Working out whether you should actually live in a country you visited on holiday can be more challenging than you think. It’s not just a matter of selling your property and moving overseas – though that’s part of it. It’s also about thinking carefully about a different set of issues than when you go on holiday.
Remember, holidays are temporary things – both psychologically and financially. You go somewhere for a couple of weeks in the summer. But eventually, the pendulum has to swing back, and you have to return to work. You’re almost obligated to do so. You miss the fun of being on vacation. But you also know that if you want to achieve your primary life goals, you have to put in the hours at the proverbial office. And, in some regards, you’re grateful for it. You want a regular life of responsibility and financial reward. Holidaying is fine for a limited time. But once that fortnight is up, that’s it – you’re back to work.
The activities you enjoy on holiday are also fundamentally different from those that you have in your day-to-day life. And so too are the relationships you make. You’re free to be open and unguarded because you know that the moment you get back on that plane, everyone is going to scatter and it’s all going to be over. That’s why holiday romances tend to burn so brightly. They last a few days and are incredibly intense. But once they’re over, that’s it – they’re gone.
So, with that said, should you live permanently in a country you visit on holiday? Take a look at the reasoning below.
Yes – If You Understand The Difference Between Vacation And Life Experiences
It’s okay to live permanently in a country you went on holiday if you understand the difference between a vacation and living your life in general.
Be honest with yourself. What is it that you love about the location? Write a list and then put each item into a category. On the one hand, you have all the holiday-related stuff, and on the other, you have real-life reasons for moving.
Usually, what you’ll find is that many of the reasons you put down are specific to holidays and don’t transfer over. For instance, you might love the sites and the art galleries. But they’ll soon get boring. After a year, you’ll have seen everything you want to see, and that’ll be it.
Good reasons for wanting to live somewhere is a preference for the natural environment, lower cost of living, better work opportunities, and more life fulfillment. Some people also move for political reasons, including many successful Green card applicants in the US.
Ideally, the list of items for living in a place should outweigh the list of holidaying there. Sure – you want to live in a pleasant location. But you also want to live in a region that provides you with more benefits, both financially and spiritually.
Yes – If You Have Work There
Be honest about the destination country’s capacity to provide you with meaningful and well-paid work. It might have a thriving tourist sector, but the rest of the economy could be down in the dumps.
Take Greece, for instance. Tourism to the country is at an all-time high. But the rest of the economy is in tatters, thanks to EU action. It’s not pretty. Getting a job there is challenging. And even if you do, the pay is much lower than in many other developed countries.
Be realistic about the kind of work that you could have and the lifestyle you could lead. If you’re able to get remote work with your existing employer, even better. Some countries have much lower costs of living. And that can offer a host of benefits.
Yes – If You Can Assimilate The Culture
Nobody is saying you have to give up your roots. But if you want to live permanently as a resident of another culture, you have to be able to assimilate it. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself in all kinds of trouble.
Holidays are great because you don’t have to change the way you behave significantly. You get bussed around and stay in all-inclusive hotels. You never actually have to interact with local people or live your life in a certain way.
Things change, though, when actually moving to a new place. All of a sudden, you notice that there is a distinct culture there and you can’t just leave. You either separate yourself off from the rest of the society or integrate with it. Ideally, you want to be able to do the latter, which often involves having an honest conversation with yourself about what you’re capable of.
Yes – If You Know The Language
If you’re an English speaker, you can usually rely on people in your target country speaking some of the language. But remember, there are a lot of countries around the world where English is not spoken at all. So if you move to one of them, you need to have some confidence outside your native tongue.
For that reason, many people thinking about moving away permanently begin language courses well in advance so that they can master the basics. Usually, it takes about six months for the average adult to get up to speed. But you can often do it faster if you go on an accelerated course.
Knowing the language is essential because it helps you assimilate into the culture, find work, and build a social life in the new location. You want people to feel like you’re supposed to be there and they’re not just dealing with a tourist who forgot to go home at the end of their holiday.
So, in summary, you absolutely can live permanently in a country you visited on holiday, but you need to be aware that it won’t be like a vacation. Think carefully about what your day-to-day experience is going to be like if you decide to move. It should offer more than your current life does now.