Have the travel bug? Seeking adventure or following the heart? Find out why expats are seeking a fresh start.
More and more people are moving abroad in search of health, wealth and happiness. According to a study by financial consultancy company Finnacord there are around 56.8 million expats in the world as of 2017, nearly 1% of the world’s population. An expatriate is defined as a person who temporarily or permanently resides away from their country of citizenship. The decision to move away from home and live the life of an expatriate is motivated by many different things, but a common desire to becoming an expat is to have a new start. Here we look at the six main reasons people like you decide to make the move abroad.
Catching the travel bug is one reason why expats feel compelled to live in different places around the world.
1. The Travel Bug
Catching the travel bug is one reason why expats feel compelled to live in different places around the world. If your symptoms include constantly researching and planning new holidays, dreaming and obsessing about living and travelling to new destinations, an indescribable fascination with new places and different cultures, and a longing to be free and unbound by any one place at any given time, then you’ve fallen victim! One or two trips a year often isn’t enough to satisfy someone with a travel bug, they need total immersion in new places or cultures, without being tied down to any one spot.
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2. Career Opportunities
Whether following an international assignment, starting a business abroad or accompanying a spouse while on an overseas contract, career is a major drawing force for moving abroad as an expat. Many expats work for international corporations and take up overseas assignments to grow their networks, move around in the company, and experience a new business culture. The growing trend for online workers even has a cool name – “digital nomads” – who can work from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection. There are many other industries such as hospitality, tourism, teaching and humanitarian work which cater to expat lifestyles.
3. Lower Cost of Living
Many expats are drawn to countries that offer a lower cost of living so their savings or pensions can go further. Countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Costa Rica and Mexico all appeal to expats since the cost of living is a fraction of that in the UK. Often these countries offer cheap housing to buy or rent, lower food and utility prices, and are located in sunny and beautiful parts of the world to make the move even sweeter. As many of us will enjoy longer lives but need to make our pension last longer, living more cheaply and healthily could become a necessity.
4. For love
The classic story of falling in love with someone from the other side of the world is a huge motivator to starting a new life abroad. In the UK we often see young Britons travelling abroad for an adventure, falling in love, finding work and then permanently living in their new home. Whether early love after university or a love later in life, matters of the heart are often a motivator for people to begin the expat journey.
The classic story of falling in love with someone from the other side of the world is a huge motivator to start a new life as an expat in another country.
5. For a life of adventure
The expat lifestyle can certainly offer an adventure. When the 9-5 grind gets you down, many people crave the diverse and different life that comes with a move abroad. Often expats drawn to adventure will take shorter stints in countries where they are able to work, and or enjoy their pension with a greater choice of adventurous activities to fill their leisure time.
6. To escape the humdrum
The greener pastures expats are those that leave the UK searching for something better, often escaping from something back at home. It might just be the drizzle, or a more serious reason like a damaging relationship or business upset. You only have one life, why stay somewhere you’re miserable, or in a lifestyle (or relationship!) that has run its course?
What’s your motivation to start anew and move to another country? Whether the travel bug, career, love or for a cheaper way to enjoy your life, the choice to enter an expat lifestyle is one that’s rarely regretted.