So, you’d like to live and work abroad for a while? There is a whole world out there, and life is short so why not?
There is a whole world of choices out there, how do you work out where to go and how to do it.
Places where English is the first language
Depending on your language skills you might want to start by looking at places where English is the first language. New Zealand and Australia might be interesting destinations. New Zealand is especially attuned to the idea of bringing a working population into the economy. But if you go there you will need to support the All Blacks. The good news is that it will help you fit in right away.
But the country’s first language might not be the business language. In Singapore or Hong Kong you can speak English at work (bankers and teachers for example), and gradually pick up the rest, whereas in France you really will need to speak French.
In the Czech Republic which is a current favorite destination about 25% of communication is in English, so at a business level you will probably do fine, but if your goal is to meet the locals this is going to be a hurdle.
What are you going for?
If your aim is to create a retirement income then looking at places where the tax on expats is low and the wages high makes sense. Teaching in the Middle East is a route to a great income, a good standard of living and the ability to move money into savings accounts on a regular basis.
If you’re going to make a difference, if it is climate change or ecology you are looking for, then you need only go as far as Costa Rica. Plenty of English is spoken although you’d be smart to get your Spanish up to date to really blend in with what is happening there.
If its experience you are looking for. You’d like to take yourself off for a while to get some experience all over the place? You could do worse than Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TEFL is a way of moving around the globe and showing up with some experience which makes you marketable.
How long are you going for?
Take it from experience, once you leave home, things change and your perspective does. You set off with an idea of a year abroad and suddenly it is 20 years later and now, you can’t go back. This really does happen, believe me. You will change from being the person who left into someone who might not be able to go back. Of course, there are plenty who can’t get back home fast enough.
The thing is, you’ll never know until get out there. Be prepared for it to go either way, but I promise you, the longer you are away, the more difficult it is to go back.