The number of expatriates is expected to continue rising over the next 5 years. We look at the top reasons for becoming an expat.
The great escape
Have you ever been stuck in traffic on a cold and rainy day, and just wished you were somewhere else – preferably somewhere warmer, and just visualized (or daydreamed) a different life to take you out of the present moment and make you feel better?
Many of us daydream about living elsewhere – and many of us also turn those dreams into reality, for a variety of reasons. So without further ado here are the top reasons to go live overseas.
6. Personal development. Living abroad can bring a whole new perspective on life – broadening horizons and allowing you the opportunity to meet new people as well as learn about life in a new country, with its different transport system, food, customs and overall general difference,
5. Language and culture. Going abroad doesn’t necessarily mean having to travel all that far – in fact the nearest distance between the United Kingdom and France is only 21 miles. But crossing the sea and entering France means a new language and a new culture. And approximately 333,000 UK nationals live in France. And according to the news last year, London alone is home to more French nationals than either Bordeaux or Strasbourg. If you require health care though, access can depend on tax and residency status.
4. Adventure. While many head off abroad to take up a work post, a great many expats are people who, earlier in life, packed their travel bags and went off on a round the world trip – and ended up meeting their life partner in foreign lands. But whether we head off abroad for a city break, a year’s studying, or for an international assignment, adventure is definitely a big part of the deal.
3. Quality of life is quite a broad term, and it encompasses everything from clean air to scenery, having an environment that’s good for bringing up a family, as well as economic concerns. The quality of living worldwide rankings for 2012 – published by consulting firm Mercer had Vienna in first place. And if you’ve ever been to that beautiful part of the world, you may agree with its place at the top of the rankings, although for lovers of hot weather, then Sydney (number ten in the rankings) may be a tempting destination.
2. Weather. It’s no surprise that some of the most popular destinations for UK expats are places where the sun shines just a wee bit more often than back home. In fact, Australia is top of the list for British expats, with over a million UK nationals resident there.
1. Career progression. Research indicates that employees value overseas assignments and view them as a useful way to gain experience and go further in their chosen career path. And sometimes people – rather than head off abroad to work for their current firm – people will move abroad after having successfully applied for a new job overseas.
G McMillan is a travel writer on expats and expatriate well-being. Catch up with him on Google+.