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10 Reasons Why You Can Make the Move Abroad

Article Summary:

Anyone can live abroad. If you are like most people who have ever dreamed of living abroad, than you probably have 100 good reasons why you shouldn’t or can’t live abroad. But making the choice is not as difficult as it seems, it comes down to answering 10 basic questions; with those answered, making the choice to move is simplified.

Photo Credit: Annie Andre

Original Article Text From Annie Andre:

Want to Move Abroad? 10 Myths About Living Abroad Debunked Or Explained.

Have you ever wanted to live or move abroad? Ever since I can remember, I have dreamed of living in France. I was lured by the romantic ideas and stereotypes portrayed in movies and advertising of people riding their bike, wearing berets and carrying baguettes.

Those days of dreaming and wishing are over now and I’m happy to say I moved to the south of France with my husband and three children in October of 2011. Here we will stay for at least a year. We look at it as a kind of family sabbatical and career break to work on other parts of our lives.

Anyone can live abroad
If you’ve ever dreamed of living abroad, than you probably have 100 good reasons why you shouldn’t or can’t live abroad. I’ve been there too. You see, what I didn’t realize was that the excuses, ehem, I mean reasons we were using to convince ourselves that we couldn’t move abroad were based on a deep rooted fear of the unknown societal pressure to live the status quo.

Once we tackled the issues head on, there wasn’t much holding us back. Of course there was the whole matter of figuring out the finances and doing the research but that’s another story for another time.

Below are some of the top reasons that could be stopping you from realizing your dream of life abroad and a little ammo to help combat that negativity.

1: i don’t have a job lined up abroad
You don’t need a job to move abroad end of story. Yes it would be easier and that would have been our first choice too but we didn’t have that luxury. We decided to just foot the bill ourselves.

Think of it as a career break to travel and soak in the language and culture of another country. You can write that book, work on your business idea or just do it to spend more time with the kids. Status quo has conditioned us to believe that it’s lazy or wrong to take time off from work. pffft!! People do it all the time especially in other countries. I’ve accomplished more in one month abroad than I could have accomplished if I were living my old hectic life.

2: I don’t have enough money
Money, money money. The obvious answer would be to save but for those of you who spend every single cent you have and have nothing to spare? I sympathize. I was in that same position for a long time. You’ll have to wait until you are in a better position to save but that doesn’t mean you can’t do other things in conjunction like cutting back on spending and other things. Put the money in a special account just for your planned trip no matter how far in the future.

Not sure where or how to cut back. There are a lot of things you could do to save money or make money. You just need to plan it out and make some sacrifices. Here is a list of 20 ways you can save a few thousand dollars or more toward you trip abroad. Some I’ve personally used while others are just common sense.

3: It’s too expensive
The other misconception about moving abroad is that it’s too expensive. Living abroad isn’t like going on vacation. It’s a lot cheaper. Instead of paying for an expensive hotel room and eating out every night, you rent an apartment or house and cook meals at home like you would in your home country.

Also, you may be able to eliminate certain expenses that you incur while living in your home country like a car which means no auto insurance and no gas. This is the route we chose. We have public transportation and access to trains in Marseille France so we can go wherever we want any time.

If you own you home, you can rent or sublet it out to cover some of the cost of living.

Another thing is choosing where you live abroad is a lot like choosing a car. You chose based on your budget. Your cost of living depends on where you are going. It might only take 12,000 dollars for you to live in Mexico while it might take 30,000 dollars to live in Paris. So just like you would decide on a car, you have to decide on which country based on how much money you have and how long you want to stay. We wanted to stay in Paris but we couldn’t find anything within our budget which was pretty small. We chose Marseille France because the cost of living and food is considerably cheaper than Paris and even cheaper than living in the cities we were living in the United States.

4: I Don’t Know Where To Put My Stuff
You can either store it all in public storage or get creative and put an ad on craigslist or some other online ad and ask to rent someone’s basement.

If you have a lot of junk, um, I mean stuff what about downsizing and selling the stuff you don’t need anymore in a garage sell? If you do this, my advice is to start downsizing early so you can asses how much stuff you are going to keep and need to store.

5: I can’t go because I’ll lose my job, be out of the workforce and fall behind
The best thing to do would be to convince your boss to hold your job for you while you are away. Or do your job remotely.

But if you can’t don’t sweat it. It won’t make a bit of difference to your future employer if you are away from the work force for a year. In fact it might work to your benefit depending on how you use your time.

Moving abroad is kind of an impressive feat and your future employer might see your move abroad as a sign that you are more well rounded and can handle change easily. While abroad you could also work on getting a new set of skills to help your career. Even learning a language might help your career.

I’m using my year abroad to do a few things that will help me should I decide to rejoin the work force. I’m also working on an entrepreneurial venture, a book and helping my kids by giving them a solid understanding of a second language which they will need for college.

