Although we are conditioned to believe that home is where the heart is, a change of scene is something that more and more of us have started to desire. It may not be anything wrong with where we live, per se. Due in no small part to the internet, the world seems a much smaller place these days – and the charms of another country can be very persuasive.
Because of our increasingly interconnected world, the idea of moving a long way away is something that isn’t just a daydream. It’s also more and more possible. It’s not exactly what you’d call “easy” – there’s a lot to organize and it can be complicated – but the means are available. Depending where you want to move, there can be a lot of help available to you.
If you’re considering a country switch, these are a few things to bear in mind. Making sure you are prepared for these can make the whole process a lot simpler.
- The Language Barrier
If you’re hopping from the US to New Zealand, this obviously isn’t an issue. But depending on where you are going, there may be a linguistic hurdle to overcome. France is a popular destination for emigres, but you won’t get the full benefit if you don’t speak French. Additionally, you’ll find the locals less welcoming if you just expect them to speak English. Take classes and practice as often as possible by reading French newspapers and watching French news. The same applies to any other language.
- Means of Financial Support
Depending on your situation, you may need to look for a job in your target destination. Wherever that may be, there are facilities online to help you look. If, however, you have savings or an ongoing pension, then that may be all you need. Similarly, if you have a job or a business you can take with you to the new place, you’ll be set up before you leave your home countries shores. It’s worth looking into social security in your destination country, too- just in case.
- What You’re Taking With You
Imagine no possessions, said John Lennon. Imagining it is one thing, but when Mr. Lennon moved to New York one presumes he at least took his guitar. And maybe a piano. But if you’re thinking of taking anything as heavy as that you may need the help of skilled international removalists. They’ll keep your stuff safe, and you’ll see it on the other side.
- Settling In May Take Time
Going away for a holiday is a pleasure, but when it’s your new reality, there are challenges. You have to sort out the things you rely on back home – phone, internet, grocery shopping – and do them in a different way than you used to. Every new territory is exciting until your toilet gets blocked. Then it’s a challenge. Be ready for nothing to feel normal for quite some time.
None of this designed to dissuade you from looking further afield. If you’ve done your research, a change of scenery can be wonderful. As long as you’re not expecting it to be easy right away, it may be the most rewarding experience in your life. Bon voyage! Or “sigurno putovanje”, as they say in Croatia. Now there’s a thought…