Expat Stories…

One of the most useful ways to get helpful information and support about moving abroad is by listening and learning from other expats and their first hand experiences of moving to a new country.

So we have compiled interviews from Expats all over the world who have made the bold decision to move abroad.

We hope that by listening to their personal stories you will find inspiration and helpful tips and tricks about how you too can make the move abroad.

So before you know it you will be living your dream life abroad!

1. Brief Description of Self…

I am a 35 year old male who was in the tech industry in the UK.  I lived there my entire life    and had a nice apartment and quality of life, but worked long hours to stay up with finances.

2. Where did you move to and from

 I moved from central London to Thailand

3. Who moved with you…

Just me!

4. Why did you decide to move abroad?…

I was born and raised in London and loved my life there.  I was in the tech industry and enjoyed the work and had a great group of friends and colleagues.  After several years however, I started to burn out.  I started to experience some physical symptoms of stress and was not leading a balanced life.  The winters started to feel very long and cold.  I had just broken up with my girlfriend of seven years and I was looking for a new lease on life.  I had a close friend from University buy a house in Thailand and it created a spark in me that this might be an incredible opportunity to try something totally new.

5. How did you go about deciding what country you wanted to move to?…

I had a close friend from University buy a house in Thailand and it created a spark in me that this might be an incredible opportunity to try something totally new.  I honestly did not even consider any other countries.  It was nice knowing I had a friend there who had already navigated the scene and could give me advice.  

6. What did you do before you moved that helped you prepare for the move abroad?…

 I read anything and everything I could about the country and way of life.  I would read history, modern day stories and anything having to do with travel or starting a new life abroad in Thailand.  I had never visited before I moved.  Looking back that sounds crazy but I think I just knew it would be the place for me.

7. What was the most challenging part of leaving and moving?…

It was hard to leave my childhood friends and my parents.  London was where I spent my entire life and knew every nook and cranny and had an incredible community.

8. What actions or choices made settling into your new country easier?….

I connected with as many expats as I possibly could.  I got involved in expat forums, groups, meetups and talked to as many people as I possibly could.  I also really extended myself to local people as well.  The Thai people are some of the friendliest in the world and they were so welcoming and wonderful.  I even started to get on a few dating sites.  I did hiking groups, martial art classes, tried new sports and went to social gatherings.  I am not the most social person so this was a challenge for me but it made all the difference.  I also read and participated in all the online forums for expats and digital nomads that I could find.

9. What has been the best part of moving abroad?…

Honestly I don’t even know where to start.  There is hardly an aspect of this journey that has not been amazing.  I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.  I have made some of the best friends of my life, had adventures I could have never dreamed of and completely changed my outlook on life.  I also get to travel to all these new parts of the world in south east Asia which has been remarkable.  I think I was definitely a bit depressed in London and I realized after moving to Thailand that sometimes your environment can really make a difference in your overall well being.

10. What has been the most challenging part of moving abroad?

For me, creating and finding work was the most challenging.  I left my job in tech and lived off my savings for a while.  I knew I didn’t have long to find steady employment and so it kept me a little bit unsettled and nervous in the beginning of my stay in my new home. There are numerous jobs available as a digital nomad and in tech but finding it in a foreign market was particularly challenging.  I ended up having to piece together some freelance jobs which felt a bit stressful and chaotic.  But now I am a freelancer with a lot of flexibility and I make more than I did in my corporate job back in London.

11. What do you wish you would have known before you left or what would you have done differently ?…

I probably should have found work before I left.  Even if it was not a full time job, just to have some income coming in.  It was scary and stressful living off savings and I spent a lot of my first few months sitting at a computer looking for work.

12. What person, website, resource or app was helpful when relocating abroad?…

My friend from University who had moved to Thailand before me was the single biggest help.  If you are able to connect with someone who has done the move before you I highly recommend it.  I also joined the Facebook forum for Thailand expats which was amazing and set up social gatherings every week with people in your same shoes.  They also provide information on English speaking resources, housing and anything else pertaining to setting up a new life abroad.

13. Please provide any other information, or thoughts not included in the questions above…

You really don’t know what you are missing until you move to a different country and immerse yourself in a totally new environment.  It is challenging, but it really is the most remarkable thing I believe people can do.  It has changed me in every way.  You don’t realize, even if you try to keep an open mind how limited you are by living in one place and only experiencing that culture.

 

Thinking of moving abroad, but don´t know where to start?  

Get a copy of the workbook designed to walk you through choosing your perfect country and start your dream life abroad!

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