“It’s a lovely place to visit but I wouldn’t like to live there” is a common response when queried about the success of your recent holiday. Some people, however, return from their fortnight jaunt completely enamoured with the country they’ve just left. It’s a confusing feeling that people often believe is just a foolish, unrealistic dream.
But what if it’s not?
Below we discuss 7 seven signs that a country you’ve visited could be the perfect fit for you and, if you are thinking of moving abroad, they could act as checklist to finding your ideal destination.
You love the cuisine
This should be a huge consideration and you should ask yourself whether you struggled through the trip eating the same few things or whether you dived (not literally) into the cuisine and enjoyed each meal. If you’ve only stayed in hotels in a particular destination then bare in mind that this doesn’t accurately represent the typical diet of that nation, but if you’ve visited a local supermarket then picture how your weekly shop would look in that country.
The climate is right up your street.
Typically Britons travel to warmer countries during the hotter months of the year and this often enhances the enjoyment of the holiday, considering the miserable weather we experience here each year.
Would you enjoy staying in your prospective host country during the winter months when the beaches are empty and the cover’s on the pool?
You’re confident you could learn the language
It’s helpful that English is so widely-spoken, yet you’ll need to at least learn the basics to enjoy an integrated life abroad. Think back to how easily you picked up words and phrases during your trip and how similar it is to your native tongue, as the better you speak the language the more you’ll enjoy your life there.
The culture suits your lifestyle
We expect to have to adapt to local customs when relocating, however many like to avoid wholesale changes where possible. Therefore you should consider whether or not every amenity or service you needed was within reach every day? A sign that the culture is well suited to you is that you spent time mingling with the locals and not simply in the company of other Brits. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the company of other expats, but if you do so is it really inhabiting the country or just enjoying an extended vacation?
You could raise children there
Children may not be on your agenda now or in the future, but life’s an unpredictable thing, and circumstances can quickly change.
Would you want your children growing up in the culture of your new nation and being part of the education system? Is the healthcare system good enough or are crime rates too high? A country may appeal to you when you’re flying solo in your twenties, but would you like to build your nest there?
You have a firm grasp of the cost of living
Don’t assume that because your holiday was affordable that living in this country will necessarily be cheaper than your home nation.
Taxes, rent and property prices, healthcare, utilities and food may all be cheaper than at home, but how much less will your living wage be? Will your job be as secure as your current one?
You won’t have to give up your passions
Think of the things you love to do, whether it’s sport, art or science how easy will it be to continue with this? Emigrating is a stressful business, and having a familiar activity to fall back on and to meet like-minded people is essential to feeling comfortable. Otherwise you may fall victim to culture-shock and loneliness.
Do you feel that your prospective new home nation ticks all the boxes? Well, maybe this is something you could realistically consider. Expat life isn’t for everyone, though, and there are a number of expat forums out there where you can get first-hand advice from people who’ve been there and done that.