The thought of moving to a new country is exciting and new at the same time. For many, the decision is easier if they have friends, a new job, or other ties to point them to a new location. However, for those looking for a fresh spot to call home, there are many questions to explore in order to find the ideal place to live.
How big of a town do you want to live in?
Do you prefer a bustling city with lots of action? Or is a quiet town with a community feel more your style? Or possibly something in between? If you can pinpoint your population preferences first, then you’ll be well on your way to narrowing down your possibilities.
What kind of climate do you enjoy?
Hate the snow? Then Switzerland might not be for you. Make sure you understand what the year around climate will be like. Otherwise, you might be looking for a new place to winter come fall.
What are your hobbies and activities?
Your new locale should offer your favorite activities, whether it’s an active nightclub scene or regular kayaking trips. You’ll want to at least have access to them, even if you don’t use them daily.
Can you find employment?
If you work from your computer than obviously location isn’t as important, but if that’s not an option, ensure that your skills will be able to make you money while abroad.
How will you get around?
City infrastructure is important for commuting, living and traveling. If you don’t want to bother with a car, then a larger city with public transportation might be a better option.
Will you feel safe?
Although online crime rates can be a relatively vague subject to research, you want to know if you’ll feel secure when getting around the city. This can be especially important for women and people with children.
What is the political situation?
While many of us don’t want to get involved in politics, it’s wise to understand what the political environment is for where you want to move. This can affect your daily life from employment to basic human rights.
What can you comfortably afford?
Money plays a big role in most people’s life. Although you might be dreaming of having a posh loft in Paris, you also need to be prepared to live happily within your means.
What are your basic cultural preferences?
This is a broad question that ranges from your religion, to what you like to eat, to your overall belief system for the world. For instance, if ecological sustainability is important to you, then you might want to consider countries like Costa Rica or Denmark. Or if you’re allergic to seafood, then you’ll probably want to avoid living on an island.