It is a bold opinion but I will voice it out anyway: not everybody is meant for the Expat lifestyle. And I am not saying this to look “better” in comparison to others who didn’t follow this lifestyle, though. My aim is to raise awareness that becoming an Expat IS NOT EASY. Just have a look at some of the articles written here and you will understand where I am coming from.
In fact, the decision to become an Expat took me a lot of courage, sleepless nights, and conversations with myself. And until now, there are times I have to pinch myself to make sure that the Expat life I am currently living is actually – REAL.
So, if you are entertaining the thought of becoming an Expat, I recommend reading this through the end. I am sure you have your own “personal items” to consider but to start; these are just some of the things to think about.
Are you good dealing with sudden bouts of loneliness?
Expat life can be lonely – that’s a fact. Especially if you relocated to a country without family or friends around, days when you suddenly miss “home” is inevitable. Sudden bouts of homesickness will randomly occur and if you are not good dealing with these, becoming an Expat may not be right for you.
So just ask yourself if you are prepared to spend days, weeks, months, or years away from loved ones. Or, whether you have a game plan prepared to overcome homesickness when it comes your way. Packing your bags to visit family is an option but keep in mind that there may be instances it is not always possible to do so.
Is your motivation for becoming an Expat strong enough to push through?
In our immediate family, I was the first to become an Expat. And in the Filipino culture, becoming an Expat is usually synonymous to “earning more” or having an enhanced way of living. I will not go through the details whether this is true or not, though. But let me go on to say that with this cultural mentality, I had several cousins who “sort of” made plans to become one.
However, none of the cousins who planned or initially wanted to become Expats pushed through. They resorted to other alternatives and remained in our home country. And in all honesty, given their personal situation and fears – I think they did the right choice.
In every decision we make, including the decision to become an Expat, the pros must always be greater and significant than the cons. Because during the hard times, these are the things that will keep you going.
Do you believe that becoming an Expat is the only way for you?
I started thinking of becoming an Expat when I was trying to figure out what I want to do in my life. It started with career frustrations and generally “wanting more” from the life I used to live. And after carefully thinking about all the possibilities, opportunities, and alternatives I have in my home country – I have come to the conclusion that the only way for me to grow, as a person and in my career, is to relocate abroad.
Of course, I had my fears. I knew I was moving out of my comfort zone. I knew I was leaving loved ones behind. But despite these fears, I also knew that becoming (or at least trying to become) an Expat is the answer to the things I long for in my career and personal growth.
This leads me to the final conclusion that becoming an Expat is the ONLY way for me. Some days are still tough but whenever I look back and reflect on the decision I made, I still believe I made the right decision to be here.