Working abroad is an ambition for many people. For some, the first Covid 19 lockdown was the spur to achieving this dream. The logic was that if remote working was becoming the norm, you might as well do it from a fantastic location – provided it had an excellent wi-fi connection! So if you could do your job from anywhere – where would you choose and what’s so great about living abroad anyway?
Every year the media is full of lists of ‘the best place to live’ and ‘cities with the best quality of life.’ According to a 2021 study, Switzerland has recently nudged Denmark aside as the country with the best quality of life. Before you put your home up for rent and start browsing flats in Zurich, remember that many of the benefits of living in highly-rated countries, such as excellent healthcare, may not be open to you and your family as non-citizens. Forget the lists and think about the kind of lifestyle that you would value most. If you usually inhabit the UK, where rain can be a feature of every season, you may be looking for somewhere with year-round blue skies. Switzerland is possibly out of your price bracket, but there are possibilities elsewhere within Europe.. Portugal is an excellent destination for those wanting to live cheaply and it has a great climate! Europe and the US have the best wi-fi speeds, but you can live comfortably on a low income in many Asian countries if wi-fi isn’t a big issue.
One of the best aspects of living in a different country is the opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons. You will have the chance to learn another language, but more than that, you will experience a different society’s cultural behaviours. Even in this interconnected world, the ability to move between cultures and understand how to behave appropriately in different contexts is a great life skill. In a world where the English language is becoming increasingly dominant, this may be even more helpful than linguistic skills.
Working abroad may give you the chance to develop your professional connections by tapping into local business networks. As all businesses become more global, your location may benefit your company. You could find new customers, suppliers, business opportunities, and valuable knowledge of all kinds by becoming part of a local business network. Having professional connections in a second country may be beneficial for you later in your career.
Relocating abroad will take a lot of planning. You will need to find somewhere to live that provides a decent workspace and all the communication technology you require. You will also need to organise your finances. Moving money between home and your new location may be complicated and expensive if you have different bank accounts in each country. Start looking for the best foreign currency account that you can find to keep your finances streamlined. If you plan to stay in your chosen location for a while, you should also check whether you will incur local taxation.