Categories
Planning Your Move

Personal Development

Whether you are planning to move abroad, you have already moved or you are still dreaming of a different life, you are probably questioning your current life and/or looking to instigate major changes.

There are numerous reasons why people want to make changes in their life. Here are just a few of them:

  • Career based  – A new job opportunity. Better prospects. Self employment.
  • Physiological – Leave the Rat Race & reduce stress. Improve health.
  • Psychological – Improve mindset. New goals. Action Bucket List.
  • Idealogical – Better climate. Holistic lifestyle for you/family. Live the Dream. A worthy cause.

Career Based

That’s it. I’m outta here!

For many the prospect of working overseas is enticing. Not only are there the prospects of improving your earnings, lower taxes and better career advancement opportunities in other countries, but you might also be better appreciated too. And if you have spotted a niche then starting your own business abroad can have many ‘first to market’ advantages.

Technology makes it possible for many people to work remotely even if they thought previously that it wasn’t possible before. The recent COVID19 pandemic has opened people’s eyes to just what can be done remotely and successfully. Many businesses still harbour draconian attitudes to their employees working remotely (especially from home) and this is basically down to trust issues.

Forward-thinking companies see major advantages of remote working and from a balance sheet perspective there are massive savings to be made from negating the need for large, fancy offices in prime locations. You only need to walk down your high street to see how online has surpassed most physical business locations.

Why is this notable you may ask?

Well, for starters many businesses are now truly international and as such they have a more modern, fluid mindset when it comes to hiring, job flexibility and remote working. Chances are whatever your job is now – you could probably get a similar job abroad and do it successfully. Yes! believe in yourself.

Native English is a highly prized commodity

Only about 10 years ago I read that many corporations were encouraging (or demanding) that their top executives learn Mandarin and/or Cantonese as China would ultimately be the most crucial market. However, one only needs to appreciate just how the Chinese business-centric mind works to realise that any serious Chinese business has learnt English rapidly and as such English remains ‘the language of international business‘. Being fluent in another language is fantastic for anyone who has the skills, but it is not absolutely necessary for many jobs abroad. Some yes, but not all.

In China for example, a native English speaking person is highly prized in teaching. Salaries are commensurate with Lawyers and Doctors. Why? Well, surprise surprise! The Chinese understand how crucial the English language is to success. And the Chinese have been masters of trade and commerce for 1,000’s of years. They know a thing or two, put it that way! And don’t just think ‘schools’. There is a lot of money to be made in teaching English in the corporate environment too.

Change of direction?

If you are seeking a complete career change you have to ask yourself Why? It is highly likely that you feel this way because you are stuck in a job you no longer find rewarding. Simply upping sticks, moving abroad and working in another country is unlikely to be the quick-fix solution. That’s just ‘running away’ and not facing reality. Please read on… All is not lost, but do consider the fundamental reasons why you seek change. Once you recognise the root cause(s) of your dissatisfaction or need for change you stand a much better chance of making living and moving abroad a success.

Physiological

Your life is what you make it.

Let’s face it, the vast majority of people live to work not work to live. Whatever label you stick on it, be it narcissism, capitalism or purely a survival instinct there is a need to work to put food on the table, pay bills and if you’re fortunate enough to have residual money – buy ‘stuff’!

It is not sexist to think of men as ‘hunter gatherers’ with an in-built instinct to be a ‘provider‘. Nor is it sexist to think of women as ‘nurturers‘ with an in-built instinct to protect. That’s human nature and both have clearly defined responsibilities and pressures.

Stress and corporate burnout is real. Stress is the single, biggest (“bigly” if you’re Donald Trump 🙂 ) silent killer of modern times. It stands to reason why so many men and women want to make changes to their lives in order to reduce stress, lead a more fulfilling, rewarding and ultimately longer life. Moving abroad can be the answer, but not always.

Moving abroad to a more favourable climate can be just what you need to lead a more physically active lifestyle and breathe fresher air. It can also lead to laziness, boredom, frustration, bitterness and heavy drinking, but more about that can be found in my Blog.

A Mediterranean diet packed with fresh wholesome foods and gallons of olive oil will probably help you live longer. Great if you can afford to live past 100 – not so great if your Pension is mediocre!

A pleasant climate can stimulate you to exercise more (or even simply start!) and if you move to a location outside of a major city then you can get to breathe fresh air, enjoy a more laid back lifestyle and far less stress. Just remember that when you ever want to get anything fixed or ‘done’ the attitudes of service providers will also be more laid back and relaxed – be prepared!

Psychological

If it’s to be, It’s up to Me.

This is likely to be the main reason you found my website in the first place. You may have already done some research, consumed lots of self help, NLP and personal development material and watched hours of YouTube videos. Most extol the virtues of Change, Living Abroad, Living a different Life, becoming an Expat, Working Abroad, becoming a Digital Nomad, even finding fulfilment and greater understanding.

