Welcome to 2018! Everyone at FinGlobal wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year. If you’re living or working abroad in 2018 – or planning on doing so, here are some New Year’s resolutions that are specifically ‘expat focused’ and designed to help improve your stay abroad.
Expat New Year’s resolutions
1. Learn a new language
Even if you are an English speaking expat living in Australia, Canada or the UK, stretch your boundaries and embark on learning a new language. Once the expat bug has bitten, you’re bound to be exploring new countries in the future – so pick a language that will inspire you to visit places you’ve always dreamed of visiting. It goes without saying that if you are living in a country, or planning on living in a country with a foreign first language, it is in your best interests to learn the lingo!
2. Explore the culture
As an expat, it’s very easy to get settled down into your daily life and stop exploring the local culture. Just ask the multitude of expats in London if they have ever visited the Tower of London or the National History Museum. Many will say they plan to, but haven’t got round to it yet. Just because you live in a country doesn’t mean you can’t still take yourself off and act like a tourist for a day. Plan visits to your local sights and attractions every month and see them all.
3. Stay in touch
Keeping touch with your family and friends back home plays an important role in creating a successful expat life. These are the people who know you best – and can help encourage you when you face the challenges that occasionally arrive on the expat journey. Make an effort to set a regular Skype call once a week just to ‘touch base’. You’ll always be grateful that you made the effort.
4. Learn a new skill or hobby
Does your new country offer you opportunities to explore hobbies or learn skills that weren’t available back home? Get out there and discover what’s going on and what the locals are up to. There are bound to be activities you have never tried before and will become an extra string to your expat bow – and will add an extra layer of interest to your CV.
5. Tick off an item on your bucket list
Do you have a country that you are dying to visit, or an activity that you’re longing to do? Whether it is shark diving off Australia or watching the Northern Lights from a glass-topped Igloo, make 2018 the year when you just do at least one thing on your list.
6. Keep a work/life balance
All work and no play can quickly become a reality if you are tied up learning the ropes in your new expat position. Don’t make the mistake of burning the candle at both ends. If your move abroad is to be a success, you need to also enjoy yourself! Keeping a good balance between your work and personal life is essential for your physical and mental health!
7. Sort out your finances
If you are living and working abroad, it’s essential you stay on top of your finances, including any tax-related commitments back in your home country. The last thing you want to discover is that you could have qualified for a tax rebate but were unaware of it. If you are currently abroad or thinking of emigrating in 2018, contact FinGlobal for more information about how we can assist you with your financial affairs including claiming tax refunds, accessing foreign exchange and transferring your retirement savings abroad.