About Us

Expatra started life in 2008 as Shelter Offshore writing about the sheer joyous adventure of starting a new life in a new country and has evolved over the years into the go-to resource for expatriates and Britons looking to retire abroad.

Today, more than 100,000 visitors read Expatra every month.

The site is renowned as one of the best expatriate publications on the internet, continually updated with valuable facts, links and data about living in Spain, living in France and other popular destinations, and featuring in-depth country reports on visas, housing, healthcare and top locations.

Expatra’s most popular feature is our annual report, The Best Places to Retire Abroad, which indexes the optimal countries for British retirees and what advantages each country can deliver in terms of its accessibility, healthcare, tax efficiency, cost of living and property prices.

Expatra has grown from a small site to one that has helped thousands of Britons to plan their new lives abroad. It has been referenced by some of the world’s biggest publications, including The New York Times, The Telegraph, MSN.com and The Guardian

The core members of the Expatra team are each personally acquainted with the intricacies of expat life.

Each international move (a dozen between the three of us) required many, many hours of research. We have each sifted through a vast sea of information and misinformation to find that precise factual nugget, whether it be how to clear customs, register with the local doctor, mortgage an overseas property or apply for residence.

The information that we found was inconsistent and haphazard.

Blogs often contradicted each other. Official and professional sites, such as those written by tax consultants or lawyers, could be difficult to understand or interpret. Detailed searches of forums, although useful, often yielded highly personal and one-sided individual views.

So we set out to create a comprehensive, one-stop resource (we would even call it a treasury) for Britons planning to retire abroad, where you can find everything you need to plan your overseas move. We are also incredibly proud of our site design, which is simple to use, easy to navigate, and lightning-fast to download.

From personal experience, we know that planning an expat move is crucial. 

There are things you should do before you leave the UK. Timing your removals to arrive when you need your belongings in your new home. Costs to consider and budgets to keep. Paperwork needed in and by your new country, often at precise times in your emigration journey.

If all this is planned and project-managed meticulously, your move abroad can be smooth – with (and this is important!) minimal stress.

To plan it well, however, you need to know exactly what needs to be done.

This is where Expatra steps in. We do all the time-consuming research for you and publish this information in actionable, easy-to-understand retirement guides. 

We also provide inspirational articles and tips to help you better prepare for your retirement abroad.

Welcome to Expatra. We wish you every success and happiness with your new life overseas.

Andy Williamson

Andy is the founder of Expatra. He is a serial expat who has lived in several different countries, including Austria, Italy, France, Germany, Cyprus and Ireland, and who has spent a lot of time visiting other destinations. He well knows the quirks and idiosyncrasies of setting up a life in a new country – and the value of current, accurate information in making the process more straightforward and trouble-free.

He is a whizz with online performance optimisation and website technology, and created Expatra as a living example for his consulting clients on how to do quality content well, on a topic he is passionate about – the delight of immersing yourself in a new country and celebrating the different lifestyles and cultures that our world has to offer.

Ola Degteva

Ola is research director of Expatra. Coming from a teaching and research background, she has been working in online research and publishing since 2009, when she moved to Cyprus to study for her master’s degree in the English Language Teaching.

Ola has personally experienced life abroad from very different perspectives: from being an international student, to working in another country, to setting up a business and having a family.

She knows what questions people ask when moving abroad and her mission is to ensure Expatra gives you the answers you need.

Suzanne Locke

Suzanne is the editor and content strategist of Expatra. 

Having started her career as a journalist at Sky News, she now runs her own content agency, Locke Digital, as well as still writing about personal finance, lifestyle and expat issues for well-respected international publications.

She grew up in Bahrain and worked in the UAE for nine years, as well as studying in France.

Combined, the Expatra team have years of experience living in Europe and the Middle East. The guides we produce are based on extensive and meticulous research, supported by our own experience and the experiences that our readers share. 

Still not found that precise nugget that YOU seek? Get in touch with us if you’ve got a specific question about moving abroad and we will try our best to help.