10 brilliant things about living abroad

22nd November 2017

The Author: David Cooper
Financial strategist, investment adviser and Sales Director for United Advisers

Living abroad is not without the occasional challenge and cultural confusion. It can be hard accepting that not all countries share a passion for queueing and that not everyone likes to talk about the weather.  Most expats will probably have made a language faux-pas or two along the way:

FRANCE: thinking that préservatif means jam
GERMANY: getting “unterm Strich” and “auf den Strich,” confused
ITALY: trying to get away with “No problemo
SPAIN: “Quiero ser sucio” when you mean “Quiero ser socio”

Despite these small things, we know that for the most part, living abroad is brilliant.

Here are the top ten reasons why a life abroad is fantastic!

1. You can learn a new language

Note the can. If you are keen to learn a new language then moving abroad will certainly help but, in most countries, you can also navigate quite easily without becoming bi (or tri)lingual. If you are working in your native language and are surrounded by a strong expat community, you have the choice to embrace or avoid a new language.

2. You are more employable

Employers tend to favour candidates that have international experience. The Guardian puts this down to overcoming the challenges of international bureaucracy, different working practices and adapting to a new life without your normal support network. All of these things increase your resourcefulness and resilience.

3. You are better at problem-solving

Once you’ve figured out how to navigate healthcare, insurance or pensions in a foreign country you are generally pretty good at problem-solving. When you first move abroad the smallest things can be a bit of a challenge, like describing the kind of meat you want at the butcher because your pointing has let you down. Seasoned expats can remain calm in any situation knowing that all situations can be resolved, eventually. 

4. You can reap the rewards of international banking

As well as investing from an International Bank Account, which can give you access to investment opportunities that may not be available in your home country, you can often benefit from favourable tax rates.

5. You will never be bored

Being able to embrace change is always a positive quality to have. Employers and spouses alike appreciate those who can adapt comfortably to new challenges and environments. There is less opportunity for work or home to become stagnant when there are so many exciting new opportunities on the horizon.

You also have loads of new places to visit. New towns to shop in and new mountains to climb. When moving abroad we are motivated to take advantage of everything on offer. This normally means weekends spent exploring rather than binge-watching a box set.

6. You learn something new everyday

Alongside the language, faux-pas are the constant opportunities to learn. It might be language based but often the lessons come in surprising forms. This is the brilliant thing about living abroad; you are taken out of your comfort zone so you are constantly surrounded by new opportunity.

7. Your friends and colleagues are all jealous of you

We are talking about the Instagram and Facebook posts that immediately give you bragging rights!

While no one moves abroad to be able to share their lives on social media, it is nice to know that while you are enjoying the ski-season or post-work drink in the sun, others will be battling with the tube.

8. You can go home when you want (or to a new location)

Once you’ve re-located you quickly realise this is an achievable goal.  You don’t need to stay in a place you don’t enjoy.  So, should the time come, you know you can get on a flight and return to familiarity. The expat community is incredibly mobile and many often choose to relocate to another country entirely. If you are looking for inspiration for your next location check out the Top 5 countries with the best quality of life for expats.

9. You get to enjoy things from “home” all over again

When we move away from home it is surprising the items we miss. Things we wouldn’t normally place a high value on become precious, such as crumpets. Not the top of baked goods in the UK yet they are the number one top selling British product abroad.

10. You get to meet a new group of incredible people

Save the best for last! One of the greatest things about living abroad is meeting new people. Maybe you had to find your new group of friends through or perhaps you joined clubs and developed new hobbies. Your work colleagues may have become friends, or you perhaps have decided to keep them separate. Whichever approach you take to your new lifestyle, you have already differentiated yourself from the norm and are better for it.

Have we missed your favourite thing about living abroad? If so please get in touch with us on Facebook.

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