On days like today in the UK where there’s a band of cloud across the whole country and you’ll be lucky to dodge a shower if you have to pop out at any point, it’s very hard not to want to escape abroad to perpetual blue skies and sunshine.
Many surveys done in the past about why people have expatriated, (or why they may want to move abroad in the future), often flag up the fact that Britons are acutely affected in their decision-making by the weather. But is the weather really a driving factor behind so many people’s relocation?
Do rain, heavy clouds, drizzle, a lack of summer, cold fronts, short days and lows really make Britons among the most likely nationality to expatriate? We’re not convinced! Granted, bad weather ‘at home’ and the promise of better weather ‘abroad’ could be an added factor and a bonus factor respectively, but if Brits want to be sure of success once they relocate, we would urge them to be more open and honest about why they really want to move overseas, and to keep focused on these reasons. Read on to discover why.
The Weather is Not Enough to Keep You Happy Abroad
When you move abroad you change many fundamental aspects of your life. Some of these are obvious and can be prepared for – e.g., you will be leaving one home and so you will need to find another home in your new location! Other factors don’t necessarily become so acutely apparent until you’ve made the move, settled in and woken up one day with a slightly uneasy feeling…
E.g., you leave behind your entire extended support network that previously brought you security, peace of mind and even a feeling of wellbeing – and you have nothing to replace it with now that you’re living abroad. It’s at times like this, when a dawning realisation hits that sometimes life abroad is actually tough, that you realise that the weather is not enough to keep you happy overseas!
The Weather Changes Even in Paradise
Australia has been one of the most popular expatriate routes out of the UK for many years – and over and over again the weather in Australia is cited as being a massively influential factor in helping people to decide to move ‘down under.’ But in the past few months we have helplessly watched as Australia has been hit by deadly flooding and cyclones – proving that even in this metrological paradise, nothing is ever perfect.
Even in the Mediterranean region where the climate is purported to be as close to perfect as possible you have droughts, flash flooding, cold winters and temperatures too hot for comfort all within the space of one year…
In other words, as much as you may hate the climate in the UK, you will struggle to find anywhere that suits you 100% of the time which is why you a) need a better reason to relocate in the first place, and b) you need to stay true to that reason if and when things get tough – otherwise you will be disappointed and struggle to stay happy overseas.
Take Time to Decide Why You Really Want to Relocate
The expatriates who are happiest living abroad feel completely at home abroad – they had more than one fundamental driving factor behind their relocation, and they have fully committed to integration overseas. To reach this place of complete contentment sounds relatively easy – but it is not. It takes huge determination and commitment.
To reach this place you first have to be open and honest about why you want to move abroad, and your reasons need to be ‘valid’ – i.e., as I have proven, the weather is not enough because it can change and undermine a fundamental factor keeping you overseas.
If you want to move abroad to achieve a better lifestyle, you want to embrace a certain culture, you want to educate your children in a new nation, learn the language and advance your career abroad and you have a nation in mind where you have already spent some time and feel comfortable, you’re well on the way to making a happy home overseas.
If you’re running away from problems, a bad relationship, you want to live in the sun, meet new people and spend a lot of time socialising and living as though you’re on permanent holiday, you’ll last about a year before you run out of money and have to return home for the sake of your liver!
Valid Reasons for Relocation are Personal – But Do Test Them Out
Everyone’s driving factors behind expatriation are acutely personal and individual – however, it’s worthwhile testing them out on others. Talk to your friends and family about why you want to move and gauge their feedback. Hop online and connect with other expats who are already living abroad in your chosen destination and speak to them about why you want to move – they will soon tell you whether your thoughts about the relocation are realistic or whether you’re dreaming.
Ensure your reasons are valid, watertight, realistic and not driven by fear or fantasy only.
When you wake up one day as an expat and find that aspects of your new life are not necessarily what you hoped for or expected, when you’re missing friends and struggling to re-build your essential support network, you will need to go back, revisit the reasons behind your move and focus on them to see you through.
A New Life Abroad Will Throw Up Hurdles – Only the Truth Will See You Through!
Life comes along and changes plans on a near-daily basis for all but the most hermitic of us – and when you move abroad you expose yourself to a whole new set of aspects that can come along and undermine you or knock you off course. Some of these aspects will end up as positive opportunities for you, but some will inevitably make you question why you moved abroad in the first place…
And therein lies the point of this report – i.e., you need to have a good answer to the questions you will ask of yourself at this point! If you’re feeling lonely in your new home overseas, and you can’t face another night of going out and trying to make friends, being a stranger in a sea of strange faces, the fact that the sun is shining outside will not necessarily be enough to make you try again.
If on the other hand you know that you’ve got better employment prospects, a more secure job, a happier home life, well-adjusted and well-rounded happy children, better health, you live in a more tolerant and safer community, you have greater disposable income because you earn more/pay less tax/have a lower cost of living and your future generally looks positive – all of these will be exceptionally strong factors that you can genuinely focus on to get you through any bumps and blips and over any hurdles or obstacles that your new life abroad will almost inevitably bring up along the way.
Before your move, if you try out and test, validate and are certain of the fundamental factors behind your relocation, you will find that anything life throws at you once you expatriate can be overcome simply by remaining focused on the very positive factors that influenced your emigration in the first place. Whilst nice weather will certainly help your overall feeling of wellbeing on a day to day basis, there needs to be much more behind your move in the first place if you want to be and stay happy abroad!