But you don’t have to sharpen your skills while abroad, you can always use your time abroad to recharge and get reconnected with the person you used to be before you got busy with work and life. No one will look down on it. You will return recharged and have a better sense of who you are and what you want to do with your life.

6: I don’t speak the language
I’m not going to lie, not speaking the local Language will be hard. But don’t look at this as negative. It’s an opportunity to learn a new language which is part of the adventure. When I moved to Japan at 18, I didn’t speak Japanese. I only knew the song “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” and a hand full of words which I studied on the plane to Tokyo. I quickly immersed myself in the culture and really enjoyed the challenged of learning Japanese. It literally turned everyday into an exciting adventure.

7: I can’t go because I have kids
Sorry to burst your bubble but I see lots of positives to taking your kids to live abroad.

Fist, you will broaden the horizons of your children. The first time I took my kids to Europe, my son Andre was 9 and shocked me when he said “ I didn’t know there were homeless people here”. It never occurred to me that my children’s views of the world were limited to the suburbs of our comfortable life in Silicon Valley. I think taking my kids out of their protected suburban bubble and experience other cultures has made them more appreciative of what they have and more aware of other people and their cultures making them more compassionate and open minded. I hope to take them to Thailand to visit my birthplace and see where I spent the first five years of my life.

Second, you are giving them an advantage of learning a second language fluently. Assuming you put your kids in school, they can become fluent in that language in 1/10th the time if they were to learn it in school back in their home country.

Third, it may actually cost less. In some cases, child care is less expensive. My daughter is 4 years old. If we were in the States I would either have to stay home to take care of her or pay to put her in child care or hire a nanny of sorts. Here in France, preschool is free for all kids. Private schools in France are considerably cheaper too. I put my boys in public school and I couldn’t be happier with their education.

Lastly, is nutrition: I think Americans and especially American schools set a terrible example to teach children how to eat healthy and make healthy choices. In the U.S. I kept seeing a rotating menu of Tacos, Burritos, pizzas and hamburgers over and over and over again. Some schools even had McDonalds or Taco Bell on the school property. ( Can you tell I’m anti fast food). While here in France, the menu is so tantalizing It reads like a four star restaurant menu. Heck, I wouldn’t mind eating at their schools. My daughter (who is in preschool) always has a salad, a main dish, a cheese and a desert. 30% of the meal is organic and 30% is produced locally. Pretty good if you ask me. Here’s a sample of one of her menus.

Appetizer………………………………………..= Cauliflower or beets with vinaigrette

Main dish……………………………………..…. = Lamb meat balls or battered fish

Garnish………………………………………….. = Leaks with a Béchamel sauce

Frommage or Cheese…………………… = Gouda or Brie Cheese

Dessert…………………………………………. = Seasonal fruits or peaches in a light syrup.

That’s the preschool menu. My sons have an even fancier lunch such as chicken cordon bleu, fish and chips, vegetarian sandwich on fresh baguette. And they always have cheese.

Maybe if American schools didn’t always promote the same sorry and tired tacos and hamburgers it might help the obesity problem and promote healthier eating. Not to mention make it easier to get kids to eat other things outside of fast food. I digress. SIGH!!!

8: What will i do with my house?
If you own your home, rent it out. My home is rented in California and it helps finance part of our cost of living in France. If you are a renter you have it a little easier, you can just give notice and move out or if you want to have the same house for your return, you could see about subletting your house during your time abroad. You never know. Talk to your landlord. Plus, if you sublet your home out, you could always rent it for more if you rent it furnished. Do your research and know all your options.

9: I can’t leave my life, work and friends behind
It might be hard but it’s only temporary. Your friends and family will be there when you get back. You will have gone away and had an amazing year abroad and you’ll see that nothing really changed when you return. Besides, If you are really worried about losing touch with friends there’s a great thing called the internet where you can make video calls using Skype. It’s free. The other person needs to have it installed on their computer. Or if you pay a monthly fee, you can make calls to landlines and cell phones. I pay 3.00 dollars a month for unlimited calling. That’s almost free.

10: I don’t know anyone or have any friends in the country where I want to go
This is the worst excuse ever. This is one of those excuses that my teenager would use but happily didn’t. Yes it’s hard to say “au – revoir” to friends and family back home but moving abroad is an opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and do something different for a change.

I was on the phone setting up our electric for the apartment we are renting in France and the woman I was talking to asked me where I was from. Then we got to talking and before I knew it, we decided to meet for coffee. (in a public place of course). My point is, there’s lots of things you could do to meet new people. Just be creative.

If your dream is to move abroad, make it happen. It’s possible it just takes changing your mind set and working hard towards that goal.

Have you ever wanted to live or move abroad? If so, what are some of the reasons holding you back? Did I miss something. Let me know in the comments below

Link to Original Article:

From Annie Andre

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