Living abroad part I. Choosing the life of an expat.
Moving to a new country can be exciting but the journey from the point when you leave your home and the point when you get to enjoy the perks of living abroad can be a tiresome journey. I will give you some insights from my practical insight on this matter.
First you must find an opportunity for moving either be a new job, a trip for studies or just to explore new cultures and places. If you have a restless soul and just want to move from place to place, you are the perfect fit for expat living.
Planning is key! If your goal is to maintain or enhance your level of lifestyle, you should give some consideration to transferring the invisible perks of life. Yeah, that’s right, there are a lot of benefits we take for granted because we are so used to them that we do not even notice we have them, until we don’t.
Medical insurance is one of them, check if your new home country is compatible with your current provider and, if not, research local options.
Cost of transportation. Many cultures function differently, some rely solely on public transport which can be free or not, like the northern European countries, others extensively use personal transportation, like many parts of the US. Think about your needs and add this to your budget.
Which brings me to the most important issue. Budgeting. A new resident may find himself or herself adopting a different pattern of budgeting. Your housing may take a larger proportion of the budget than before, or maybe groceries cost more that what you’re used to. Just be prepared and make different scenarios with which you can be comfortable with.
Schooling. If you are moving your entire household, then schooling is something you should give first thought to. Let me tell you about my experience so it all makes sense. We moved to a small island in the Caribbean with our 18-month-old son. We immediately discovered that our new small island had very few vacancies for daycares or nurseries. The number was so limited that the customary thing to do was to register your baby to a waiting list since pregnancy! Public schooling was only for the local citizens and all the expat children were attending private schools. Obviously, the increased demand made the rates skyrocket and we had to re-adjust our budget accordingly. My point is, I wished that I did some research on this matter before!
These are just the main factors to consider in order to make your own life easier and enjoy your decision to the most. Obviously, in my opinion, taking a plunge into a completely different country has a lot of advantages and lessons. You can read a lot of more specific posts on my experience later on.