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Expat navigation – choosing the hard road?

People who travel and move tend to love sharing their story and hearing other people’s stories as well. Which is a fantastic thing, right! But then sometimes the conversation lands in that weird space of comparing who had the biggest challenge OR who enjoyed themselves the most and had the most amazing experience.

Relocating to a new country is pretty extreme in many ways, but it certainly does not have to be hard. Sometimes expats I meet are almost extra proud because they picked a hard road and came through eventually at the other end. In fact this seems a lot more common than people choosing the ‘easy way out’ and taking shortcuts. Many of us expats do thrive on overcoming challenges, but that’s when it’s key to remind ourselves that it’s not because we picked a hard road it was worth it, but rather because we felt empowered to choose our path.

How then do you make sure to pick a path that’s right for you (and avoid the extra difficult ones)?

  1. What’s your end goal with this move? Career change? New friendships? Personal growth? Creating a new life with someone you love? Before you decide on the specifics around your move and what road to take to get there, make sure that you’re clear on the big why. Let the big picture guide the road you pick on how to make this move happen, and don’t be tempted to choose the first road you find. Sometimes there are many different roads to the same place, some are much less painful than others.
  2. Have you done the research? Some people would argue that the best way to learn a path is to walk it. I would agree to some extent, but doing your research upfront about visas, career opportunities and other things will help you pick a route that works better for you. It’s a bit like choosing to go somewhere new for holidays and not even bothering to look at the weather forecast. This would quite likely mean you have to go out and spend lots of money on new clothes, which is something that could have been completely preventable by just checking beforehand. Having the right information helps you prepare for or avoid the biggest bumps in the road ahead.
  3. Is there another way to see what’s happening for you? Often we get stuck in our old way of thinking. Sometimes this is a good thing (generating more of what we want) and other times it keeps us stuck in that difficult place where we don’t see our options very clearly. In the online program I share key ways of thinking specifically around your relocation and give plenty of hands on tips how to make your next few steps as successful as possible.

As you can probably tell, the key here is to work out what you really want and find a way to make challenges manageable. Moving far away might not always be easy, but it does not have to be a massive struggle either. As long as you own the decisions you make along the way, you can look back later and agree with Frank Sinatra that “I did it my way“.