There’s no doubt that committing to the expat life is a big decision.
In many causes and especially for the younger crowd, it may very well be one of the most difficult and significant decisions of you’ve ever made.
And while it may be natural to zero in on the “what-if’s” and potential risks of taking the leap, it’s important for prospective expats to likewise look at the potential rewards, too.
If you’re on the fence about whether they should pursue opportunities to live and work abroad, don’t neglect the simple act of reflecting. To help guarantee that you’re making the right decision, we’ve broken down five tips and things you can do to give yourself some much-needed peace of mind.
Remember: Your Work Abroad Means Opportunities at Home
Simply put, sometimes you need to go beyond your backyard to maximize your earning potential. Whether this means moving across the world or to a neighboring nation depends on your situation; however, consider that more and more people worldwide are embracing the global economy for the sake of themselves and their families.
As such, a significant portion of the expat population uses that hard-earned money to create opportunities for families in their homelands. With the help of services like Remitly, workers abroad can take advantage of low fees and zero in on rates that allow them to squeeze the most they possibly can out of their paychecks. The end result is a win-win both at home and abroad.
Consider the Career Benefits
On a related note, going abroad may be your one shot to obtain your dream job or work alongside a big-name company that would look stellar on your resume for years to come. This could not only provide you with invaluable references, but also raise your earning potential for the long-term.
Spend Some Time Away from Home
If you have an area in mind for where you want to settle down and work, why not take a trip to see if you connect with the culture?
There’s no denying that many people romanticize what it means to be an expat, so seeing firsthand what it’s like is a smart move. If nothing else, you’ll get to experience the benefits of international travel as you decide if your destination is somewhere you could potentially call “home.”
Read About Other Expat Journeys
Although a firsthand trip is helpful, so is reading the firsthand accounts of people who’ve “walked the walk,” so to speak.
Beyond expat-specific discussion forms, there’s plenty of literature of there to provide you with realistic expectations of what your journey will entail. In particular, Should I Stay or Should I Go? and The Four-Hour Workweek can serve as some inspiration and insight on how to start fresh somewhere new.
Note That Homesickness is Temporary
You have every right to be concerned about loneliness and being away from your friends and family. That said, it’s arguably easier than ever to stay connected thanks to the web. Additionally, you can always cut your expat journey short if absolutely necessary.
Besides, modern expats rely on a number of cures for homesickness such as letter-writing and meditation to keep themselves calm when the stress starts to mount.
It’s also so important to look at the big picture of your journey. While you may miss your home country now, this may also be the only chance you’ll ever have this experience in the first place.
It’s only natural to second-guess any big decision and moving abroad is no different. That said, these pointers can provide you with the perspective you need to make sure you’re doing the right thing.