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Top Excuses of Could-Be Expatriates

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The chance to travel while being paid is a dream for many of us. Yet why is it so many of us turn down the opportunity to take an international job? Below are the top excuses used by the would-be expat.


I can’t move now I have kids. This is the most exciting time in your life to do something with a little bit of adventure. You will be building fantastic memories for you and your family. It is possible to travel with kids and thousands of expatriate families already have. International schools around the world a testament to the possibility of moving overseas with kids. They are a united nations of children speaking multiple languages, their parents are a diverse group of people who are not prepared to let excuses hold them back from experiencing a new country with their family.


I have a mortgage and other financial commitments. Another excuse I hear far too often. When we first moved overseas we did not own property and often wished we did. When we returned to our home country we went about buying property, with the express idea of owning it and renting it while overseas. Far from being an excuse for not travelling, this is a great way to get ahead on the property game, with someone else paying your mortgage. It is more than likely working overseas will put you in a better situation to pay off your mortgage than before. Most expats find their cost of living in a new country can actually be cheaper. Part of this can be due to companies paying quite handsome amounts towards expenses such as housing, insurance and children’s schooling. Added to that, you are in a better position to play currency markets. You can wait to change your money to when the exchange rate is in your favor.    


But, I have a great job. If you are truly satisfied with all your job offers you, I doubt you would have read this book through to this point. Maybe you do have a good job, but there is something missing. Are you truly happy with all the prospects your job offers? Is it enough to stay? Many jobs will allow you to take a year sabbatical to explore other options. This is something you could consider if you are truly stuck at this point of fearing the loss of your great job. On the other hand overseas experience can increase your job prospects far beyond current reality. Proving you can be effective in your job in a new culture is golden on a CV. There are many wide experiences to be gained from postings overseas. Doing so can really increase your value to a prospective employer. Deepening your experience and causing you to be far more flexible.




The world is too unsafe. You really think it is safer to stay in your home country? People will always tell you it is safer to stay home, especially with kids, your health, and so on. Disease, terrorism, drug-trafficking, all very good reasons to stay at home and hide under your pillow. Of course there are dangers out there and some of them are associated with travel. But many of the dangers out there are also in your own backyard. It is more dangerous to your health to worry about them and raise your blood pressure. It is a very poor reason for not making a move, but you are welcome to safely stay home and mow your lawns, I’ll be too busy hunting my next adventure to worry about you.


The economic crisis. The world is buzzing with bad news about the economic crisis. There are job losses and restricting happening all over the world. Many currencies are decreasing and the world is heading into depression. Doomsday headlines roll in each day with worse and worse news. This is your opportunity of a life-time! Heading overseas and beefing up your CV, learning a new language and experiencing another culture are all skills to buffer you against joining an unemployment line. There will always be opportunities for professionals who have overseas experience in this world. Lets face it the economic crisis is everywhere. You cannot escape it anyway, so why not try to benefit from it. Many benefits from expat living, also shield you from everyday effects of an economic crisis. Often you will be earning far more money in a new position overseas. You will likely have extra benefits in your contract, like subsidized housing, medical insurance, and schooling. Meaning you will actually be financially better off by being overseas during an economic crisis.




You will be too far away from home. Home is where your heart is, wherever you go in the world. You will always feel a strong attachment to your country of birth. Especially when they are playing another nation in rugby or football! There are very few places in the world you cannot reach in 24-48 hours. You are never far away from loved ones. They are only a phone call away, and at worst a flight of a day away. In fact being further away from your extended family, can ensure you really have quality time with them when you see them.


It’s not that easy. Making a move overseas and seeking a change in your life is not as hard as you think. It really is as simple as making a decision to do it. But why does it seem so hard to make a change for the majority? It is the unknown that scares people from making a change in their lives. There is an energy that comes once a decision is made to make a move. Your fear reduces to something more like having butterflies in your stomach, when you know something scary, but good is going to happen. Making a change in your life and moving with your family overseas is not a difficult thing to do.


Now is not a good time. Waiting for your mortgage to be paid, or your kids to graduate, is to hold off on your own dreams. A change needs to happen inside of you. Once you have made your decision to change your circumstances, it is amazing how many obstacles between you and your dreams start to fall by the way side. Talk to someone already living the expat life. They will be very unsympathetic to your excuses. To people who have moved into a life of adventure and challenge, worrying about moving your children or losing job security can sound rather hollow. They will help you see your excuses as just that, excuses.


Have a good look at your list of reasons not to make a move. How many years will it be until these things will change? Will more excuses come along? It may well be it is now or never. If you are seriously contemplating this move and you are able to look at your list of excuses and honestly say you cannot do it now, I would guarantee you will still feel like this next year and the year after. Each year some of you excuses will fall off your list, only to be replaced by equally as important ones. You must look at your list far more objectively and decide if the reasons holding you back from doing something you dreamed about doing are really important.



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