5 Expat Myths About Moving Overseas

Sometimes, you move overseas for the right reasons, but your expectations can be too high or low, depending on which myths you’ve been hearing. Many people who decide to live overseas head to a new destination to settle down with these types of expectations, and it can either be a good thing or a bad thing when these myths don’t play out as they’d thought they would. Here are some of the common ones to keep in mind:

You can’t like this new country as much as home.
First, let’s tackle the biggest one – the one that’s usually completely off base. There are always the expats who believe that moving abroad is the best solution for making their pension last as long as possible, but that they’re giving up a culture and country that can never be topped in their hearts. Don’t go in with this mindset! You can absolutely love your new country just as much, if not more, as your old one. You just have to give your new home a fighting chance.

Life will instantly be easier.
Yes, it’s true that the cost of living in many other countries (and likely the one you’ve chosen) is more affordable than that of the United States. Sure, you can probably live for a fraction of the cost of what you’re used to. BUT…it’s not going to happen right away. Think about your moving costs, your rent deposits, and fees associated with the move. Then, think about the cost of getting set up. Do you need to furnish your new place?

Similarly, you’ll have heard about how much cheaper necessities such as groceries are when you move overseas, but it will depend on exactly where you’re going for these things. You likely can’t head to a busy city center – especially one with a tourist following – and find those cheap prices you’re looking for. Use your newly acquired free time to explore and find the best local spots for bargain prices. Keep in mind, also, that the cheaper prices are most likely for local items such as fruit and vegetables, and maybe even seafood, depending on where you’ve relocated. Keep an open mind when searching for your new shopping spots.

The weather will always be perfect.
You have to remember that it’s all relative. If you’re promised spring/summer weather all year-round by this new location, that can mean something different to you if you’re coming from Colorado or Michigan versus coming from somewhere on either of the coasts. If you really want to know what to expect from your new home overseas, research average temperatures for each season. Also keep rainfall in mind, since many countries south of the border have rainy seasons. Remember, it will be paradise only if you let it. You just have to have realistic expectations.Consumer Resource Guide

It’s too difficult to try and earn extra income in a new country.
While it’s true that it can be challenging to find work after moving overseas, and sometimes it’s not even allowed, there are ways around this. In Belize, for example, you can’t take a job that would normally go to a local, but you can start your own business. There are also options for working online and freelancing that allow you a flexible lifestyle working remotely – and that can be done for companies back home.

Getting online is becoming a breeze in many countries, so taking up work via the internet shouldn’t be too much trouble at all. It’s worth checking out!

Life in another country will be unsafe.
This all comes down to you. Just like in the United States or Canada, there will be areas to avoid. This is absolutely normal, and you just have to know where you should and should not go. Choose a destination with which you are familiar, maybe somewhere you’ve visited many times. From there, you’ll learn from locals and fellow expats about the best and worst parts of town.

Your new life in a new country is going to be exactly what you make of it! It can be all of the negative things on your list, but only if you allow it. When you choose your dream destination, you’re much more likely to embrace the idea of a fun, relaxing (if that’s what you’re going for) new life. Your expectations are much more likely to be realistic if you’ve spent plenty of time there already. Don’t underestimate the importance of a nice, long visit before committing to moving abroad!

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