Okay have you ever thought of becoming an expat? It is something that I never even considered until I visited Baden-Baden, Germany. There are many ways to become an expat, but let’s start with the common questions “What is an expat?”
Per Wikipedia an Expat is “An expatriate (shortened equals expat) is a person temporarily and/or permanently living in a country other than that of their own personal citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”). Commonly EXPAT is often used in the to refer to professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their companies. BUT recently it also refers mainly to those that just take that leap of faith and MOVE to a new and exciting place they now call HOME!
There are a ton of steps on how to become an expat, but these are a few just to get you thinking about all that is involved. Just like moving down the block, or to another state – it takes a lot of logistics and planning.
1. Decide what country would interest you. Do you have any contacts there? Is the major language there one you can speak fluently or with only a little brushing up? If American are there many others living there that you could bond with and share best practices.
2. Find a place to live. Housing can be very different in other countries. In the US it is location, location, location but that may not be so in other countries. Priorities can be very different. Please do a lot of research online. Say if you were looking to find places to stay in Lucknow you might want to decide if you want to focus an apartment, a villa or a flat – either could be shared or private.
3. Consider how often you will travel back home or to neighboring counties. Possibly a country where transportation is convenient or cheap will be called your new home.
4. Weather is often a factor why many snow birds (both human and feathered) fly south each year, so you may want to think about your love of snow. If you do love snow and are thinking about Germany then check out the northern region – possibly Berlin. If you like your weather a little more gentle take a look at Baden or Wiesbaden.
5. Most importantly take a trail run of your new adventure. See if you can take a long vacation where you will love like a local or a leave of absence from your current job or lifestyle. What ever you consider – enjoy your new adventure!