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I want to move abroad - but where to start?

(38 Posts)
homeiswhereyouare Tue 17-Jul-18 13:06:55

Hello,

I really want to experience life in another country. Currently we live in the South West of the UK and apart from living in the states for 3 months and some holidays, we have never lived abroad.

It's something my partner and I would love to do but I don't even know where to start.

My partner works for a building society and also has qualifications in insurance. I'm a trainee accountant so won't be moving until I have qualified so i'm not sure if any of our skills are transferable? We both work for companies that are only UK based so no option to transfer jobs either.

Any advice on moving without transferring jobs?

Rosstac Tue 17-Jul-18 13:12:06

As someone who lives in Somerset and never wanted to move away from this lovely part of the country, what makes you want to move, let alone abroad, would you have to visit and like a place long term to make such a dramatic decision. Other wise it could be the same shit different place

Gaspodethetalkingdog Tue 17-Jul-18 13:18:26

Can you speak the language - French etc, well enough for work purposes, where can you both find jobs.

Much of the EU has very high youth unemployment - Spain, Italy. Our next door neighbours had a highly qualified architect working for them as a nanny as she could not get a job in Spain where she was from.

I think this is the first thing. If you have bought a house let it out if you do go you can then come back more easily.

homeiswhereyouare Tue 17-Jul-18 14:00:22

I think it stems partly from Brexit but also because i'm pregnant (another reason why I wanted to start researching and move in a couple of years time) and would love for my children to experience life overseas.

I do love where I live, I just want...more. I'd love a change of scenery.

We are only renting at the moment so moving back wouldn't be an issue.

I was hoping to learn another language prior to moving over to another country. We both love Malta but as we have only been there on holiday, we have only seen life there as a tourist rather than as an expat.

Bebespain Tue 17-Jul-18 15:30:56

Hi there!
Life in another country is not all it's cracked up to be and I agree that it is,(unless you are on some amazing relocation package) same shit different place. I had those same itchy feet 12 years ago and I'm now trapped in a country I have grown to hate. If only somebody had had a few tell it like it is words with me when I fancied a change. I'd give my right arm to be living in SW England, it really doesn't get much better than that. I only wish I had realised.
Sorry.

Rosstac Tue 17-Jul-18 15:37:02

homeiswhereyouare Not being judgmental but what makes you think life would be better in another country, I love going on holiday, but wouldn’t want to live in some of these places, I would imagine living in USA would be nice if you had a well pay job, Australia or New Zealand as well, perhaps I’ve never had the wonder lust bug, your Children may like growing up here, they can still learn languages.

SubtitlesOn Tue 17-Jul-18 16:15:10

Why not start off by moving to completely new part of uk?

Then you can see how you feel being in totally new area, like making new friends, new jobs new surroundings etc without stress of language, transfer job qualifications etc

So how about other side of country from SW - try NE - Yorkshire or Northumberland or NW - Cumbria or even all the way N - Scotland?

Or Southern Ireland?

SubtitlesOn Tue 17-Jul-18 16:15:55

If you like that then try Canada?

SubtitlesOn Tue 17-Jul-18 16:17:49

How old are you both?

Did you both grow up in SW?

halfwitpicker Tue 17-Jul-18 16:17:52

How old are you both? If you're under 35 you could get a working holiday visa. Canada, Aus, NZ etc.

halfwitpicker Tue 17-Jul-18 16:18:21

Ah just seen you're pregnant.

homeiswhereyouare Tue 17-Jul-18 16:38:09

We are both 28.

I've lived in Yorkshire, Bude, Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire is where i've spent most my growing up). I went to university in Aberystwyth

My OH has grown up in both London and Aberystwyth.

Canada does look incredible. I'd love to try it and if it doesn't work out, then come home.

blueskiesandforests Tue 17-Jul-18 16:44:08

A quick Google will show you whether your qualifications are internationally recognised.

Have a look, can't hurt.

I've always had wanderlust but had lived abroad in various countries in Asia before meeting DH, hed lived abroad before meeting me, and I had never lived within 3 hours of my parental home since finishing A levels.

I think people very rooted to one place and very reliant on face to face contact with extended family, parents, siblings, etc struggle massively with settling outside their country, or even county, of origin.

We moved to an EU country when our first child was a baby and I wouldn't move back to the UK. Most of all I love that my children speak 2 languages fluently without effort and are learning a 3rd far faster and more proficiently than would be typical in an English classroom. We also live in a country and region where children have a lot of freedom, which I love. However there are also major downsides to the place we live, the pros and cons are a bit like comparing the 80s with this decade!

One big consideration is whether you fancy a working holiday for a year or 3 til the kids are ready for school, or whether you actually want to emigrate - utterly different experiences and mindsets.

