Moving to another country will change your life
I recently saw this question on my ‘to Answer’ list on Quora. I decided to post it here since I want to expand on my original answer. The person who asked this question mentioned he has a family, with one parent being a software developer. He is thinking of moving to another country and becoming an expat, in order to improve the quality of his family’s life. This is always a laudable reason. His requirements:
- Ease of finding employment
- Ease of obtaining citizenship and its benefits
- Public safety
- Political stability
- Political freedoms
- Cost of living
- Health care
- Climate change
A lot of people who want to move to another country will consider these same things. However, finding a country that checks all the boxes is nigh impossible.
That said, it is still possible to move to another country and improve your quality of life. It’s just going to be very hard to do so.
Preparation is key
It’s not going to be easy to obtain citizenship anywhere, but getting a job is just one way to do it. The easiest way to move and still have a job is to get a visa sponsorship from a company that needs you. That can be a very viable option if your skills involve an in-demand field, such as software development.
Failing that, you can always start your own business. You can do any number of things: learn software development, start your own web company, sell stuff, teach something in a niche area. If you sit down and list down the things you can do, you can probably sell at least one of those skills in some way.
However, you must remember that starting your own business can be tough to do. Not everyone is wired for it, and not everyone is going to be successful at it. If it is an option though, keep working at your current company and build your business during your time off. You’ll work a lot, with the eventual, hopeful payoff that you’ll soon own and work in your own business.
Another option, is this geared more towards you single people out there (people without families) is to look into going to school in a foreign country. That’s how I initially left the United States three years ago, and I’ve lived in three countries since then.
Once you figure out how you’re going to prepare and make life work in a new country, you can look into which country to move to.
Which is the best country to migrate to?
Frankly, there is no best country. They’re all different, and there are going to be pros and cons to each of them.
Many European countries will have amazing health care and education. Cost of living is quite high though. Getting a job may not be so hard in certain fields.
Some east Asian countries can be good too. Cheap cost of living in many of them, although quality may not be up to your Western standards. East Asia’s educational facilities are sub-par, even in the best of their schools. That’s coming from local people that I know in several of these countries.
From personal experience, I can say that Taiwan, Thailand, China, and others are good for cheap cost of living outside of major international cities. Taipei is expensive, as well as Shanghai, parts of Hong Kong, and Beijing.
Japan is probably the best for health care and quality of life. Cost of living is very high in Tokyo, but outside of Tokyo, prices can be on par with most Western countries, even cheaper if you are single.
Language and other barriers
Moving to another country poses another problem: language. In fact, even in European countries, you may have trouble with the language barrier. Sure, a lot of people around the world can speak English, but if you want to get a work visa in your country of choice you may still need to know at least some of the local language.
And good luck getting a job in east Asia beyond teaching English if you don’t know the language.
Furthermore, there is going to be a mound of paperwork to complete. This is a typical annoyance if you’re single; easy enough to complete but can take a month or more to get everything finished to make you legal. This includes just becoming a student, either at a language school or a university.
Going the self-business route is always an option though. Of course that has its own challenges. In order to make a business overseas, anywhere, you’re going to have to have a lot of capital. Furthermore, you may need a local citizen to be your business partner if you don’t have that capital. Then there are the fees and paperwork required for residence, work permits, and anything else your country of choice requires.
You would need to do all of the above if you don’t want to be leaving the country every time your tourist visa runs out. Not so bad for single people, but if you have a family, forget it.
Moving to another country is tough, but not impossible
By now, you’re probably a bit discouraged. It seems very hard to move to another country, whether it’s temporary or permanent. Don’t fret though. Many people do it every day, all in the hopes of improving their lives and the lives of their families.
For U.S. citizens who wish to leave the States, this can be even harder. This is especially true for those of you who have never travelled outside of the country before. There are a lot of other things to consider, but that’s a whole other post.
I’m not like most typical westerners. I was in the US military for 8 years. Then, I left the United States at the beginning of 2014 to Japan. Since then I’ve lived in Japan, Taiwan, and now China. I’ve learned some Japanese and Chinese, and I’m still on the “travel bug”. I want to go to other countries now.
At the same time, I’m trying to start my own business so that I can work on my own terms. I don’t need much. I’m hoping this blog, this entire website, will help me accomplish my goal of making $1,000 USD a month by the end of 2017.
I’m doing all this. It’s tough. I work my regular job, and then I work on this and other projects. I’m learning software development on my own time, and trying to figure out a way to build my brand. I’m also building up my own blog and posting almost every day in the hopes that ads and, eventually, affiliate marketing starts to make me enough by the end of this year to allow me to work for myself.
Yes, it’s tough. It’s going to be hard. You’ll be working harder than you did in the past if you want to accomplish a new life anywhere.
You can do it. Just keep at it, and don’t give up.
Is it worth it?
Hell yes, it’s worth it. But not everyone will agree with me. You need to make your own decision.
If you have any questions or want some advice, feel free to comment down below. I’m always available to try and help people out.
To see my original answer on Quora, click here