If you have been considering a move abroad, chances are you are equal parts excited and terrified. Making a life chance of this magnitude is not for the weak, not by any measure. It takes guts/chutzpah/moxie, or whatever other names you know for courage and bravery.
Fear should never stop you from making a change. Allow your anxiety and fear to help you prepare for your move instead. Do the research and make a few hundred lists – whatever it takes to get you feeling confident and prepared.
Below are seven tips for choosing your new home country:
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1. Prioritize Housing – But Don’t Be Afraid to Rent
Before you choose a new country to live in, you must look at several cost factors. Housing, transportation, and cost of living should be at the top of your research list. One of your first steps should be finding a safe place for you and your family.
If you’re in the market to buy a place, put a pin in that for now. Take the time to get to know areas, neighborhoods, and states like Arizona, by renting for the first six months. If, after that, you are still head over heels in love with your new home, you may consider putting in an offer – if you are legally allowed to purchase property in that country.
2. Consider The Language Barrier
If you’re moving from America, chances are you speak one language – English. Depending on the new country of your choice, you may need to learn a new language to fit into your new neighborhood.
Most European countries have English speakers, but it will enhance your experience if you learn the language of that country before you buy a house in Barcelona. Not only will it make the locals feel more respected, but they will also be more inclined to welcome you into the neighborhood – effort on that level rarely goes unnoticed.
3. Choose A Culture
When choosing a new country to move to, multiple factors will need careful contemplation and culture is one of the more vital ones. Don’t be afraid to choose a country with a completely different culture to yours, as long you read up on it and exercise common courtesy – you will be fine.
Culture shock can take a few weeks or months to get used to, so don’t worry if you stick out like a sore thumb for a while, you will eventually get the hang of it – particularly if you try to be respectful.
4. Climate Matters
If you’re from a tropical country, chances are you won’t be so comfortable moving to a snowy land. Choosing where you want to live abroad can mean making difficult choices, depending on your priorities.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you must ensure that you can do the same in your new country – otherwise, be prepared to make a drastic change to your lifestyle. The best advice is to stick to what you know and like, especially if you don’t handle change too well. If you’re a bit more adventurous, it is easier to compile a list of the best countries to live in.
5. Safety Concerns
Moving abroad can be an exhausting and daunting task. The great news is that it is almost always worth it, and those are pretty good odds. Most people who move overseas and are unhappy are usually the ones who didn’t do enough research before leaving.
No country is totally safe 100% of the time; this isn’t the 1950s anymore- but that doesn’t mean that there are countries whose safety rating far exceeds other countries. The Global Peace Index is an accurate way to determine the most peaceful countries in the world as it reflects both crime rate and political stability, among other things.
Iceland has been at the top of that list since the late 2000s, but if that doesn’t float your boat: Portugal, New Zealand, and Canada all also hold high rankings – check these out.
6. Happiness Ranking
Since 2002, there has been an annual World Happiness Report released. That might sound a little weird, but happiness is more important than you will ever realize. This report uses statistical data to analyze the world’s happiest countries.
Finland consistently ranks as the world’s happiest country, with a score close to 8 (out of a possible 10) – Finland gets distinctions all around. The country gets credited with strong feelings of communal support and trust, freedom to make choices, and minimal suspicion of political corruption. That might sound like the bar is set low in terms of happiness, but it’s a good start!
7. Job Opportunities
Job opportunities are another deciding factor when choosing a new country to emigrate to. Begin your search by looking at opportunities in your field of expertise and experience. Whichever country you choose to move to needs to have employment opportunities to suit your needs.
Many countries require you to have a valid offer of employment before visas are granted – so do your research and find a job that you’re passionate about – happy workers make for happier people.