All Abroad

5 Ways To Decide Where To Move If You’re Itching For An Overseas Adventure

By Louis Costello

There are a plethora of reasons why moving abroad should be near the summit of your bucket list—new memories burnt into your brain for life, new people who you'll keep in touch with while the others will be a fond memory for future years,  life experiences that'll shape who you are, and food that will make you question how you went this long without it. It's a no-brainer. 

But where to go? There are nearly 200 countries in the world and who knows how many cities, so where you eventually end up can be a tough decision to make.

To help us help you, we teamed up with HSBC and chatted with current UK-to-Australia expat, Paul Rossiter, to craft a few ways to help you to figure out where your next home will be.

Job opportunities

For Rossiter, his new employer helped with one other crucial aspect of moving overseas: an abode, “I was fortunate enough to have one-month accommodation in a serviced apartment provided by my new employer and this gave me some time to find a long-term place to stay when on the ground in Sydney.” 

Not everyone will pull a Rossiter, and organise a job prior to leaving your home, so it is worth researching what the job market looks like in any city of interest. Figure out the cost of living compared to the average wage of any jobs you’re interested in and that will help whittle down your list. 

Existing relationships

While Rossiter didn’t have any close friends or family in Australia before moving here, he did find other means to make connections, “My new employer had a number of other expats working for them already so that helped to make connections with them and meet new friends through some of their existing social networks.”

A lot of expats will find comfort in familiar faces, but that’s not always the case—some will find the lack of old friends and family positively thrilling. Take a leaf out of Rossiter’s book and don’t be afraid to go to after-work drinks or those inevitable bonding retreats. Work friends can become real friends.

Suitable weather

For some, the cold weather is their comfort zone. Others prefer the sun belting down on their face while they sip an iced marg. Thankfully, if you are moving to Australia, you get the best of both worlds: “To experience that UK traditional Christmas feeling I’ve done a few Christmas in July events with friends when it’s colder in Australia. Head to somewhere like the Blue Mountains and hire a cozy house with a log fire and eat traditional British Christmas foods and have a few drinks.”

If you’re a snow bunny, somewhere Nordic might be more up your alley—Iceland is just to die for.

The ease of transition

How easy it is to move to a different country varies wildly, so an easy way to cull your list of potential countries is to first, figure out if you can even move there. 

Once that aspect has been ticked off, you then want to suss out other potential hurdles—currency conversions, visas, bank accounts, all the dry bits and bobs—and you’ll be surprised by how quickly your decision could be made for you. 

The other thing to consider is the cultural differences. If you’re looking for a culture shock, go down that route. If you’re looking for something that’s different but feels familiar, choose those types of countries.

“I think Australia is relatively easy to assimilate to when you’re from the UK. However,  the number of people doing early morning exercise was a shock to me! I don’t think anyone I knew back in the UK did any fitness activities before work but over here everyone was running, swimming and doing bootcamps very early in the morning,” Rossiter explains.

Overall vibes

The whole point of moving somewhere new is to immerse yourself in that culture—your home will always be there if and when you go back, so ignore that for the time being and throw yourself into your new surroundings. 

“The way of life is so good, even after 15 years here I still sometimes feel like I’m on a holiday, even though I have a busy life and demanding job,” Rossiter says. 

Rossiter’s hit on something important to remember: even though you will be working to support yourself, you are technically still on holiday, so treat it as a long-term vacation. If you’re moving to Australia, make ample use of the beaches and festivals, as, like every other country, it is uniquely its own, so you want to experience everything while you’re here. 

It ultimately comes down to what vibe you’re looking for. The rest will fall into place.

Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with HSBC. Thank you for supporting the partners who make Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.

Image: Urban List

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