Is moving overseas a good idea, or just a dream

Himalayan views in Sikkim India

Millions of people all over the world are probably daydreaming about being anywhere other than home at the moment. With lockdowns in place across swathes of the planet, travelling has never been more alluring. If you’ve decided that moving abroad is a dream you want to fulfil when bans are lifted, you may be questioning whether it’s a good idea to act on wanderlust.

In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons to help you decide. 

Bourbon Street in New Orleans

What does moving overseas really entail?

If you’re a movie buff, or you live for boxset binges, you could be forgiven for thinking that moving to a different country is pretty simple and seamless. Whether relocating after landing a dream job or falling head over heels in love via email, the films make it look easy. In reality, there are convolutions and complexities that mean that it’s not as simple as booking a plane ticket and bidding farewell to friends and family.

When you move to the UK from some countries, for example, you need a visa to stay for a long period of time or take on work. Seeking advice from immigration solicitors can make the process easier, but it’s important to understand that you can’t just rock up at an airport, apply for jobs and sign a rental contract. Bear this in mind when you’re exploring different destinations and planning a move. You may be required to submit visa applications before you can put down roots or find a job.

Rose-tinted or realistic?

It’s easy to conjure up images of barbeques on the beach in Australia, hazy days by the pool in Spain or Italy or intrepid treks through verdant forests in Austria, Canada or Finland, but living overseas is very different to going on holiday. For starters, most people will be looking to earn an income when they relocate. This means that every day won’t involve indulging in leisurely, sun-drenched lunches or sunbathing.

It’s also essential to consider the impact of new cultures and being around people you don’t already know. It can be challenging to integrate, particularly if you don’t know the language or the culture is very different. It’s also crucial to be aware that there will always be highs and lows, no matter how fabulous the destination. Life has a habit of throwing curveballs, no matter where you are in the world. It’s better to enter into a move with a realistic idea about what life will be like, rather than to imagine it will all be sunshine and rainbows. 

Hidden piazzas in Trastevere, Rome

Plausible or pipedream?

There are myriad factors to consider when thinking about moving to a different country. For some people, it’s perfectly plausible to relocate, but for others, there are issues or obstacles that could render moving a pipedream. Consider your job, your family ties, your finances and your living arrangements. If you have children, for example, and you share custody, would you be willing to go months, maybe even years without seeing them? If you’re struggling to make ends meet financially, would you be able to fund the move and find your feet abroad? Ask questions, conduct research and try to use both your head and your heart. 

Moving overseas may seem like a dream come true, but there are potential drawbacks. Before you make any life-changing decisions, take time to research, to think about how you could adapt to a different life and to make sure that you understand the practicalities of relocating. 

Boracay, Philippines

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