First of all, what stage in the expat process are you at? Have you settled on the region you want to live in? The country? The town? The neighborhood? Your new home?
To help you narrow down your options, I will ask you to figure out your “must-haves” list. Aka, what are the things that you must have in a foreign country or town to make it a feasible option for you to live there? Then you have to think about the logistical essentials, like is it even possible for you to acquire residency and other necessities there? And of course, can that place feel like home? The most important question of all when leaving the comfort of one place for a world of unknown.
What Are My Must-Haves for your New Home
This is a simple way to knock some contenders off the list. Find out what you must have in a community in order to make it possible for you to move there. These requirements will be unique to you. So grab a pen and paper and use the following questions to get thinking and start creating your MUST-HAVES LIST.
- What climate do you want to live in?
- Do you want four seasons a year?
- An eternal spring-like climate?
- A tropical sunny beach climate?
- Do you need to be close to a beach or do you prefer mountain views?
- Do you plan to go back to your previous country of residency often? Do you need to be close to an airport?
- How long does it take to travel back there?
- Do you want to be in a community with other expats, or do you want to be immersed in a local community?
- Are you coming with your family?
- What is the school system like?
- Are there retirement homes or hospices available?
- Will you be able to get by with English, or will you need to learn a second language?
- Are there certain products or services you will need presently?
- Do you plan to work? What will you do?
- What is the social scene like? Will your favorite hobbies be available to you there?
What Are the Logistical Essentials?
Then you have to think about the logistical necessities. Once you narrow down your list of countries, you can head over to our essentials page, to find out the answers to the following questions on the specific countries you are interested in.
- Are you aware of the country’s constitution and political climate?
- What is the residency process like?
- Can you get a work permit?
- Can you bring your pets with you?
- What are medical care and health insurance like there?
- Will you be able to open a bank account to move your money there?
- Does the average cost-of-living work with your budget?
These questions are not meant to overwhelm you; they are meant to get you thinking seriously about how to pick your new home.
They should give you a lot to think about. However, at the end of the search, usually choosing a place comes down to a feeling.
You can think about which place feels like it could be your next home.
Once you have it narrowed down to a couple of options based on the first two rounds of vetting, I highly suggest you visit those places to find out if they could really be possibilities for your future.
Have you compiled a Must-Have list to narrow your choices down to the best contenders? Share it with us, so we can learn from one another.
by: Megan Thompson