Humans are more connected than ever, and with that comes exposure to worlds that we could only dream about 50 years ago. Pictures and videos of far-off countries fill our Facebook feeds and our hearts with dreams of travelling abroad.
And not just travel - for many, that's not enough. A growing community of expatriates have left their home countries to permanently settle across oceans and continents. For many, this change helps bring about self-actualisation - the ability to put down roots in an entirely new place, immerse oneself in a foreign culture, and through this, learn more about yourself than you thought possible.
There are practical considerations to moving, of course. If you're thinking about making a big move to a new country, here are some things you may want to keep in mind.
Getting Work The work visa could be a critical part of getting to move to a new country in the first place. Most countries have an organisation devoted to helping skilled workers, like scientists and technology workers, immigrate to the country. This can be a great starting point. Another option would be to find an employer in the country who is looking to fill a position and contact them to find out if they'd be interested in sponsoring a worker on an employment visa.
Decide What to Bring Often, it won't be practical to move all of your possessions to a new country. Assess your personal belongings and decide if anything is critically important to you, such as a family heirloom. If you feel that your belongings are too important to part with, you can hire a shipping container to ship your valuables overseas.
Find Temporary Accommodations When you first get to a new country, you won't necessarily want to buy a home or sign a lease right away. It's a good idea to spend some time in the area you're looking to settle in before making any major decisions. Get an idea of the neighbourhood - is it safe? Close to work/schools/shopping? Does the area offer the experience you desired when you decided to move to another country? Once you've answered these questions, it may be a good idea to find a property to buy or lease. In the meantime, extended stay hotels or serviced apartments can be a great option.
Build a Network Don't just move and expect to immediately fit in to the local culture. You'll need to put yourself out there. Consider joining local clubs, organisations and communities to really experience the local scene and get to know people in your community. Making friends is an important part of feeling like your new home really is home.