Moving abroad tops a lot of our bucket lists, and whether it’s a season or two in Ibiza, a camp job in America or just a desperate need to leave your hometown behind, it all counts towards our desire for adventure.
Several of our team have lived abroad, and some still do after making a permanent move from the UK. Destinations include Thailand, Australia, and Malta, amongst some others. So we’re pretty qualified when it comes to moving across the world, from a practical, logistical and emotional perspective.
This blog will help you to get your ducks in a row and figure out where to start when it comes to your big plans of moving. If you’re already further along in the process, it’s a good checklist to use to cross-reference what you have or haven’t already done.
So here is it, the list of the 5 most important things to consider when moving abroad…
1. The Job Market
This has always been the most important element of moving abroad, but it’s even more complicated now in a post-Brexit world. Although it’s still unclear as to what requirements will be for applying to live and work within the EU, there’s a good chance it could become more difficult. We won’t touch on Brexit as quite frankly, we’re the travel experts, not politicians, and the guidance is still not available.
So, back to jobs. What’s the market like? Are there jobs available for your skill-set? What’s the average salary, or even the minimum wage in your desired destination? (they can be very low, taking Malta’s €777 a month as an example – more on that here).
It’s obviously sensible to move somewhere where you will be in demand, and even more sensible to secure a job before you leave, although we appreciate this won’t always be possible. Be sure to browse local job boards to gain an understanding of the following:
- Are there jobs available that would suit you?
- Is English the only language required?
- How much would you be paid?
- Do they hire internationals?
2. The Housing Market
There are a few important things to consider when it comes to housing abroad, starting with the average cost of renting. It’s vital to understand how far your money will go in terms of property, and whether you’re looking at a modern apartment or a room in a shared house.
This needs to be paired with your job and salary research, so that you can asses what quality of life you will have. Moving abroad and spending 90% of your earnings on your accommodation is far from ‘living the dream’, so don’t get caught out.
The answer to these questions will of course, depending on where you’re going, but the cost of housing directly influences how much money you’ll have to live on, so think long and hard about the following:
- What’s the average rental price?
- Will I have to share a place?
- Which neighbourhoods are best
Great, the job market and the housing market are now well understood, so now it’s time for you to work on point 3 – how are you going to get around?
Research the public transport network and work out how you’ll get to work and back, how frequent the buses or trains are, and of course, how much they cost. The UK has one of the best transport networks in the world (believe it or not) and although some destinations are head-and-shoulders above us, some are an awful lot worse.
If you’re considering a car, look into the cost of importing or purchasing, as well as the running costs like petrol and tax. You should also look at the driving conditions, if you’re not a confident driver, you will struggle, especially if the country drives on the opposite side. In summary for transport, consider:
- Which method of transport is most reliable, well-connected and affordable
- Work out the price of driving and maintaining a car
- Research the driving conditions
4. The Climate
This is a less obvious one, but trust us, as a group of people that have lived in incredibly hot African climates, this is something you shouldn’t go into without consideration.
Picture this. It’s no colder than 25c in the winter, and it gets over 40c throughout the entire summer. Great, right? Yes, it really is, but it takes some getting used to. Your life will consist of air conditioning almost 24/7 and drinking more water than you can possibly imagine. If you’re not good with the heat, it would be a very silly idea to move somewhere with a warm climate.
On the other side of the coin, there’s pros and cons to a colder country. So the moral of the story is to really get to know your destination, learn about the seasons and what it’s truly like to live in it.
5. Your Downtime
We’ve talked a lot about work and earnings and practicalities, but don’t let this take away from the magic and adventure of moving abroad. Once everything is arranged and you’re in your new home, you’re free to start your new life.
But do your research as to what this looks like. How’s the social scene? What is the expat community like? Where can you meet new people and connections?
Most popular destinations have vibrant communities, with Facebook groups and organisations arranging events and meetups to break the ice. Don’t underestimate how important this part is.
The Reality of Moving Abroad
Look, we can’t tell you exactly how you will find it living abroad. There are so many variables, where you move to, the kind of person you are, and much more.
What we can tell you is that preparation, an open mind and a bit of grit will go a long way. There will be surprises along the way, regardless of how prepared you are, but you will do a better job of dealing with them if you take it on the chin and remember why you moved in the first place.