I can totally see that moving abroad seems attractive to many people, as I have done it five times myself. Our last move was in 2017 and we moved from Australia to France. As we are originally from Europe, it felt a bit like going home although France is not our home country.

After more than 5 years in France, we can conclude that our move was successful. We have settled in a lovely small town in the Aude surrounded by vineyards and gorgeous countryside. There is plenty to do in this area although Covid through a huge spanner in the works.

People have asked WHY we left, as Australia is an attractive country to visit and settle. It certainly is or maybe better, it was. We arrived in Australia in 1991 and at that time, it was a great country but it has changed and not entirely for the better.

Our reasons for leaving Australia

  • Cost of living

Since we migrated to Australia, the country has become increasingly more expensive. Consequently, a reason why we left was the high cost of living.

  • Easy to settle

France is part of the EC and that makes it relatively easy to settle there. At least for me with a Dutch passport and it would have been for my British husband before UK left the EU. Fortunately, he has been able to get French residency status because of being married to me.

  • More variety

Being able to see other countries and spend longer periods in other EU countries was part of our decision to leave Australia. Distances in Australia are huge, and it takes time to get a change of scenery. The landscape is stunning but relatively similar and it usually requires a plane trip to immerse yourself into a different type of landscape.

  • Closer to family and friends

An important factor was to see family and friends more regular although we found out that travelling in Europe is not without hiccups. A flight from Australia to Europe takes 24 hours if you are lucky. As a result, you donโ€™t hop over for a weekend. It requires planning and realistically you may see loved ones only every couple of years. A few people came to visit us, but we often heard that a visit was too costly or would require their total annual holiday.

  • Climate

If you like it hot, you can have it that way Down Under. After having lived through 17 subtropical Brisbane summers, I can honestly say that I had enough.

What you must consider before moving abroad

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Understandably there is a lot to consider before moving abroad. A mistake many people make is not knowing how they could support themselves. It is important to know to find out in advance if you are allowed to work and if there is work available.

If you are thinking of setting up a business, you must find out if there is a demand. Since we moved to Limoux, the offer of holiday accommodation has at least doubled. For example, a bed and breakfast business is not an automatic ticket to success.

Those who plan to retire, they need to check whether it is possible to receive your pension. Do your old country and the country you are going to, have an agreement to pay out pensions. Many Australian have found out that they won’t be able to receive their pension in France.

All in all, moving abroad can be an exciting adventure but it needs realistic planning. You need to assess your reasons why and become clear about the things you will leave behind.

I hope that give you some food for thought!

Feel free to reach out if you want to explore this further.

Marijke

perfect lifestyle, moving abroad, research, lifestyle change