Everyone was born to become an expat but a few have managed to achieve this dignified course of life. The world has amazingly become so small that you can simply migrate to wherever you wish with less efforts. With the ever-declining costs of travel and the improved accessibility to advanced communication systems, life as an expatriate is within everyone’s short reach! This article highlights the basic stages through which you can become an expat and why it’s a worthy pursuit…
So why become an expat? Well, to some, living in the same country for decades can be so boring because you always see and feel the same things over and over again. Who doesn’t yearn for a new chapter in life, adventuring new places, feeling the different weather and meeting new people? I guess none. So we all love new encounters and that’s why we can’t continue living in the same place stuck with the same people for generations. Some people like me became expats because we yearned to experience life from a different perspective. I felt that I’ve had enough of our local foods so I needed to start tasting different foods and also learn a new language. Similar wishes have inspired millions of others across the globe to migrate and settle in foreign countries.
Does it pay off to become an expat? Absolutely yes! The life-changing experience of being an expat is a highly rewarding one and it doesn’t matter where you move to, but the fresh encounters will open to you a freshly exciting chapter in your life. The majority of expats I know have fallen so much in love with their host country that they’ve made it their home through gaining citizenship.
The excitement actually starts even before you leave your home country after you learn all the glorious things about your destination. That’s why you must undergo a critical decision-making moment since you’re gonna invest a lot of money in moving and settling abroad. We’ve all had those childhood dreams of moving to a particular country because of many reasons. If you had such a dream, I implore you to keep pursuing it because you know how much it means to you, so go ahead and pursue it.
Do you have what it takes to become an expat? Many will say money and yes, you need to have enough finances to kickstart your expatriate life. Basically, you need to have adequate money for at least six months (if you haven’t yet got a job) while you’re settling in. Some have quit their jobs, sold all their belongings and moved to another country while others do fundraise from within their social circles. Such decisions are very important and should be taken after a careful fact-finding. You don’t want to languish in a foreign land and so you should plan accordingly. Moving abroad is similar to investing in a business, you should calculate your moves wisely while in a better position to take the risks that come with such decisions.
Finally, you’re there, so what next? Before you arrived, you had made sure that you carried proper documentation to legalize your stay. Some expats come as tourists, students, volunteers, diplomats, etc, so a permanent residence visa might be issued a few years after your arrival. The internet is a valuable resource for new expats to find and join local expatriate forums on housing, jobs, finance, health, events, and safety. These forums also let you meet like-minded expats in your new place with whom you can socialize to overcome the homesickness. Some forums maintain regularly updated blogs on a range of topics like cross-cultural communication, coping with culture shock, managing your finances, family and relationships, repatriation and safety guides. I would recommend you to try InterNations for a start.
So you see, after all, it’s not that difficult to step into the expatriate life so long as you have the right information and not letting anyone take advantage of you. We have all been there at the planning stage and a lot of unfortunate things have happened to us in the quest for living a desired expatriate life but thank goodness, the determination pushed us to greater heights to achieve our dreams in foreign lands amidst strange cultures. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, your dream to become an expat is still legit!