How To Choose A Country To Move To

August 18, 2015

Did you know you could choose to move to another country to get your travel fix?

Moving countries can be a great way to travel. You can base yourself in another part of the world where you’ll be able to continue to earn money, get to know another culture in-depth, and travel in another region without having to save money before you go.

Most people make the decision to travel or move overseas with a destination in mind, like when I moved to Spain to teach English. In case you’re having a hard time choosing, or not sure where to start, lets narrow it down. Of course there are many obstacles so moving abroad and it’s not always that easy, but there are some things you can control!

Pick a climate

Are you a beach bum or a snow bunny?

Prefer urban scrawl or rolling hills?

Do you live in a tropical country and want to experience life in a cold one, or maybe you want something similar to what you know?

I don’t think the climate should affect your choice too much, because you can make the most of any place. When I lived in southwest Canada it rained pretty much nonstop for 4 months. If we waited for the weather to be better before we went exploring I’d still be sitting there 5 years later! The weather becomes a part of the experience.

How To Choose A Country To Move To

Iceland – You don’t have to move somewhere warm to have an amazing time!

What’s nearby?

If you base yourself in South America you’ll find it easiest to explore the countries in that area, similarly if you base yourself in Europe you can be in several other countries in less than an hour-long flight.

Australia is big enough to keep you occupied for a while, and New Zealand is a hop across the ditch.

Obviously it depends where you are from, but coming from New Zealand means anywhere I move gives me so many more opportunities for travel.

But am I allowed to live there?

This is the big one. You can’t always get where you want to go so be flexible and realise anywhere is a great new experience.

Can you get a visa to live in that country? Do you need a work visa or can you work without one? Are you planning on volunteering across several countries in exchange for your accommodation and food with an organisation like HelpX?

If you’re younger than 30, or sometimes 35, and depending on where you’re from, there are a wealth of working holiday visa opportunities. For Kiwis and Aussies, the UK Youth Mobility Visa is almost a right of passage. Similarly, many Brits and Irish people plan a working holiday in Australia or New Zealand.

If you’re older than 30 it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck! You just need to be a little more creative. Can you get a visa somewhere to teach English? Do you have skills that would mean a company can sponsor you for a working visa?

How To Choose A Country To Move To

Thailand – Maybe South East Asia and the beach is more your style?

Job opportunities

Looking at job opportunities in another country could be your first step or your last.

First could mean you pick snowboarding instructor and therefore Canada, or teaching English and therefore South Korea. Last could mean you choose Australia, and then look at whether you want an admin job in the city, or to work in a pub in a small town.

  • Find out what the number one job website is for that country, and start marking jobs.
  • Contact or register with temp agencies
  • Use your network. Get back in touch with anyone you know who has been there, knows someone who has or knows someone who’s there. Both to get the lowdown and to make contacts.

When I first moved to Scotland I signed up with a temp agency and worked random jobs (I’m a pro at stuffing envelopes) before landing the job I had for the rest of my visa through the normal job application process.

My number one suggestion is to find something you can do while you are waiting for something you want. That might mean working in hospitality for a while even if it’s not your favourite, working for the hostel you’re staying in or pulling staples from files for 8 hours a day as one lucky friend of mine did.

How To Choose A Country To Move To

London – A first choice for many Kiwis and Aussies, and a place with a lot of opportunities

Ultimately it doesn’t matter where you go, the people you meet, and the experiences you have will give you great travel opportunities.

Still stuck? Check out the Best Expat Cities!

Thinking about moving but a little scared? Check out Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Living Abroad and Why You Need to Do it Now!

Or you might want to know What You Should Know Before You Move Abroad!

Have you travelled by moving countries? How did you decide where to go?

Sonja x

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How To Choose A Country To Move To

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  • Reply Eloise September 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Great tips here! I’ve lived in England (>1 year) and Turkey (6 months) before moving to Australia (>3.5 years). That’s a fantastic way to travel and fully experience a different culture. For now I’ve found my balance in Brisbane and settled there!

    • Reply Migrating Miss September 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks Eloise! Living abroad is so different from travelling, you really get a chance to immerse yourself. That’s great you’ve found somewhere with balance. I’m still searching for it!

      In the meantime I’m living on the Gold Coast, it’s a small world!

  • Reply Charmaine May 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Hey Sonja, love to speak to you about how you moved from one place to another! I love listening stories of how people can migrate from one country to another because that is exactly what I try to do as well! I’m from Canada, and lived in France, Singapore and now in Hong Kong. We can share stories!

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 22, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Hey! Feel free to send me an email if you like :). I’ve moved in a lot of different ways, firstly as a student, then on working holiday visas and now on a spouse visa!

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