When it comes to choosing the best country to move to, relying solely on strangers’ opinions on YouTube or the Internet, might not be the best approach. Instead, consider these 10 tips to make a well-informed decision about your plans to move abroad.

1. Explore the Diverse Opinions of Others Living Abroad

Listen to a variety of perspectives, including optimists who rave about a place, skeptics who offer cautionary tales, and individuals who’ve had negative experiences. Learning from others’ experiences, both positive and negative, can provide you with valuable insights.

2. Focus on Specific Cities, Not the Entire Country

Rather than thinking in terms of entire countries, narrow your focus down to specific cities or regions within those countries. Each place has its own unique characteristics and nuances that can significantly impact your experience.

3. Research Job Opportunities and Salaries

If you’re considering relocating for work, thoroughly research job prospects and potential salaries in your desired destinations. Be realistic about your expectations and consider factors like job availability and pay rates, balancing monetary incentives with personal preferences. For example, you won’t need to earn $50,000 per year to live very comfortably in places like Mexico, Colombia or Vietnam.

4. Explore Authentic Neighborhoods

Avoid sticking to touristy areas and delve into real neighborhoods to get a true sense of daily life in a specific country. Living like a local often means residing in residential areas away from tourist hubs, thus giving you a more authentic experience.

5. Take Multiple Trips Before Moving

Before committing to a move, visit your chosen destination multiple times, including during different seasons. Experiencing a location in various weather conditions and times of the year can help you gauge its suitability for long-term living.

Some places can get extremely hot. For example, I live in Merida, Mexico; and it’s not unusual to get heat indexes of 120 degrees F. This is unbearable for many. It’s a good idea to know these things before selling everything you own to move to a place where the weather is unbearable for you.

6. Manage Your Expectations Realistically

Recognize that no country is perfect and every place has its flaws. Maintain realistic expectations to avoid disappointment, understanding that challenges are inevitable but manageable with the right mindset. Mexico has tested my patience a million times since being here; but I love this place and it’s our home for now.

7. Consider Accessibility to Your Home Country

Evaluate the ease of returning home to visit family and friends, as the novelty of living abroad may eventually wear off. Assess factors like travel time and costs to ensure you can maintain meaningful connections with loved ones.

A friend of mine lived in SE Asia and she had to make an emergency trip back to the U.S. Whatever savings she managed to build-up while living there was wiped out when she had to purchase a last minute ticket back to the States. That one-way ticket cost over $7,500 USD!

8. Language Considerations

Assess your language skills and the local language requirements of your chosen destination. While some places may accommodate English speakers, others may require proficiency in the native language for effective communication. It’s not easy trying to learn a new language as an adult and if you don’t have the patience, don’t do it. This is a real frustration for many and I’ve seen people leave after not being able to handle it.

9. Prepare for Emotional Challenges

Anticipate feelings of boredom, loneliness, and homesickness during the adjustment period of living in a new place. Understand that these emotions are normal and temporary, and focus on building a support network to navigate through them. I suggest not leaving at all during your first year. Your emotions will have you packing your bags within the first 90-days if you don’t check your feelings!

10. Prioritize Personal Connections Over Material Comforts

Remember that true happiness stems from personal connections and attitude, rather than external factors like wealth or luxurious surroundings. Cultivate meaningful relationships and find contentment wherever you are, whether it’s in a bustling city or a tranquil vacation destination. You must learn to get out of your own way and you’ll win if you’re willing to make your new life abroad work!


Choosing the right travel destination involves thorough research, realistic expectations, and a willingness to embrace new experiences. By considering these factors and prioritizing personal fulfillment, you can find a destination that suits your preferences and enriches your life journey.

About the Author

Cartess Ross

Hi... I'm Cartess Ross, the publisher for Move Abroad and Thrive. If you're considering a new life abroad and wish to chat, feel free to book a consultation with me by CLICKING HERE.

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