Many people go through life and dream about packing it all in, moving to a new country and starting a new life abroad. But of those, only a handful decides to actually do it. How do you know if you are really ready to emigrate to a completely new life, or if it’s more of a pipe dream? Here are my five ways to tell that you are ready to emigrate.
1) You acknowledge how difficult it’s going to be
Most people are aware that migration is not an easy process. From the very moment you even start to consider moving to another country, your life will begin to change. You start to think about what you need to do and when it needs to be done by. When that task is ticked off the list, there is a multitude of new things that need to be ticked off, and sometimes the list is seemingly endless. Not to mention the stress of emigrating once you have actually made the move! That is a whole new level of stress. Saying it’s going to be difficult and acknowledging how difficult it will be are two very different things. You need to embrace the inevitable challenges that will come your way and tackle them with a positive attitude and the mind-set of ‘This needs to happen. End of story.’
2) You are prepared to go it alone
If you are lucky to enough to know some people, or even just one person, in your new home country then you already have an advantage. If you don’t know a single soul where you are going, this can be one of the most daunting prospects when it comes to migrating.
I cannot even imagine what it must have been like for migrants in the late 19th century and early 20th century – just buying a one way ticket, getting on a ship and turning up in a foreign land – no idea what it looked like, where to go or what to do, not knowing whether they would be able to find work and support themselves and put a roof over their family’s heads.
We are so lucky in this modern age of instant information, that not only can we see exactly where we want to live on Google Maps and Google Earth, we can look and apply for jobs online, book our temporary accommodation and even work out how much a weekly shop is going to cost by doing an online shop. There are usually very few surprises when it comes to the practicalities of migration.
The things that may sneak up on you and surprise you are usually your emotions – you will have days of incredible highs and equal lows. If you are emigrating as a couple or family, you are going to need to support each other like never before. I’m pretty sure whoever came up with the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ was probably referring to migrating! The trick will be to never have a low day at the same time as each other – if you are feeling lost and worried, make sure your partner (or anyone!) can remain strong and positive to pick you up and get you through the day. And when they are having a tough time, you need to step up and be the strong one!
3) You are thinking about the bigger picture
This is quite an important factor, especially if you are not migrating on your own. If you have a partner or a family, chances are you want to give them (and yourself) the best possible future and opportunities. If you are looking around you and not seeing a safe and happy future for your children, you are already on your way to finding a country that will potentially meet your expectations for your family and their future.
4) Everything annoys you!
When we made the decision to emigrate to Australia, it was for a variety of reasons. I had enjoyed living in the UK but I felt like my time there was coming to an end and so once we made the decision to migrate to Australia, a funny thing happened. I started to see England in a whole new light. Almost everything annoyed me! From the bitterly cold weather to government policies, my job, my commute, everything! It got to a point where it was frustrating me so much, I had to take a step back, remember all the great reasons I had moved there in the first place, but then acknowledge that while I was privileged to live in one of the prettiest, historical and most visited countries in the world, it was time to move on. Which brings me to number 5…
5) You just can’t see a future for yourself where you currently live
Having emigrated not once, not twice, but three times, one of the strongest ways I knew it was time to move countries was that when I closed my eyes and looked ten years into my future, I just could not see myself living where I currently was. So give it a try – close your eyes and try to picture yourself living where you are in ten years or even twenty years’ time. If you can see yourself in the same house, town, or country, it may not be the right time for you. But if all you see is a blank canvas, it’s probably time to start painting your future the way you want to see it.
What signs did you have in your life that made you realise you were ready to migrate?
If you feel you can relate to all of these signs, you might be feeling overwhelmed about the enormity about the whole emigration process. Take a look at my post here about how to cope with your fear of emigrating and if you are thinking about migrating to Perth, read about how much money you really need to survive in Perth.