If you want to emigrate you have to be robust and determined and realistic - the first 5 years abroad are an absolute rollercoaster of highs and lows - after about 7 you either are home or need to go home.

If you just want a couple of years abroad you'll be looking at a fairly superficial expat scene in many places, but some people find it fun. Reverse culture shock can also be very real when you return to your hometown and nobody's that interested in your adventures, and life has moved on and you feel out of place and different. Some people slot right back in, others do feel that 'you can never go home' in a deeper sense (once you've lived elsewhere for a decent length of time "home" won't feel the same, you'll see it with different eyes and always compare) is a truism.

I must say English towns look shabby to me now, and a lot of things annoy me which I never noticed before living away for an extended period - roads are dreadful, old school friends' and family members' parenting seems alien and clingy as I've done my parenting in a very different way, when in Rome etc.

The fact that you haven't lived abroad and haven't investigated how international your qualifications are suggests this is, in the gentlest sense, not something you're really going to do ;)

shapeshifter88 Tue 17-Jul-18 17:20:24

I lived in Canada for 2 years but couldn't cope with the 10 days holiday a year. I would have seen more of the country/ world if i had just used my UK annual leave for holidays. one trip home for Christmas and that it.. you're trapped working for the rest of the year

blueskiesandforests Tue 17-Jul-18 17:56:15

check out work life balance

check out where your qualifications are recognised

With a baby in tow one of you should have a job to go to.

check out what's out there

Think about what you want - do you speak any languages other than English? Do you want a country where English is the language of international business but where your children can grow up bilingual, or an English speaking country? Do you want to be an expat or the only/ one of few foreigners working with local people? What are your priorities? Money? Leave? City? Outdoor life? Weather? When do you want your child to start school? 3? 5? 7? Do you want one parent to stay home or do you both want to work?

You need to clarify to yourself exactly what your day dream is of, to avoid same shit different place syndrome, or not being prepared for obvious pitfalls, or missing out on the destination which would have suited you and dismissing living abroad because you chose a superficially attractive country which had a shit work life balance/ was restrictive/ misogynistic/ too hot/ ridiculously expensive/ too old fashioned/ too hard to learn the language etc.

misssmilla1 Wed 18-Jul-18 03:01:58

I'd look into Visas, qualification translation abroad (you'll find financial services quals differ massively outside the UK) and minimum amount of cash you'll need for the move. Most countries that you'd likely move to outside of the EU require you a job to get a visa, and that you can support yourselves financially

The other thing to consider is lifestyle with a newish baby / toddler. Lots of countries are set up very differently to the UK, so the things you take for granted like free healthcare, church playgroups / mum and baby groups etc often don't exist in a lot of places. No matter how much you think you can assimilate moving abroad is a HUGE change

AltheaorDonna Wed 18-Jul-18 04:08:40

Wow, people can be very discouraging on here! I've moved countries a few times, the UK is not the be all and end all, lovely as some parts of it are. First of all, abroad is a big place. You need to pick out your country, see if you are eligible to move there, and then start researching like crazy. And start saving, moving country is bloody expensive, and the further you go the more expensive! If you need a language, prioritise getting fluent, I always stuck to English speaking countries. See if you need to convert any qualifications. And if you do decide to emigrate, I recommend not visiting the UK for at least two years until you are well settled in, if necessary pay for people to come to see you instead. This helps a lot with homesickness in my opinion.

I will warn you, not only is it expensive, it can be utterly terrifying and lots of hard work. But I found it well worth it, my quality of life is much better here and I feel like I've lived several lives living in several different countries. Some people hate it though, and end up going back, and no-one knows who it suits until you do it, so it is a risk. But for me it was better than being bored and unhappy in my country of birth. YMMV. Good luck!

SunshineSnowflakesDaydreams Wed 18-Jul-18 05:05:18

You have to work 9-5 somewhere so why not try somewhere different!

My husband and I are Australian. We both got our work visas for the UK in our late teens/early 20's, my husband also did a season in Canada. We both returned to Australia, met, married, bought a house and decided to move back to the UK. Packed up, no jobs, no where to live. It was hard work and many times we questioned our decision to move. But we made it work and ended up loving it. Our first child was born in London and when he was 1 we moved back to Australia to be closer to family, hated it and now we're 3 months in to our new life in South East Asia and our next child is on the way, who will be born here.

You will get caught up in the daily grind, the routine. You'll get frustrated by the differences, simple things like picking your brand of milk and bread seem like a struggle! It will be one of the most challenging things you ever do, but it will be rewarding. Sure, it might not be all it's cracked up to be, but how are you going to know if you don't do it yourself? It might end up being the best thing you've ever done!

