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Being locked down for two years changed us, maybe the memory is starting to fade, but the experience has left its mark. One of the legacies of the pandemic must surely be that there are a lot of people out there who are looking to move and we’re not talking to the next town. All those hours alone with our laptops have left us hungry for travel. A couple of weeks in the sun just won’t do, we’re hungry for the experience of living somewhere else. So, if you’ve got the wanderlust and you intend to ‘light out for the territory,’ here’s five things you should consider before you book that flight.
5 Things to Consider Before Relocating Abroad
1. The cost of living
Work less, live somewhere nice, spend more time doing the stuff you really enjoy, that’s probably the general plan, isn’t it? If it is, then the cost of living is going to determine just how much of that fun stuff you can afford to do. There’s no point in heading off to Bermuda, unless you are going to be very well paid, or you are rich to start with. The same can be said of Monaco, Switzerland or Northern European countries like Norway and Iceland, which all feature in top ten lists of the most expensive countries in the world.
There is no point either, in heading for the world’s poorest countries, where your money will certainly go a long way but where you’ll encounter poverty, violent crime and political instability. So where is it cheap to live and fun to be? Thailand is a backpacker’s destination for good reason; it’s cheap, exotic and a lot of fun. The same can be said of India, though life here will be much more challenging. In Europe, Greece and Portugal are both cheap and beautiful and if you’re heading to Latin America, consider Mexico, Ecuador, or Costa Rica.
2. Property market
The opportunity to buy cheap property may be an incentive for you. Beautiful property in rural France, for example, is still breathtakingly cheap, although the general cost of living is high. If you’re looking for a low cost of living/cheap property combo, your best bet in Europe is probably Portugal, where you’ll find a wide range of listings to suit all budgets.
3. Job market
If you are intending on a digital nomad lifestyle, make sure that you are securely up and running before you set off and don’t forget to consider the time zone in which you will be operating. If you have a professional qualification, don’t assume that it will be recognised everywhere, it won’t.
You may well have to undertake additional training before you are allowed to practise. Basically, don’t just assume you’ll pick something up, do your homework and be clear that you understand the constraints within which you will be allowed to work in your new job.
4. Language barrier
Yes, English is widely spoken but it is far from universal and post Brexit it is no longer the go to language for E.U. countries. Make the effort, develop your language skill and start to learn the language of the country in which you intend to live.
It may be a tropical paradise but what happens if you get ill? What is there to do in the winter? What’s the transport system like? Find out the answer to these questions before you set off, not after.