All the above are great and noble reasons to make changes in your life. Do you feel like you are ‘Stuck in a rut‘? – A rut is a Grave with the ends kicked-out right?

Yes! real Change takes real Action. Moving abroad and starting a new life in another country is about as radical as it gets! It could be just what you need to effect major change, start achieving your goals and finding a more fulfilling life. Much depends on your expectations. See the Dreams vs Reality section for more on this to avoid many of the most common mistakes and misconceptions about moving and living abroad.

Maybe you’ve simply lost your Mojo?

Many people are filled with sadness and frustration when they look back over the years and realise that their life hasn’t turned out the way they thought it would. Goals that seemed so important were never realised or once achieved they turned out to be unfulfilling and the wrong goals in the first place. I know this was the case for me. I thought I knew what I wanted and what would make me happy only to realise that I was wrong. For me, moving abroad was just the tonic I needed to find a better understanding of what made me happy and ultimately be at peace with myself.

When discussing moving and living abroad I do subscribe to the attitude of “Just Do It Anyway!” Whether the phrase was coined by Richard Brandson or not – the basic principle at play here is one of “Shut up, stop talking about it – just Do It!”. “Walk the Talk”. “Every journey starts with the first step” etc, etc.

Knowledge is Power.

Yes! you have to take Action – but as per the laws of physics – every Action has an equal and opposite Reaction! The whole purpose of this website (Naked Expat) is to help you understand the benefits and pitfalls of moving abroad, living abroad and/or working abroad. And on the basis of “knowledge is power” arming you with insights that will (hopefully) enable you to achieve a better, more fulfilling life for yourself and for your family (if you have one).

You have to be honest with yourself, look deep inside and ask yourself Why? How? When? Where? Or your move abroad will prove to be a misadventure.

Don’t let your heart rule your head.

Idealogical

Surely there’s a better way?

OK let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want a better life, less stress and be happy? Everyone does!

But just like Social Media paints a picture that IT wants you to believe, so do the vast majority of Lifestyle Articles, Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts and Businesses. Making you feel like sh*t, unfulfilled and in need of something MORE is a multi $Billion Dollar business. It is a ‘Fear Business’ that feeds off insecurity, narcissism and greed.

Don’t be fooled by the idealistic pictures others paint. Don’t be naive thinking life abroad is easy, the answer to all your problems or that everyone can be happy living in another country. This is simply not the case. Many people are just not cut out to adopting a different way of life. Many people become desperately homesick and there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way. And just like individuals often change over time – so do countries!

Sarcasm can be your friend.

Time for some sarcasm. I would strongly suggest anyone thinking of moving abroad, living abroad or for whatever reasons wish to effect such a major change to their life adopt a bit of sarcasm. Why? Well, as I trust the following will highlight – It gets you thinking more about your dream, the reality and things to consider beforehand and during…

Better climate – Most want more sun, however most expats end up in the shade because it’s simply too hot, too draining. Skin cancer anyone?

Life’s a beach – Until your house corrodes from the sea air or gets washed away. And who likes strangers walking past their property late at night?, beach parties?, stray dogs? Bugs? Mosquitoes? Tsunamis? And living on a island is vastly more expensive than living on the mainland – ask anyone!

Peaceful, Remote Lifestyle – What no internet? no BBC iPlayer? Netflix? No news? (When did WWIII start? No one told me!) You love the peace, your young children love you, your older children hate you. Schools? Yes (tick box), but will your children ever stand a chance of going to a good university? OK you might love the idea of your new life – but just because you do, what gives you the right to force it on your kids? Surely they deserve a shot at a great education too?

Healthy Fresh Air – Great. Away from the smog and the stress. Also away from emergency services? The fresh air won’t kill you – but if you have an accident and bleed to death, what good is the fresh air?

A Cause – Very commendable. Spend you life helping others, helping the environment, raising money and/or awareness. Great! Let’s just see how charitable people are when it’s YOU that’s in need of money. Charity begins at home right? Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised, but expect nothing.

Community – The ‘locals’ are great. They are friendly, inquisitive, oh so helpful and oh so genuine. Yep many are. But if at anytime there is a problemo you will quickly realise that instead of being a cherished and valued member of the community, you have in reality always been a ‘foreigner’ when the sh*t hits the fan!

Why bother?

Moving abroad and living abroad in a different country can be exactly what you (and your family) need. I did it and have very few regrets. My background and experiences over many years (more about me here) have both enlightened me, changed me (mostly for the better!) whilst at the same time scared the living daylight out of me at times.

There are fundamental things that everyone thinking of moving abroad and living in another country need to consider – and they are rarely highlighted or discussed. The aim of this website (Naked Expat) is to adopt a “Stripped back to basics” approach and avoid painting idealistic, hedonistic dreams that are for most people unachievable.

Fail to Plan. Plan to Fail.

Common sense prevails.

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