Why are you moving abroad?
A Dutch reality TV programme called Ik vertrek (‘I’m leaving’), which follows people who move abroad to start a completely new life, is a big hit in the Netherlands. Viewers have seen some jaw-dropping examples of people spending all their savings to buy a property – such as to start a bed & breakfast – in a country they barely know, often without even speaking the local language.
Push and Pull factors
In this TV show people often run into countless problems and sometimes give up and return to their home country with their tail between their legs. However, others – usually the go-getters who have bundles of energy and optimism – actually succeed in establishing a happy life for themselves abroad, despite all the setbacks.
Have you ever tried to predict the likelihood that your own move will be a success?
Actually, your reasons for leaving play a big part in your chances of a happy life abroad. These can be roughly divided into ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors.
Reasons to leave your home country
Push factors are things that you dislike about your current life in your home country, whether related to your job, your relationship, your family ties or anything else.
It can be tempting to think that moving abroad and starting afresh will cause your previous problems to vanish. But remember, you can run away from a situation – and in this case even a country – but there’s no escaping yourself.
Although going abroad is definitely an opportunity to create a new life, your own personality, fears and insecurities will not suddenly be transformed overnight. For instance, if you don’t make friends easily back home (in a familiar environment), do you really think it will be easier abroad? And if you don’t like how the government is running your home country, bear in mind that things are far from perfect in many other countries too.
All in all, as mentioned earlier, being a foreigner in a new country can cause a lot of extra stress. You might find yourself facing a whole new set of problems! So our advice would be: Don’t see leaving as a way of escaping your dissatisfaction with your current life. It’s better to tackle your underlying problems first.
Reasons to move to a host country
Pull factors are circumstances in the host country that specifically attract you to that country, such as the climate and/or lifestyle, friends/family/loved ones or specific job opportunities. Needless to say, pull factors are a better reason for moving abroad than push factors.
As you can see it is very important to have the right reasons for moving abroad. Please think of your own situation.
Are you moving abroad for the right reasons?
“You may go where you want,
but you cannot escape