Living abroad short-term or long-term is no longer just for college students backpacking through Europe or retirees who want to live the good life in their golden years. Whether you are taking some time off or traveling the world as a digital nomad here are a few things you need to consider before you decide to live abroad.
Can You Stay Connected?
Whether for work or staying in touch with your loved ones back home, the ability to remain constantly connected is something many of us take for granted. Even if you book a hotel or Airbnb with internet, is it Wi-Fi, cable, or dial-up? If it’s Wi-Fi, what is the speed, and how consistent is the connection? Is it public or shared? Consider your cell phone plan, data hotspot options, and expect your connections to be sketchy. Don’t forget to download WhatsApp before you leave your home country (or you will have problems downloading abroad) and don’t forget that you can make phone calls via both Skype and Facebook.
Cultures And Customs
As open-minded as you may be, we are all ignorant of cultures and customs we have never been immersed in. Before you arrive take the time to learn about the local cultures and customs, and try to set up an informative meeting with someone who understands both your culture, and the culture you are traveling to. Ask about things like how to greet a person, meal etiquette, dating customs, social customs, etc.
Whether traveling to a first, second, or third world country—you must keep safety in mind. What areas should you or shouldn’t you go? What is the local political climate? Is it safe to travel solo? Do they embrace women traveling solo? Do you need to keep your jewelry at home or your electronics out of sight? How far away is the nearest embassy?
This all is of course in addition to ensuring you have the correct visa and travel documents, each of which you should make a digital copy of—that you send to a friend or family member. You don’t have to live abroad forever, a few months could open your eyes to a wonderful world of possibilities.