Every year, hundreds of thousands of people for one reason or another make a journey that will change their lives forever. For good reasons and for bad, they leave behind a life in one country to make their lives anew in another. Emigration is, without a doubt, a huge undertaking and not a decision to be taken lightly. However, once you’ve gotten over the enormity of the decision, it can be a journey filled with discovery and excitement.
If you’ve found yourself wondering what your current home holds for you, and wanting to change your experience of life, then moving to another country can be a change worth making. You certainly need to prepare for the move, and will need to be sure that it is something you realistically can do, but if you can read the following and still feel like it can work for you, it’s worth exploring further.
Why are you going?
All human migration is governed primarily by two factors: Push motivations and Pull motivations. The first are the reasons you want to leave your current home country. These can range from very serious matters like war and fear of persecution, to lack of employment opportunity, to simply not feeling any strong connection to where you live. “Push” factors are what make you leave, and “Pull” factors draw you towards a specific country. They can be things like better weather, more opportunities for someone in your field, and the ability to speak the language of your proposed new country.
Is it a realistic prospect?
Leaving one country behind and going to another isn’t as simple as moving to another state or a new city. Along with distance considerations, there are legal questions such as immigration law on the other side. You’ll have to consider what you can take with you and how. It also helps if you can be sure of supporting yourself financially in your new country, so research the cost of living there as well as whether you need to prove your financial status before settling.
An increasing number of jobs are remote, of course, so the last detail may not be as big a question as it used to be. A writer can file copy from Denmark as easily as they can order flowers to Ireland, thanks to an increasingly interconnected world. But you also need to know whether settling somewhere new is a realistic prospect. Introducing elements of a new country’s lifestyle to your own life can be a decent idea, to normalize it and dampen any culture shock. You can watch TV from other nations online, and read their papers. That can help to introduce you to a different culture.
Do you need to learn a new language?
It’s easy to fall in love with a country from afar because you love its culture, landscape or attitude to life. When you emigrate there, though, you need to bear in mind that you’ll be living your life somewhat as you do now, but in a different infrastructure and possibly another language. You might be able to sing along to Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien if you’ve listened to it a few hundred times, but if you suddenly fell ill would you be able to call an ambulance and explain your symptoms in French? You can’t rely on the hope that people will speak English where you go. Maybe many of them will, but it’s not a guarantee, so be prepared to become at least conversationally sound in the language, as tough as that may be.
Emigrating is something that many of us consider at some time – and it could be for you, as long as you consider the challenges it throws up.