This blog series is based on work by writer Diane Lemieux and trainer Anne Parker in their book The Mobile Life: a new approach to moving anywhere.
Part I: If you’re going to do it, really choose it
Relocating is more than moving from location/job A to location/job B: it is about moving from LIFE A to LIFE B. In other words, the answer to the question ‘to move or not to move’ lies in the quality of the life you will have at B.
This may seem obvious but some people accept an opportunity abroad with the attitude of ‘yeah, why not, let’s give it a try’. Others accept because they feel that they have little choice: for economic, career or family reasons. In other words, they move FOR someone or something else (a partner, an employer, a career prospect) rather than for their own goals.
However, if you are going to bother experiencing all the trouble of deconstructing and then reconstructing your life, there must be a powerful payback to the experience: Life B must be at least as good as Life A, and in some ways even better.
The decision to move should be based on what you need, want or hope to get out of the experience. Make sure that your motives for moving are ‘big’ enough to create a good life for yourself at your destination.
· Are you moving in order to succeed at a new job or position? If so, you need to consider the fact that you will need to also be prepared to build a full and active social life for yourself that is at least as satisfying as the one you have.
· Are you moving in order to accompany your partner on their career path? In this case, consider whether supporting your family will be enough to satisfy you for the duration of your time abroad.
The benefits to moving abroad should take into account the opportunities to do, achieve and experience things that are not only good for you now, but also contribute to your life goals later. When weighing the costs and benefits of moving, be sure to include the costs of staying where you are.
In a nutshell, if you are going to make the massive effort to move to live in a new country, choose it consciously because the benefits outweigh the costs: choose it proactively because Life B is what you really want.
In order to choose to move, it helps to know what Life B will look like. Stay tuned for Part II: Take a good look before you jump.
By: Diane Lemieux, 17th April 2015
For more on this topic visit: www.themobilelife.eu/
Diane Lemieux has spent a whole lifetime as an expat and sees moving to live in a new country as a life choice made by an increasing number of people. Those who successfully recreate a full and satisfying life in a new place develop the skills and approaches needed to deal with any change that life presents us.Her new book, The Mobile Life, co-written with Anne Parker, helps those who are undertaking this journey for the first time, and highlights the achievements of those who are experienced resettlers.