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10 Reasons to Start Your Expat Adventure

Updated on November 7, 2015
InspiringWriter profile image

Originally from Birmingham, England, Ava has been living in Shenzhen on South China's tropical South East coast since 2013.

Ready to open the door?

Apartment Door Decorated for Chinese New Year
Apartment Door Decorated for Chinese New Year | Source

A simple yearning or something more?

It's normal to experience a desire to upsticks and relocate at some point in life. Indeed for some, change is as much a constant as standing still.

However, most of us deal with the urge by rationalising against it. We deny its practicablities. We eschew the flimsy reasons for wanting to unsetlle ourselves and possibly our families. We dismiss our longings as a faddy feeling that will pass if largely ignored.

For others, however, this attitude doesn't work and sooner or later they answer the call and make the move.

Is this where you're heading?

This article gives clues on common thoughts and feelings of other expats just before they left the rat race behind in order to start all over again.

You Know You're Ready When.... Reason 1

Learn Chinese Characters while living and working in China
Learn Chinese Characters while living and working in China | Source

1) Your dreams of living and working abroad spill over into real life and you find that that's what's uppermost on your mind. You feel a general dissatisfaction with your life and work, your social activities and the things which used to give you pleasure.

You realise that deep down you're seeking change in a big way and your mind is consumed with exploring ways to make this happen.

Reasons to Make a Move...2, 3 and 4

Street Scene, Shenzhen, China
Street Scene, Shenzhen, China | Source

2) Even in your home country you've always thought of yourself as 'other.' It's not that you're an outsider, exactly, but there's a constant that there's more to experience and it's most likely in another country.

3) The thought of taking the time and trouble to learn a new language excites you, no matter what your age. You relish the thought of being fluent in your non-native tongue, conversing easily with the locals in your new destination and showing off to your friends and family back home, modestly, of course.

4) You're consciously or sub-consciouly looking for a reason to make a change. You crave the 'other,' something different, something which may or may not be tangible. Perhaps you can give it a name, put it into words, or maybe not. Either way you know that you're looking for a strong reason to jump into a full time activity in another land.

More Reasons.......5, 6 and 7


5) You realise that everything you've been taught including cultural and traditional beliefs may not neccessarily be either the right way or even the only way and you're interested in exploring new beliefs. You're open to finding out about other cultures from a personal point of view believing that googling stuff only takes you so far and is nowhere near a substitute for the real thing.

6) You enjoy challenges and feel ready for a big one. You can't remember the last time you felt a strong emotion driven by the need to do something new. So now, you're more than willing to just try. Whether it be making new friends, speaking a new language, living in a new environment and eating new food, your heart and your mind, wants you to do it.

7) You're attracted to people of a different race and you want a bigger pool of potential partners to choose from. Sure you appreciate the people around you but now you want to fulfill your latent, perhaps silent desire to also appreciate people with a totally different racial heritage. You've always admired the men or the women from (insert your chosen country here) and it's time to get up close and personal with them. You're looking forward to seeing where it could lead.

Still Unsure? Check Out Reasons 8 and 9

Chinese Neighbourhood Bus Stop
Chinese Neighbourhood Bus Stop | Source

8) When you take stock of your skill set you realise that you could adapt it to living and working abroad without having to make any major changes. You know that you have the potential, skills and ability to do more and be more and you want a chance to prove it.

9) Hand in hand with number 8 is the fact that you're tired of your current way of life and your want new experiences in a new environment. You may well live in a nice neighbourhood, or not but in any case you're tired of seeing the same scenery, people and places every day and you want the road less travelled. You need a different view outside of your window and you're willling to take action to satisfy this need.

Not Packing Yet? Here's Reason Number 10

Come and Make New Friends
Come and Make New Friends | Source

10) You're tired of having more month than money, consequently you're seeking a lower cost of living. It's time for you to be able to see where your dollars are going and actually do something tangible with them.

Expats tend to gravitate towards developing countries, sure the living wage is lower than at home if you're from a developed country, but so is everything else, consequently your money goes further and, if you're prudent, you can even save.

Beer, wine, meals out, clothes, food, rent and household bills are all cheaper in typical expat destinations leaving more in your pocket.

Final Thoughts

So are you any clearer now about why you've been experiencing wanderlust lately?

Do you want to relocate because of work issues? Due to a long held dream? For the joy of realising something new? Do you want to be the first among your circle of friends to take such a step? Are you a pioneer who leads the way for others tol follow? Or maybe you just don't want to get old and live in retrospective regret, which I have to admit was a key reason for making the move myself.

Settling down and making a life, for however long or short a time, in a different location to the one you were born in is priceless. I'm not saying it's all a bed of roses, some days have been hard, but I wouldn't change a thing simply because of the multitude of new experiences I'd never have had if I'd stayed in the UK.

Many expats say that moving abroad has given them a better quality of life, which is probably the reason why a year's stay becomes two and then three, four, five, six and so on. But of course, the choice of when to return home and indeed, how long to stay in your new country is totally up to you.

As I've mentioned in some of my related articles, making the move should be done after consideration of all the options, possibilities and consequences. It's certainly not something to be rushed into, although some do take this path of leaping without looking.

You'll need to be resilient, adventurous, open-minded and have the ability to think clearly and rationally as well as remembering at all times to never take things personally, both the good and the bad.

If you feel that the time has come then plan, prepare and take action based on faith and trust. In addition, I wish you an abundance of luck.

Would you follow your desire to live and work abroad?

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