Deciding to move to a new country can be a difficult decision to make – partly because it’s not easy to know what day-to-day life is going to be like until you have lived in the country for a while. Sometimes unexpected things can happen, leaving you frustrated and wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Even when a considerable amount of time has been spent in the country you plan on moving to, the image created of what it would be like to live there can be based on an idealized vision of what life is like on a day-to-day basis. It's one thing to have a great time there on vacation a couple of weeks a year - but to live there day after day, month after month, year after year, is a whole new level of reality.

Sometimes it’s the little things, like not being able to get your favorite brand of peanut butter or toothpaste that become a major irritation. Other times it’s the big things, like not being able to understand what your doctor is telling you, or the chemist’s instructions for taking a medication that can leave you stressed.
Before you sell off all of your worldly belongings, here's a list of 10 things that you should consider before moving to a new country:

1) Family and Friends: How close are you to your family and your friends? Do you visit often? Do you do things together on a regular basis or do you rarely see them? How would you feel about missing out on the major events like the birth of a grandchild, your niece's graduation, your nephew's or friend’s wedding?

2) Language: If the native language of the country you are thinking about moving to is not English, how well do you actually understand the language? Could you cope with a medical emergency that sends you to hospital? Could you understand what the doctor is telling you?

3) Medical Issues: An unfamiliar language is not the only concern regarding medical issues. Do you have a medical condition that requires continuing care? Even something like high blood pressure or diabetes could be expensive if your medical insurance does not cover you while you live in a new country.

4) Culture: Every country has their own way of doing things that can be different from how these same things are done in other countries. The way people interact while shopping, at work, doing business, in social settings can be different from what you are used to. How easy is would it be for you to adapt to these new customs?

5) Financial: Have you calculated the true cost of living in the country you are considering moving to? We kept hearing how the cost of living in New Zealand was low, but what we hadn't heard and hadn’t planned for was that the cost of anything imported into the country, like books, large appliances, beds, cars, was extraordinarily high. For some countries, it could be the 'extra' costs of doing business or buying a home that add up.

6) Employment: Issues surrounding whether you are allowed to work or not in your adopted country can become unexpectedly significant. No matter how good your financial plan is, wobbly stock markets can happen. Do you have the skills and knowledge to create an online company? Or do you have the legal ability to work if you need to?

7) Lifestyle: Are you used to a certain lifestyle? Visiting museums, art galleries or live theater; eating out in good restaurants, or in fast food restaurants; enjoying a wide selection of food; playing tennis or golf every weekend. Will these lifestyle choices be available to you after you have moved? Is the area you are thinking of moving to one that attracts a lot of tourists? How will you feel about having your local community inundated with tourists every summer?

8) Shopping: What’s shopping like in the area you are thinking of moving to? Will you have access to the type of clothing you like; the foods you like; the books, magazines and newspapers you enjoy reading? Is the shopping close to where you are thinking of living or will shopping become a major daylong excursion? If you have only visited the area you are considering moving to during tourist season, what’s shopping like during the off-season? Are the goods and services you have come to expect only available while tourists are in town?

9) Amenities: Are you used to a certain standard of living? Well-maintained roads where the snow is cleared after every snowfall; a consistent supply of electricity; services completed in a reasonable amount of time; the ability to buy some milk or bread at midnight or on the weekend? While these differences may be easy to live with in the short term, could you live with them every day?

10) Returning to Your Native Country: There are two situations when returning to your native country can be stressful:
• The first is if you need to get back quickly because of a family emergency. Could you cope with not being able to get to your family in a hurry? Natural disasters, strikes, etc., could prevent you from traveling right at the moment when your need to travel is the greatest.
• The second situation is if you decide the country you moved to is no longer where you want to live and you want to return home. The financial costs of moving back can be enormous, but there are also emotional costs. Culture shock can be just as hard to take moving back to your native country after you have been away for a few years, as it was when you first moved to a new country.

The more flexible and prepared you are, the easier it will be to adapt to living in a new country.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I am Anne Bolender, a Retirement Coach, Life Coach/Strategist, traveller, writer, photographer who helps individuals create a work/life style where they can work and live anywhere they want to. Through my Ageless Nomads website., I offer tips, advice, worksheets and coaching services to individuals interested in a live and work anywhere lifestyle.