Moving Checklist January 20, 2020

A Complete Guide for Living Overseas – the Best Places to Settle Down Abroad

If you are up for an international adventure or the circumstances dictate it, you may be on the verge of deciding to start living overseas. What country will suit you the most will largely depend on how much you are ready to compromise and venture into the unknown.

If the language barrier and cultural differences are not that big of a problem, you can find some of the friendliest countries in the world in more exotic destinations. If, on the other hand, you want to have some more comfort and familiarity, you should search for a home in the English-speaking nations of Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

Which Criteria Should You Consider When Choosing the Best Place for Living Overseas?

When thinking about the best places to live abroad, the first things you should keep in mind are the regulations of the country you are moving to and the essential documents you need to acquire to stay and work there legally. Some countries have fewer requirements for legal residence and work permits for Americans, while others are more strict in this regard.

The other items that you should research are the cost of living, living standards, environment, climate, economy, and local politics, as well as the expat community.

small globe on a toy car
The world can be your oyster.

What Are the Best Places Abroad If You Want to Live a Comfortable Family Life?

When moving with your family, you should be mindful of the needs of your spouse and children as well as yours. What may be a perfect fit for you may not be the best fit for your partner or kids. The most important aspects to consider in this scenario are the education of your children and health care for the whole family, and you may have to make some compromises when relocating to certain places. The foreign countries most suitable for US expat families are often those with a high living standard, excellent health care, and quality education. Here’s a very short list of them:

  • Canada
  • UK
  • Australia
  • France
  • New Zealand
New Zealand green fields and mountains
New Zealand has one of the healthiest environments in the world

How to Help Your Family Adjust to Living Overseas?

Snatching your children from everything familiar to them can be stressful, even more so if you are sheltering them from the whole process. You should include them as much as possible, give them all the information about the new country, and show them the benefits of moving internationally. Make a plan on what you are going to do and the places you are going to visit once you get there and try to respect their wishes as much as possible. This should be an exciting adventure, not a stressful ordeal.

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South American Countries, Like Belize, Are Gaining More Popularity Among US Expats

For a long time, South and Central America used to be considered as dangerous, underdeveloped ill-suited for people coming from a stronger economy and completely different political culture. However, if you stay away from the crime-infested areas of Venezuela, Colombia, and Guyana, you are pretty much in for a very comfortable, stress-free life in an affordable tropical paradise.

There are countries such as Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Belize, and Costa Rica that are becoming increasingly popular among expats from around the globe, especially from the US. Although most of these nations are struggling with their own set of political and economic problems, it is more than possible to have a nice life and a home there if you have some savings on the side or if you are working for a US company.

small palm beach
Expat communities in Belize are getting stronger

What Are the Best Places Overseas for Digital Nomads?

Digital nomads are a brand new occupation on the job market and their numbers are increasing with staggering speed. Since they are not tied to any place in particular, except for the nearest Wifi connection, they are going through life like nomads, hence the name. Most of the time, their job includes constant changing of the location, so they usually choose exotic, faraway places with a good internet connection and other amenities they might need. East Asia and tropical islands, as well as Europe, are among the top locations for this profession. Here are some countries favored by the international community of digital nomads:

  • Germany
  • UK
  • France
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • China
small tourist boat
Thailand is a low-cost tropical paradise

Which Place to Choose If You Are a Bit More Adventurous?

If you are an outdoor person seeking a constant adrenaline rush, you are probably aiming for uncharted territories and the roads less traveled. There are countries that are much less affected by urban development, have vivid flora and fauna and provide an opportunity to test your limits. The most popular ones are:

  • Hawaii
  • India
  • Peru
  • Chile
  • South Africa
  • Morocco
  • Zambia

If You Don’t Want to Settle in One Place

Are you an adventurous person who can’t go without some outdoor activity for less than a week, but you still want to be able to move around easily? Then it will be essential for your desired location to have a good airport or land traffic connection. Cities that are not far from the wild climbing areas, great surfing spots, forest hiking paths, and skiing and snowboarding trails are:

  • Anchorage
  • Brasilia
  • Zurich
  • Cape town
  • Lima
  • San Jose
night bazar
Morocco has that mystic spirit of the Orient and a great connection to both Europe and the rest of Africa.

What Are the Best Places If You Are Looking for a Job?

If your goal is to move abroad for a better job position, it would be ideal to find work first and organize the international relocation in coordination with your new employer. Many young professionals choose mostly European countries to advance their careers on foreign soil, primarily due to strong, diversified economies and high standards. Germany, and especially its capital, Berlin are one of the most popular locations for people working in the IT sector, followed by Finland and Norway.

Teaching English in foreign countries like China, South Korea, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Taiwan is a recent trend among people that want to live and work overseas.

teacher and the kids in class
Being an ESL teacher gives you a unique opportunity to work and travel to some of the most exotic locations in the world.

What Are Top Places for Senior Expats?

Many senior citizens are choosing to retire and live in a place with a warm climate, peaceful day-to-day life, and exotic cuisine. Since they want to live comfortably, there are some amenities that are mandatory, such as accessible and high-quality healthcare, developed transportation systems, stable economy and politics.

Best Places to Retire In

Places that have all these criteria are mostly located in the southern part of Europe, like French Riviera, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, but American retirees also choose some exotic islands like Hawaii and Barbados.

old couple walking on the beach
You deserve to enjoy your golden years to the fullest and visit places you have always wanted to.

A Few International Relocation Tips

If you have chosen your ideal location, there are a few steps you should go through to secure that everything goes smoothly there:

  • Check your papers and documents
  • Organize packing and moving
  • Select good health care insurance
  • Make as many living arrangements as possible before you move
  • If you are moving for a job, coordinate with your employer
  • Organize the shipping of your vehicle if you plan to use it
  • Check the vaccines and get the ones you need for the country you are moving to
  • Get all the documents for your family if you are moving with them
  • Prepare your pets for the relocation, in case you’re moving with cats or dogs.
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