When hoping to move house, even down the street, there are many little variables you have to consider. Thinking about how your life might change, what norms you have taken for granted, and how this might impact your schedule or daily way of life is essential. But this can be even more pronounced when considering living abroad.
After all, not only will you need to engage with a new culture, but with new perspectives on what homeownership means and how that might translates to your physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. The truth is that we can make all the guesses in the world about what this might mean – but in the end, you have to see for yourself.
But is that truly necessary? After all, you can’t exactly plan for a move abroad if the only metric by which you can predict its success is already having lived there. That’s why in this post, we hope to discuss a few interesting tidbits about living abroad, insights you may wish to consider, and processes that might just help you out. Let’s explore, together:
Understanding The Culture
It’s important to understand the culture that you’re part of, preferably with some pre-move study. Otherwise, it can be quite hard to adapt to the norms when moving, even if the moving process itself has been nothing but seamless.
Understanding the culture might help you understand when it’s worth dropping in and introducing yourself to your neighbors, and what the most polite greeting is. You may also find that the flow of life, such as when is best to invite friends around, how to make heads or tails of your local supermarket or order at the local market, and what social norms ensure goodwill between neighbors – all of this can help you settle in more easily. You’re unlikely to prepare for absolutely everything, but a willingness to learn can be an amazing first effort.
Meeting Your Neighbors
Meeting your neighbors is important anywhere, even if you just want to understand who is in no way interested in being friends with you. Meeting the neighbors can also help you feel more connected to your local environment, giving you a grounding point of familiarity to feel a little less alone, or a little less like an outsider.
For the most part, people are more than accepting and willing to welcome you to their area, even if that’s just the neighbor living above and below you in an apartment block. Furthermore, they will no doubt understand that you are new to the country, and may even give you tips such as where is best to eat at the weekends, and what other neighbors to avoid. This can help you show your appreciation, and it will also help you realize that human kindness is international.
Knowing The Area
Taking some time to learn about the area you’re moving to can help you feel comfortable and confident when living there. This might involve taking a few trips to the city or town you hope to move to before you move there. Spend a summer there, perhaps, and explore. Come to know its roads, its businesses, its people. Come to understand the advantages and disadvantages of living there, which every single place (even the most affluent areas) will have.
Knowing an area helps it feel like home. Conversely, you can live in a place for twenty years, but if you haven’t explored much of it, it will no doubt feel as alien to you as the day you first stayed there. So – be adventurous! Be bold. Try your best to learn. And sooner rather than later, as you will see, the world will open its doors to you and feel much more inviting, even if only a certain pocket of it.
It’s worth knowing how to secure your property, and the norms of this may change depending on where you live. Knowing what the custom is for emergency services, or just how quickly you can get a callout, or how the property security norms are considered in your host country can be a great idea to learn about. This might differ depending on where you live and what kind of property you live in. In some areas, marking the property borders with large fences may not be seen as very welcome, as it could spoil the natural landscape, for example. It’s worth considering what your options are if only to help plan every stage of your future life in a wonderful area.
Understanding Financial Commitments
Understanding your financial commitments is also a good use of your time to learn. For instance, calculating the stamp duty that may be required for a certain property can help you understand how you should budget for this property, and what kind of return you can expect for that. This can help you compare properties and areas as you go on, giving you the best chance of success.
It’s also worth considering, or even calculating, what the cost of this move may be. This includes vacations to the area to scope the surroundings, what the visa application process might take and more. If you can achieve that, then you’ll no doubt avoid the shock and worry that may come with overstretching already sparse funds.
Local Access & Daily Norms
It’s very easy to have an image of an area that is completely adjacent to what reality actually is. Don’t feel that this signifies a great personal failure on your part – it really doesn’t. What it does indicate, however, is that there’s always more to learn than you think. Understanding this can help you move forward with a sense of compassion, not only for yourself but for your new surroundings. That’s what makes learning all the more fun, and all the more memorable.
With this advice, we hope you can consider life abroad to be a potential golden opportunity. At the very least, when making this decision, you’re more likely to know just what you’re getting into. That can be very healthy.