Considering a Move Abroad? A Few Points to Remember Before You Make the Jump...
Jan 21, 2014
One of the best pieces of advice we can offer is to visit any destination prior to making a final move. Where International makes this easy with our Discovery Weekends… book one now and get the ball rolling on your future!
Well, here we are again in the dead of winter. The time of year that sparks conversations about living abroad – especially if it’s a locale with much warmer temperatures then the northern hemisphere!
For some, you’ve vowed that this will be your last winter dealing with freezing temperatures. For others, you’re happy you made the decision many winters ago. But no matter where you sit on the ‘move abroad train’, it’s important to remember that it’s not all sunsets and surf… there are some important (borderline serious) aspects of moving that need to be heeded:
Don’t Leave Your Common Sense in Your Home Country
This seems like a straightforward recommendation, right? One might even say its common sense to remember this! But you hear about this happening all too often…
You’re doing some recon work in your favorite tropical country, enjoying a cocktail at a local beach bar, considering your options. You meet a realtor or developer at said bar, and the banter (along with the cocktails) goes easy. Next thing you know, you’re with said developer, perusing his projects, listening to his plans (club house, marina, etc.). He comments that the fresh ocean breeze you’re feeling is what you’ll wake up to every morning… *sigh*… this is the life! But hang on, there are only 2 lots left in this development? And there are other couples coming to look later this week? Yikes… better act now. After another cocktail, of course…
Is this how you purchase a home or property back home? Likely not. So don’t do it abroad! If anything, purchasing property abroad require more due diligence, not less. Ensuring you’ve got your wits about you and that you’re working with a reliable, trustworthy developer (such as those that work with WI) is key when ensuring a smooth transition into your new investment.
Know That Nowhere is Perfect
No matter what you read or experience on a short visit, knowing that the weather isn’t always fabulous or that crime isn’t 100% absent, are realizations you need to be cognoscente of.
Be Honest About Your Priorities
Right now, in January, it’s easy to tell yourself that anywhere that doesn’t require long-johns is good enough for you! But when you’re actually living in a new country, the honeymoon stage wears off after a couple of months and reality sets in. You may find you’re sick of living by the beach… or in a small town where no one speaks English, or in a mountain village where the internet is spotty… evaluate yourself and be honest about your personal priorities.
Recognize That Few Other Places are as Convenient as the US or Canada
In many Latin American countries, paying bills has to be done in person… you may not get mail delivered to your home (or even near your home)… some businesses will close over the lunch hour, won’t stay open a minute after 5pm or be open on Sundays… chances are, you’re considering a move abroad for a ‘simpler’ life, just be sure you’re actually ready for it.
Prepare For Panic
No matter how ready you are, how organized you are or how much you love your new community and home, you will absolutely be overcome with a feeling of fear… and chances are it will hit you when you finally feel settled. You’ll wonder if you made the right decision or lost your sanity all together! Know that this is going to happen and know that it will pass.
Your Healthcare Can Still be a Priority
Just because you’re leaving your North American healthcare plan, doesn’t mean you have to lose all access to options. Read more about handling your healthcare abroad HERE.
It’s so easy to get swept away in the allure of living in another country – especially a warmer one during these chilly months! That said, there are important steps to make before you can settle in and realizations to consider before committing to any one particular country.
Pictures and descriptions are one thing, and can paint a lovely picture… but nothing beats the real deal. Check out our Discovery Weekends to learn more about how you can visit one of our developer partners and the projects they’re working on for people just like you!