Research shows that at any one time more than half of us are dreaming of a new life overseas, but few actually succeed in making the transition from fantasy to reality.
To completely turn everything on its head and start your life all over again in a foreign country is an incredible undertaking and one that many dream of but most ultimately shy away from.
If you would like to make your dream a reality this article will help you find the courage and strength you need to: -
- Define your new life
- Find your motivation for making your new life a reality
- Overcome any fears or uncertainty
- Practically work to find your ideal destination
- And avoid some of the more common pitfalls
What is it about your current life that you would like to change?
This will be the most important step on your road to getting a new life ? finding out whether you really do want a new life or whether you simply need to make adjustments to your current life ? it's all about finding your motivation!
Take a look at the following areas of your life. Write down honestly and exactly why you are dissatisfied or disillusioned with them, or how you would like to change them. Then write down if and how moving abroad will bring you closer to satisfaction in these areas.
Hopefully there are areas of your life that you are perfectly happy with, if that's the case, make a note of how these areas of your life will be affected if you move overseas - either positively or negatively.
a) Your work/job/career.
b) Your living environment/your home/your home town.
c) Your personal/family life.
d) Your social life.
The point of this exercise is getting a reality check and ultimately defining your motivation for seeking a new life.
You can keep coming back to what's important to keep and what's important to change as you progress with your planning. This will make sure you stay on track and aren't running away from something negative only for it to follow you, and you aren't leaving behind something important.
Once you have your motivation defined this will guide the rest of your journey.
Step Two - Stop thinking "what have I got to lose" ? instead, start asking yourself "what have I got to gain?"
Time to be utterly selfish ? and time for another list!
You and your important people ? i.e., anyone else you want to move overseas with (partner, children) - need to sit down and make a 'life wish list.'
What is it you want out of life...?
Write down everything, no matter how trivial or how incredible?
Now compare lists!
Find common ground, find compromise and ultimately see how the dreams you've all now defined will be reconciled with the reality of a new life abroad.
Again, as you progress with your planning you can keep these dreams in mind and make sure you're progressing in the right direction to achieve them.
Step Three ? Honesty and self knowledge.
You and your family now need to be honest with yourselves about the type of people you are.
Are new beginnings a thrill and challenge for you or does the thought truly scare you?
If you go into a blind panic at the thought, are you certain that you want to uproot yourself and go through the stress that does go with any new start?
Yes, the rewards are there but you do have to battle through some stresses to get there.
If you know that as a family unit you will survive, or you're considering making the move alone and you know that you're strong enough to keep going through the unknown to establish a life for yourself, then all you now need to do is go back to your motivation for choosing a new life abroad and hold on to that...it will get you through.
Step Four ? Choosing the right country.
You may already have a country in mind; somewhere you've holidayed and fallen in love with, somewhere you already have family or friends or somewhere you've seen on the TV or in movies and where you dream of making a new life?
Some people do have very definite plans about where in the world they'd like to be this time next year, but it seems that just as many people are a little overwhelmed at the choice and have yet to make a final destination decision.
So, how do you decide?
Well, everyone has different desires but as a general guide, the following are some of the main areas you should consider and research before you make your ultimate choice. They'll help your head keep your heart in check when you visit and fall in love with a property or pace of life!
Cost of living
School rankings & quality of education
Career & job prospects
Law & order
Accessibility & transportation
Health care services
Weather & climate
Ease of relocation
Lifestyle & entertainment
Step Five - Visit the countries you've short listed as dream destinations.
This may sound so obvious to many people, but unfortunately in my time as an expatriate in 5 very different countries I've met many people who have made the move based on house prices or photographs alone and seriously regret their decision.
You have to get a feel for a country before you make a commitment to it.
First impressions do count but they are not the be all and end all - when you spend longer in a place you begin to see both the cracks and the hidden treasures.
Step Six - Remember that you can't run away from your problems or who you are.
Problems, issues, debts and emotional baggage will follow you around the world!
You'll still react to upsets the same way whether you're at home or abroad.
Self knowledge is the key to success in life. Problems always crop up, but if you can learn to live or deal with them before you go, you are far more likely to survive life abroad.
Step Seven ? Ready, steadily, go!
If you've done your homework, covered all the considerations and suggestions I've made, and researched all your options you will have found your motivation, found the inner stoicism to see this through, and you will ultimately have your new life mapped out in your mind.
You are now ready to make the whole thing happen!
It's time to move steadily through the practicalities of sorting out your old life and preparing your new life.
And if you spend time dealing with the necessary organisation and arrangements, the time to go will come around so quickly, you'll soon find you're living your new life abroad and never looking back.
Rhiannon Williamson is a publisher with specialist knowledge covering literally every single aspect of moving & living abroad.
From offshore investment and offshore banking to international living and buying property abroad.
Check out her site Shelter Offshore to find out how you can escape from the rat race, relocate overseas, and profit from your move!