Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More thoughts on preparing for your move abroad

Have you thought about the general environment of your chosen destination? If you are used to wide open spaces, will you be able to adapt to life in a densely populated city such as Singapore or Hong Kong? On the other hand, if you are moving from a city or town to a remote rural area, keep in mind that you will no longer have all the conveniences of supermarkets, corner shops and food delivery services readily available.

Consider your family circumstances and how these are likely to change within the next few years. If recently married, for example, do you plan to start a family, and if so, is there likely to be an acceptable standard of medical, educational and social support facilities available in your chosen destination? Will your family (still) be eligible for social security benefits and paid maternity/paternity leave?

Try to find out about the crime rate and personal security situation - in some countries petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and burglaries may be common, while in others there may even be a high risk of violent robbery or terrorist attacks. Consider whether the likely benefits of living in such a country outweigh the risks.

At a minimum, wherever you move you will find differences in the food, weather, social and business customs, and when the initial novelty wears off you might miss the familiarity of your own country and culture. Try to plan ahead for just such an eventuality and decide how you will react to feelings of homesickness and isolation.

More tomorrow but comments always welcome!

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