It’s a mahoosive understatement to say that 2020 hasn’t been the best year for travellers.
But there’s hope on the horizon for global health, which means it’s time to (tentatively) bring your plans for moving abroad off the backburner.
And if you’ve never thought of a long adventure in sunnier (or snowier) climates before, perhaps lockdowns have catalysed some existential soul-searching, with the result that you’ve got seriously itchy feet and want your life to take a dramatic and exciting new direction?
Either way, you might need some hacks to help crank things into gear, which is exactly why we’ve trawled every dimension of the internet, conferred with friends, and even (while maintaining a safe distance!) picked the brains of random (yet surprisingly travel-savvy!) strangers in the park to bring you these five terrific tips for living abroad long-term.
So pop on the kettle, treat yourself to a cuppa and mince pie, and prepare for take-off!
The English language is still regarded as one of the main international tongues for business and commerce and learning it also unlocks many cultural riches in diverse Anglophone nations the world over. Which is why lots of people still want to learn English. And why you can earn a living in some rather cool places by learning how to teach it.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has long been a passport to long-term travel and it’s still in demand – this TEFL list of the best countries to teach English proves that it’s an excellent skill to have in your CV armoury.
Suss out your visa requirements, take a TEFL course, and you could make some seriously good pin money teaching your native lingo in legendary locations like Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, or South Korea. Alternatively, you could pick up a desirable tax-free position in a Middle East nation like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – nice!
Work for Your Government Abroad
Following the financial crash of 07/08, many governments onshored jobs at their embassies and consulates abroad, but if you keep a keen eye on official job boards there are still some interesting opportunities to be had.
One of the many advantages of working for your government abroad is that it can provide steady and reasonably well-paid work, which allows you to experience life in nations where other opportunities are rarer than hen’s teeth.
Furthermore, you might access accommodation through your job if it’s a diplomatic post. But even if you’re hired with ‘local’ status, you’ll still benefit from sage advice about which residential areas are safe and secure, shopping, schools and just about anything else. Check the FCO jobs post pages if you’re a Brit or the equivalent if you’re from the US or anywhere else.
Work for an International Body
If there are no suitable positions available with your local embassy or consulate, perhaps you can find an interesting role with an international humanitarian organisation or third sector entity?
Many such organisations are on the lookout for polyglots who are fluent in several languages to work as translators, as well as HR officers, public information experts, statisticians and big data gurus, lawyers and compliance experts, and PR and communication people.
Plus, whatever role you end up in, you’ll feel satisfied that you’re part of a mission whose overarching aim is to make the world a better place to live, in one way or another. For an idea of what’s available, take a look at this job openings page from the UN.
Become a Travel Vlogger
Travel vlogging is obviously a dream job for any global adventurer, but too many of us don’t get started because competing with established publishers seems too big a mountain to climb.
However, if you’re a long-term subscriber to popular YouTube travel vlogs like TOPJAW, Flying The Nest, Lost LeBlanc, Little Grey Box, and Vagabrothers, you’ll realise that all of these creators had to start somewhere.
A few tips include finding an angle for getting yourself noticed on social media, investing as much time in conveying your passion for your content as making it polished and professional, maintaining originality and authenticity, and collaborating with other vloggers or local businesses. Furthermore, don’t forget to develop consistent core values which shine through in your content, whether they be sustainability, cultural exchange, mutual respect, or anything else that’s positive and ethical.
Invest in Property Abroad
If you’ve got your heart set on one global location where you can see yourself settling permanently, or would like the freedom to come and go as you wish, spending as much or as little time as your schedule permits, you’ll need to look into acquiring right to remain or citizenship from the authorities there.
Immigration can be complex, but (provided you have the wherewithal) one nation that makes moving there permanently reasonably simple is Portugal. They have a five year citizenship by property investment program dubbed the ‘Golden Visa’ which means you can acquire permanent residency and then Portuguese and EU citizenship reasonably smoothly provided you buy a property worth a specified amount.
Sounds good? Golden Visa specialists like Property Lisbon can guide you through the process and help you find suitable real estate.
As you can see, there are several schemes, programmes, initiatives, and entrepreneurial pursuits that can help you move abroad for a career break or radical sabbatical, or alternatively, set you up as a permanent digital nomad or one of those lucky people who can hop off to their second home whenever the mood takes you.
Hopefully, once the global travel situation improves, you can pick the tip that suits your requirement best and get ready to jet off for new horizons – have a celebratory cocktail on us when you get there!
Do you plan to move abroad in the next year or so? Or perhaps you’ve already started your journey? Share your own top tips in the comments section – we would love to hear from you!