Have you ever dreamt about relocating within your country or abroad? Chances are many of you may be perfectly happy with where you are.ย  On the other hand there will be some of you who can’t help having an image of seeing yourself living in a different state or country.

Longing for a different and better life is often an inspiration for a move to a different location. Maybe you like a cultural or climate change or want to immerse yourself in another language or just crave for an adventure.

Relocating from a romantic perspective

Many people from the ‘New World’ countries have a romantic expectation about moving to older cultures. Australians tend to see spending a period in France or Italy as one of the ultimate achievements in life. Many retired Americans move interstate, to Mexico or to Europe for a longer period to find out whether such a move could be off permanent nature. British people have a reputation of seeking out a new beginning in many South European countries.

Such moves are usually driven by positive motives. Yet on countless occasions more critical reasons come into play – war, recession and wanting to escape a political regime can all be reasons to move elsewhere.

The practical reality

Aside from the romantic notion, the practical consequences of ‘relocating’ can be daunting. As a matter of fact settling in another state may separate you from loved ones. Moving countries could strip you from your professional credibility and your qualifications may not have the same status as they have at home.

If your new country has a different language, it is likely to cause you severe stress. It will frustrate you that you don’t know how to do things. Your new local community might not immediately accept you or with great hesitation. Obviously, these are just some of the ‘issues’ that may arise after settling in a new country.

Whatever your motives are for relocating it is wise to spend time reflecting on a couple of essential things. Moving requires a lot of preparation, organisation and the willingness to start from scratch.ย In other words, take your time to prepare yourself mentally and physically.

Challenge yourself before relocating:

  1. Firstly, take time to assess your big ‘WHY. Brainstorm your motives, emotionally and rationally. Assess the things you will lose or gain and how you and your family will handle that.
  2. Secondly, plan a temporary move. Rent a house in the location of your choice. Live the local life for 6 months and see how you fit in.
  3. Thirdly, consider the practical and emotional consequences for you, your partner, your kids, your jobs and other essential things in life.

Having gone through a handful of moves myself, I urge you to take the above tips seriously. In conclusion, explore your motives, consider the consequences and try it out without committing or burning bridges.

Above all, have fun while doing it!

Marijke

relocating, moving abroad, research, preparation