When you are looking to purchase or rent property abroad, it would be helpful to know a little about life away from home.
Maybe your company wants you to manage a European branch, or you’ve decided to retire in abroad because of the lower cost of living; maybe you want to complete your Asian studies degree in China. These goals require that you live abroad; sometimes by yourself and often by taking your entire family.
Unless you hole up in some English-speaking enclave; living abroad means interacting with the locals, just to obtain the basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. You’ll discover an alien way of life that looks for the same things you do: happiness, respect and love. This increase in understanding may allow you to act as a cultural translator between your homeland and the foreign land.
Cost of Living
Your income may not go very far at home, especially if it’s fixed, forcing you to live near the poverty level. Compare what you pay in your city, with an average monthly rent in Spain, for example. You’ll find similar reductions in the price of food, clothing, utilities and transportation. It’s small wonder that retirees flock to warmer climes.
A facility with languages is a big asset to travel and business, especially those with international customers. You will learn a language more quickly if you have to use it in your everyday life, which can only happen if you live abroad. As a bonus, in some parts of Europe, you may end up learning many languages, since people speak several of them.
Using your standard behaviour in a different country may cause misunderstanding, or be illegal, because you’re initially unaware of what they mean. For example, talking loudly is considered boorish in Japan, entering a mosque wearing shorts is disrespectful in Saudi Arabia, and holding hands with your opposite-sex sweetheart in India is provocatively rude. You may experience social rejection and legal sanction without knowing why.
Not having the familiar around you, such as English food, constant hot water, or fresh drinking water, may make you homesick. Unless you happen to speak the local language fluently, you may feel isolated in your inability to communicate with people and develop relationships. Even if you do not understand the language, you may be dealing with the locals in a culturally inappropriate manner, making people avoid you.
Once you familiarise yourself with what to expect, what to do, or not to do; you can relax and enjoy your new home.