“OMG! I love it in here, I want to stay, I will live in this country.” Does it sound familiar? Were those your words after you visited a specific country? Maybe you even took that decision and moved abroad after all? Did you love it or regret it?
Holidays vs moving abroad
Being a tourist and visiting a country for a short period of time is one thing while moving there, becoming a resident is totally another. When you are on a short holiday abroad, you are focused on having fun, relax and enjoy that time alone or with your companion/s. Most probably, you will come back with a lot of photos, new experiences, and good memories.
When you stay in a foreign country for a few months, you start to see not only good things. Definitely, a lot will depend on your job there and the people surrounding you, but in general, you start to see some drawbacks, which is normal. It is life. Therefore, don’t rush, don’t take a quick decision on moving to another country after spending a week or even a month there.
From Armenia to Cyprus
Why do I encourage to spend some time in a country you are planning to move to? Because I never did, but I also don’t regret it. You are confused now, aren’t you? 🙂 Well, I met people who visited Cyprus, stayed here for a year studying and after that started making plans about moving here. When I ask those people “why do you want to move here?”. The answers are similar: “All people are so nice, the weather is amazing, there is sea, sun, beaches, etc.”. Those are the tourists’ answers, even if that tourist spent a year here. You should be able to see the not pretty sides of the country as well, be aware of challenges and obstacles you might come across, and only if you still want to try a new life here, then welcome and good luck.
I came to Cyprus from Armenia 11 years ago. I have never been there, but a couple of years before I made the decision to go to Cyprus as a student, I visited Greece. After spending 6 days in Greece, I was totally in love with it: with people dancing and singing while enjoying their meals in restaurants, with history, culture, food, weather (I was a tourist, see?). I totally saw myself in this country and was trying to convince my parents to give me permission for moving to Athens. Luckily, I had a friend who told me that without knowing Greek it would be difficult for me to study and find a part-time job during my studies. She recommended Cyprus, where English was widely spoken and it had private Universities where the education was in English.
Cyprus: a school of life
I was 21, too excited to start my life abroad, never left my parents before. Since I already obtained my bachelor degree in Management, I was more than sure that I would find easily a good job on the island and support my studies. However, being a student from a non EU country without rich parents in Cyprus is not that easy. My student visa didn’t allow to work in the corporate sector, where I could gain my experience for an MBA. After numerous attempts of trying and my card balance close to 0, I have faced reality.
There were tears, there were hungry days, there was a moment I could end up with no roof above my head, but I was always lucky to have people around me who helped to stay on my feet. To cut the long story short, I managed to graduate, I found a job after graduation, I have obtained my second citizenship through naturalization in Cyprus, I always stayed true to myself, and this country became my second home.
The reason I am telling all of this is that you could save time and efforts if you make a proper research about the country you are planning to move to. Study the laws of the country, speak to people who live there already, try to spend there at least 3 months to see how you feel about it. Of course, if you have nomadic life style, getting your backpack and changing countries every year or so, you probably got used to this. My article was mostly for people like me, who like traveling but need to have a base to return to. Changing that base is not easy at least for me.
Share it with those who might find it useful.