As it is nearly Christmas and New Year, many people’s minds turn to New Year’s resolutions and how they can change their lives. For more and more people this means moving to a new country. Ten years ago my husband and I were about to embark on our first relocation to Denmark. There were a myriad of reasons why we made this choice and any one of them is a reason enough to think about relocating yourself.
So what are the seven ways you (like us) will know that relocation is for you this coming year?
You are looking for an adventure
There is nothing more of an adventure than packing up your worldly possessions and moving to a completely new country. If the thought of this excites you then you are one step on the way towards considering relocation. It is scary but as long as you make sure you have an exit plan if it doesn’t work out for you, then grab the opportunity to have a huge adventure. If you view a relocation in this light then it can be a wonderful experience. You will feel like a pioneer even though many people have done this before you, your experience will be unique to you.
You are bored of your life
Many of us can see ourselves working for longer than we have already been in employment. The average retirement age in the UK is 65, for people in their thirties and forties this is a huge chunk of your life to be stuck doing something that bores you, doing the same things at the weekend and marking out time. Ask yourself is this what I want to do for the next twenty or thirty years. If the answer is yes than that is wonderful for you, but if there is a little maybe or a hell no, then relocation could be for you. If nothing else the daily routines will change, there will be new work challenges and there is the chance to really do different things with your free time rather than the daily commute, collapse on the sofa with a glass or three of wine, Eastenders, bed and then doing it all again tomorrow.
You want to meet new people
This is linked to the one above. Moving to a new country forces you to meet new people unless you want to be a hermit. In the time when we tend to see the same people all the time and connect with hundreds of others via social media, we are actually interacting less in real life with our fellow humans. Research by Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, says technology is distracting us from our real-world relationships. Of course this will be true whereever you live but moving to a new city forces you to be sociable in an old school face to face way. It is the perfect time to put that smartphone away and start to live life out in the wild.
You want a new work challenge
Most people relocate for work. There is the chance for a higher salary or an opportunity to work in a company or position which is unavailable in your own country. Many European cities are hubs for relatively new types of jobs, for example Copenhagen is a city with a large number of growing of tech startups, many of the well known gaming companies are based here and it was the starting point for big names such as Unity, Trustpilot and JustEat. Learning a new work culture is also fascinating especially if you feel smothered by your current company.
You want a better work–life balance
It can’t be denied that countries such as the UK do not have the best track record for work-life balance. Turning towards mainland Europe it is a different story in general. On average Danish workers work 43 less hours a year than their counterparts in the UK, just imagine what you could do with that extra time. Flexible working is more accepted and coupled with a 37 hour week and five weeks of paid holidays, the Danes have plenty of time for life.
You want a shorter commute
The average worker in London spends almost two hours a day commuting. Add that to the longer working hours through the year, it is no wonder people live for the weekend. I am always hearing from clients through my relocation business in Copenhagen, that they are astounded by how much more time they have to enjoy life when they are not crammed on the Tube or train for hours everyday. The average commute time in Copenhagen is 38 minutes and often less, usually by bike and not car.
You want to learn a new language
Of course in many European countries such as Denmark and Sweden the level of spoken English by the locals puts others to shame but integrating into a new country is much easier if you can at least speak and read a little of the local lingo. For many of us the last time we learnt a new language was at school and it was probably French. Great to dredge up if you are moving to Paris but less so if you are moving to Vienna! Using your brain to learn a new language gives it a great work out and has a positive knock on effect on levels of concentration leading to better focus and processing of information.