My mum passed away when I was 23 and she was 55. She had a list full of things she wanted to accomplish but put it off, thinking there would be a "right time". It changed the way I live my life. No "what ifs?" here. Our focus is to eventually get to the States or Canada before our kids start school and this move gets us a step closer to our goal. It's not a case of looking for a better life, it's a case of continuing to live the good life. It's what you make it, and your outlook.

Good luck with the decision! If it's something you really desire, you'll find a way to make it all work!

AltheaorDonna Thu 19-Jul-18 00:35:16

@SunshineSnowflakeDaydreams you said 'You have to work 9-5 somewhere so why not try something different. I couldn't agree more!

I always get vaguely irritated when people start saying, oh its just the same shit in a different bucket. The whole point is the bucket is different, and usually better! I much prefer going to work on a beautiful sunny day, and maybe going to the beach after work, or putting the barbeque on in the garden, or having a swim in the pool, than coming home after work in the dark to light the fire and watch tv because its cold and raining outside. Yes I still have to work and do chores and all the routine stuff, but its much more fun to do it in paradise! And for six months of the year, every weekend is like a mini holiday. I love my new shiny bucket: grin

Semster Thu 19-Jul-18 03:34:34

Please don't be convinced by a PP that every job in America/Canada only offers 10 days holiday a year. Here in the US both DH and I have had 25+ days holiday a year in every job we've had.

Some good advice on here already. I'd say your options are either to get jobs in international companies that are likely to offer you a transfer abroad or look at getting a visa to another country based on the desirability of your skills in that country.

Or see if you qualify through relatives to move anywhere.

You'll need to do a lot of research and hard work to get there, but it could absolutely be worth it.

I emigrated 11 years ago and it's the best decision I ever made. It's anything but 'same shit different place'. I live in a beautiful part of the world, a few miles from the sea, not far from the mountains, I ski in winter, I enjoy long hot summers, there's hardly any traffic, my kids are getting a great education, no one locks their cars or their front doors, and the people are lovely.

I have two siblings who also emigrated to other countries and both have also never regretted their decisions. One emigrated through marriage, the other through work.

SunshineSnowflakesDaydreams Thu 19-Jul-18 06:06:24

The hardest part of the process is finding a country that you can move to. As someone who is now too old to get a work visa for most countries it's come down to our specific jobs and whether or not our skills are desirable or in demand in that country. Unfortunately from experience, building society staff are not on the "desirable" list angry! I've looked because that's my background! Unless he works in a specialised area like IT or something like that. Your accounting experience will be quite valuable. Deloitte often arrange transfers, a friend of ours worked for them and was given London or New York as options for a transfer! It was a difficult choice for them!

As the PP just mentioned, look into your family and see if you can go down that route. Otherwise an international company is a great option, but you'll have to put in the time in the UK before you can ask for a transfer. Some countries also require you to have a job offer before they even consider giving you a visa which really makes things hard.

If you've both completed high school, which it sounds like you have, you can apply for the US Green Card lottery, which we do every year. It's harder than winning the actual lottery but you've got to be in it to win it!

We didn't have any desire to move to continental Europe so we haven't looked into it but I'm assuming if it's easy enough for people to come to the UK than it's easy enough to go to say, France or Spain?

Where are you focusing your search on?

mrbob Thu 19-Jul-18 06:35:50

What’s the worst that can happen? If you change your mind you can move back! I am in Oz and while technically there is no particular reason my life is better, I have gone from watching tv every evening and take away on a Friday to spending all summer on the beach, travelling frequently, taking up new sports and hobbies, loving work, getting paid twice as much and generally HAVING a life that I never had before. I am often not home for days because I am too busy off doing fun stuff! Sometimes the change of scene DOES make more than just the view change

Australia is easy in the language is the same, the culture is not too different and the lifestyle is good. There are different social challenges but for me it is worth it

redexpat Thu 19-Jul-18 06:39:05

I would stick to english speaking countries. Honestly the language barrier can be huge and can cause so many problems, problems you werent even aware could be problems. And if youre looking to going for a fixed time period then it really isnt worth it.

UAEMum Thu 19-Jul-18 06:47:42

We moved to the UAE for work 9 years ago and havent looked back. We are in the UK on holiday right now. I miss the green but other than that, its the best decision we have ever made. My kids have grown up in a great country!
Try using recruitment agencies.

specialsubject Thu 19-Jul-18 10:16:18

all things are possible, although the baby blows the working holiday visas which would have been ideal otherwise.

it all starts with work and hence money, and that is always the case regardless of brexit. with no language skills and a baby that will stop you doing holiday rep jobs, it wont be the eu anyway.

but investigate and see what comes up!

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