Summary: People all over the world dream of being an expat. Living in another country is an experience unlike any other, and now is definitely the time to explore what it would mean to take the plunge.
Expat Exchange has been online for well over 20 years, so we’ve seen all kinds of events that make some people wonder whether or not expats would ever want to live abroad again.
Big events that made skeptics wonder how on earth it could be done safely include the 2007-2009 financial crisis (“the Great Recession”) and the terrorist attacks on 9/11 before it, among others.
So let’s just get this out there. The answer to your question is: “Yes.”
Now IS the perfect time to explore your dream of moving to another country.
Maybe while you’ve been stuck at home you’ve been enjoying a few great expat travel movies and you’re getting an itch to do it once and for all.
Maybe you’ve decided you want to live somewhere that’s more affordable and explore the world all at the same time.
Some of your friends and family members may think you’ve lost mind. The entire world is on lockdown. Why would anyone even think about leaving the security of their home?
The truth is that expats have powered through the hardest of times in locations all across the globe. It’s one of the reasons why expats are frequently called “intrepid.” So if you want to join their ranks, you won’t be alone.
People who have never lived abroad, and especially those who would never, might think that expats would tuck tail and run home when there is a major problem – such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. That’s just not the case. Are there some who will? Of course. But for the most part, it’s just not in an expat’s DNA.
And for a variety of reasons, expats don’t think about situations like others do.
First, many expats just don’t feel safer in their home countries than they do abroad. Some expats would scoff at the suggestion, while others will merely shrug it off and go about their business.
That doesn’t mean that living abroad is going to be easy. You can read our articles Expats Talk About the Biggest Challenges of Living in Latin America and Expats Talk About the Biggest Challenges of Living in Europe to get a sense of what the hurdles are to building a new life in another country.
The important thing you have to remember is that is has to be done correctly! You may not be able to leave tomorrow, but you can start to research the nuts-and-bolts of an international relocation.
The fact that you can’t move abroad tomorrow is actually a great thing. Even outside of a pandemic, you should never just sell all of your belongings and move abroad. People do that – too often unfortunately – and they do so after repeatedly being warned against it.
One of the fun realities of moving abroad is that the smart thing to do is to go explore where you think you might want to live. Start with an exploratory vacation – sometimes called a “look-see trip.”
So now’s the time to read up on those locations, ask questions on our expat forums, and start to evaluate what it means to live abroad.
It IS the time to dream… do your research now!