Deciding to up root to another country is not a decision we
make on a whim. Becoming an expat in a foreign country can be a long thought
out process and quite frankly is very hard decision to make.
expatriate life to be the one for you. Leaving your home comforts temporarily
and settling in another country and more often or not never returning back, is
set on the basis of many factors.
Work can be the main focus. Some people are
merely fed up with their overbearing workload at home that they become an expat
to work in a country with a less stress work life and surprisingly often a
higher wage. This has been one of the main factors underpinning my five years
of expat life. I have come across job opportunities abroad that I don’t believe
would have ever come my way back home.
Falling in love can be another cause. Often it’s
the particular place you move to and more often than not it’s that special
person you bump into.
Better quality of life I am sure is the reason
that keeps most expats, well expats! You would be surprised what waking up to
sunshine or having a relaxed work life balance can do for you physically, mentally
expat will mean your life can be an extraordinary adventure, with new
considering labelling themselves an expat, is where should I become an expat?
an expat in both Europe and Asia as a basis of comparison.
high standard of living. The culture, endless history and perfect mixtures of
cities and countryside’s make Europe an ideal choice to live and work. I have
been an expat in London and Vienna and both experiences were very different from
each other despite being on the same continent.
one of the easiest countries to set up base due to ease of communication with
English language and a world of startup career opportunities. I found
myself working in high end luxury fashion here with little to no experience.
Possibilities here really are endless! London is a hub of excitement with its
multicultural feel, magnificent architecture and constant event lifestyle. London
has a vast expat community making it one of the most dynamic and diverse
European cites to live in. While good news is usually closely followed by bad (unfortunately),
there are some downsides to being an expat here. London is an extremely expensive city to
survive in, with cost of housing always remaining very high. My best advice
would be to live on the outskirts of the city and get on the commute every day.
I also found due to the high volumes of people here, getting stuck amongst the
rat race pushing and shoving on the tube can sometimes be unavoidable. How do
you reckon you would find life as a Londoner?
Austrian capital for claiming the title of the world’s top city for quality of
life only recently. This result came from an international research on best
quality of life. Does that alone not having you packing your bags already? I
only lived in Vienna short term but what I learned in that time was this city’s
public transport is amazing. I never found myself rushing around for trams or trains,
they were so regular that it wasn’t necessary at all. As far as cities go
Vienna is quite safe, I would feel totally at ease coming home from work late
at night in Vienna. There is certainly no comparison in pace of life for the
Viennese and Londoners, Vienna wins hands down. No one seems all that stressed
here or refusing to give us the seat to elderly on transport. London peeps take
notes! There is so much that this culturally vibrant city can offer to expats
with exceptional recreational activities and interesting neighborhoods to be
found in all 23 districts. However my biggest struggle here was securing a job
as the dominant language is German and it is needed in nearly all employment positions.
Brushing up on the language is a must before moving here or even mastering it
completely. While the locals are nice, they are a nation of very reserved
people (growing up in Ireland, I am not used to reserved folk all that much).
This in itself can make Vienna feel like a culture shock. Luckily there are
lots of various social groups set up here by residing expats. There is a group
here to suit everyone from expat mothers in Vienna to British expats in Vienna.
While I struggled for employment spending my time here as an au pair for an
American expat family, do not rule out the possibilities of working at some of
the international organization’s where they require English speakers such as UN
headquarters which is based in Vienna.
today. Due to a wealth and ease of economic opportunities and lower costs of
living, Asia is often top of the relocation list for expats. There is a long array of factors that make
Asia so appealing to expats. Cheap food and drink, ease of travel to
neighbouring countries, and almost constant tropical weather.
other popular Asian countries that regular attract tourists and expats. Living in Thailand for over a year and
residing in a very small Thai town has definitely been the biggest of my expat
cultural shocks. I had been to Thailand as a tourist four years ago previous to
moving here so I was already somewhat aware of the pluses of living the Thai
lifestyle. Paradise island getaways, meeting fellow like-minded travelers from
all over the world and teaching English to the cutest children with no
education degree needed. Cost of living in my Thai town is so low that some days
I can eat a meal for 40 THB which is the equivalent of €1. Bargain. I
mean come on it is ridiculous! In saying that those 40 baht meals do mean your
food comes from a street vendor and I am aware that wouldn’t be everybody’s ideal
way to fill their bellies on a daily basis. For me I feel Asia is the perfect
expat location if you love living the wanderlust lifestyle. While the wages
here won’t have you off jet setting to luxury getaways, you still can afford to
travel very regularly. With many cheap flights, accommodation options and
certain countries only been a couple of hours away getaways to other locations
are doable. The downsides to living in a very Thai town is the communication
barrier. When you sometimes just want to walk into a restaurant and order your
meal and drink at ease only to have five or six waitresses standing and
laughing at you, you will learn to bit your tongue here pretty quick. Mainly
they are laughing because you are a “Falange” which translates to foreigner to
them, they are nervous as they can’t speak English and sometimes there just
simply in awe at your white skin. Yep if it’s a confidence boost you’re after being
pale skinned here will mean you are terribly beautiful in the eyes of Thai
locals. So much so that all their beauty products have added whitening
ingredients. So yes while there does seems to be more positives than negatives
to being an expat in Thailand, one thing is for certain it does take time to
adapt. Once you have adapted the hardest thing to do will be pull yourself away
from this simple stress-free lifestyle.
however I feel London, Vienna and Thailand come pretty close it to and all
bring different variables to the table.
To those of you considering the expatriate lifestyle let my up and down
experiences be guidance for your choice. At the end of the day becoming an
expat will be an exciting and exhilarating challenge and I always like to remember
that a change is better than a rest. It’s important to escape that monotonous
nine to five routine and get a feel for what the world can offer expats. So
what are you waiting for??