Becoming an Expat is not an easy decision to make. To begin, you need to “let go” of a lot of things the moment you decide to embark on this lifetime journey. You will leave behind a lot of childhood memories, loved ones, and even your home country the moment you decide to board that aircraft and relocate abroad. And while it is true this lifestyle often leads to sadness, there are also a lot of things we gain by becoming an Expat.

The start of an Expat's journey..
The start of an Expat’s journey..

The reason why people become Expats varies. Not everybody who moves out of their home country do so just because of money or the chance of a better future for their family.

In a way, I am one of the Expats who didn’t become one because I need to. In fact, my Mom pleaded countless times for me to move back (or relocate somewhere “near”). But the taste of the Expat lifestyle is too inviting for me to shun away from. Plus, there are a lot of perks I gained by becoming one that would’ve been otherwise “difficult” if I were to go back home!

One of the things I loved about becoming an Expat are the “traveling perks” I had since I became one. And if you wanted to know about it – then have a read through!

Accessibility to other countries

How many flights have you boarded for travel since becoming an Expat?
How many flights have you boarded for travel since becoming an Expat?

My home country is the Philippines. And while there are a lot of interesting places to see and visit within Southeast Asia (or my home country), I had my eyes (and heart) set on European destinations such as Paris and Rome. Not being able to travel around Southeast Asia was something I regretted later on but becoming an Expat allowed me to fulfill my childhood dream of visiting these European destinations.

Now that I live in Ireland, it is very convenient to travel to other destinations around the EU. There are also a lot of cheap airfare options such as Ryanair or Aer Lingus. On top of that, I need not file for an off-day from work to travel (if I don’t want to). All I have to do is to wait for the next long weekend (bank holiday) and enjoy a quick getaway in a different country!

Quicker Visa processing times

I am a Philippine passport holder. And fellow Filipinos (like me) could definitely relate to the frustration of applying for a tourist Visa to travel. Being a resident in Ireland did not exempt me from applying for a Visa, though. But I noticed that applying for a tourist Visa over here is a lot quicker in comparison to the processing times if I were to submit it from the Philippines. Not only that, but I don’t have to submit a lot of documents to prove I have no intention of overstaying!

Better spending power when traveling

Shopping spree
Shopping spree! Photo via Flickr

Being an Expat allowed me to become more financially stable. And while I was also earning decently while living in the Philippines, becoming an Expat allowed me to appreciate the local currency (Euro) since it is “stronger” than the Philippine peso. In a way, it allowed me to be a lot more “relaxed” spending whilst traveling. I rarely convert the amount I intend to spend on my purchases (whether it is for souvenirs or food) as I travel so it makes the trip a lot enjoyable, too.

In addition to that, there is no hassle looking for a money exchanger while traveling within the European Union – they use the same currency! Apart from that, I never have to worry whether the money I have in my bag is an “acceptable denomination” anymore since most money exchanger accepts Euros, too!