I have written thousands of words about moving abroad for a couple of reasons. One: I’m involved with a website that offers an online service so you can find the right removal company when you want to relocate to sunnier climes. Two: I’ve been an expat for the best part of seven years now.
Whilst I will not say I’m an expert on being an ex-pat, I do happen to think I’m well versed enough to pass on the odd piece of advice now and then. Let me start by telling you a little story:
When I first left the UK in 2006, my husband and I decided South America would be a great place to explore. We spent months researching a lovely little country called Uruguay and even made a friend who had moved there from America. This person had been there for almost a year and loved it.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we moved “lock, stock and barrel” not to mention two cats! Our start was a bumpy one to say the least. We were not armed with the language and had never been there before. As you’re reading this, you may think what a stupid move to make. Well, to a certain point, I agree with you.
For me personally, this first year of being an ex-pat was a really difficult time. I felt like I was on a roller coaster emotionally. Looking back, I now remember the little niggles that were nagging away at me before we left the UK.
It was strange things that hit the back of mind like why there were bars on all the windows of the houses we were looking at on the internet. Or, when I was looking at pictures it sort of concerned me that certain parts of the capital city looked really poor whereas others didn’t. I’m sure you get the point.
As it so happens, what I did find was that although I didn’t settle in Uruguay (I spent 12 months there) I did have some fabulous times, and made some very good friends I still speak to even today. I also realised I had no desire to return to the UK. Today, I’m happily ensconced in Spain, and hope to stay here for as long as life will allow me.
If you take anything from this article, remember this. If you have the SLIGHTEST bell ring in your head, or flutter in your stomach that tells you something just isn’t right about the country you’ve chosen to originally move to, look elsewhere. Not everyone will be as lucky as I was!
Author: Julie Coburn