredibly welcoming, and they seem to be kinder and easier-going than most other countries – which isn’t to say that Americans aren’t friendly.
There’s also a clear advantage to living in Canada, and that is the absence of language barrier. While a lot of Canadians are bilingual French and English, you can get by if you only speak English in any part of Canada. And if you decide to live in Quebec, you will soon pick the language anyway! You may also be thinking of the breath-taking landscapes in Canada. But there’s something that most people forget about the country, and it’s the cleanliness of its air. Whitehorse, the largest city in northern Canada, has some of the cleanest air in the world, compared to other urban areas according to the WHO.
Somewhere with shorter working hours and more family time
If you worry that you won’t have enough time for your family in your expat life, you may be interested in the family-friendly approach in the Swedish society. Sweden offers a very long parental leave for both parents that can be taken up until a child turns eight. Additionally, with always at heart the desire to improve the work/life balance, Swedish companies have tried a 6-hour working day for the past 2 years with a lot of success. The media have dismissed the experiment as being costly, but the social and health benefits to the Swedish households were positive. Who knows? The Swedish government might introduce a new regulation on reduced weeks?
Somewhere far away for a new start
If you are up for a brand new start in a new culture, you’ll love the idea to move to Indonesia. This is the life that this couple has started in Jakarta and they don’t regret a minute of it. They have household help at home, which a standard habit in Indonesia and they also enjoy a lot of free time together to visit the world and learn Asian languages. If you’re feeling inspired by their story, you might want to take a look at the real estate market in Indonesia, rumahdijual.com/cibubur/apartemen-cibubur-village. The cost of living and housing is cheap, and you can get a big property at a bargain price!
Somewhere warm and affordable
For all those who crave a warm spot in the sun in a country that isn’t too culturally different from the US, but that remains refreshing, give Portugal a chance. According to this expat guideline livinginportugal.com/en/why-portugal/one-of-the-best-places-to-live, this southern European country is one of the places to live and own a house. Not only is the climate extremely mild with around 3,300 hours of sunshine per year, but the cost of living is affordable too. Lisbon, the capital, is one of the cities in the world with the best quality of life, which combines as said the cost of living and the taxes, but also the friendly population, the relaxed lifestyle and the geographical location.
So with this abundance of choices, now’s the time to ask yourself where your expat life should take you.