Published On: October 19th, 2023Categories: MSN

The 10 Worst Reasons to Move Abroad

The 10 Worst Reasons to Move Abroad

There are plenty of excellent reasons to move abroad. If you’re not happy with developments in the U.S., it’s a great way to vote with your feet and take your valuable skills and financial assets elsewhere. Emigrating can broaden your mind and introduce you to new cultures. You can find countries that better match your values or personality. You can live in a country where you can better afford housing or healthcare.

There are also terrible reasons to move. These fall mostly into two categories: trying to solve your problems without working on yourself, and taking advantage of locals. The first category just flatly doesn’t work, and the second is unethical. If you want to be unethical, stay home.

To Live Somewhere Cheap

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Living somewhere cheap and living somewhere affordable aren’t the same thing. Living somewhere affordable is a great goal. You can remove that elephant sitting on your chest and enjoy a nice life on a middle-class budget like what used to be available in America. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to eat out, take vacations, and own a home.

It’s a bad idea though to move somewhere because you want to feel rich. Nobody likes rich people lording over them, and the locals in the country you move to are no exception. Don’t build mansions next to hovels or displace indigenous people. Find a place where you can live a nice life, not a jerk life.

To Find Love

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Passport Bros are men from wealthy nations like the United States, Australia, and Western Europe who troll less-developed countries in search of women with traditional values. These guys and others take advantage of their wealth and powerful passport to marry women with fewer opportunities. No matter your gender, it’s never a good idea to base your relationships on an imbalance of power. That’s not love, that’s ownership.

You can still find love abroad. Finding yourself in your travels and living your best life are wonderful ways to open your heart to the possibility of love.

To Pay Less Taxes

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A wise man once said to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and we agree. Paying your taxes is what good folks do, and everyone benefits from the goods and services our taxes provide—whether they realize it or not. Refusal to pay taxes has led to the decline of many empires.

Besides, unless you renounce citizenship, you’ll have to file U.S. taxes no matter where you live. If you’ve got the scratch, you can move to Monaco. You can deposit €500,000 there to gain residency, and in 10 years, you can become a citizen.

It’s probably easier to just pay what you owe.

To Take the U.S. With You

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There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your morning Starbies or lunchtime Big Mac, even while overseas. Everyone wants the occasional comforts of home, and it’s impossible to ditch all your habits and hobbies just because you’ve crossed a border.

If you want to live in an American-style home, shop at American-style stores, enjoy American conveniences, AND speak English, you should probably stay put (or move to Canada).

To Escape Relationships

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We’ve all had difficult relationships in our lives. These can be complicated by the poor tools we’ve been given to communicate clearly and set boundaries. If you don’t fix the things that have made your relationships difficult, you’ll be doomed to repeat them in your new country.

That said, if you need a safer spot or better healthcare access to make those changes, that’s a good reason to move.

To Increase Your Status

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Even more so than moving to find love or live cheaply, this is probably the grossest reason you could immigrate to another country. For example, there’s nothing wrong with hiring people to help you with chores you can’t do yourself, but it doesn’t make you more important than the people helping you.

Status and power are the most shallow things humans can pursue. It’s also flat out silly to think of yourself as better than folks in your new country, when plenty of people will treat you the same way that Americans treat immigrants.

To Get Better Benefits

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The social safety net in many other countries, especially in the European Union, is something to admire. Citizens enjoy better worker protections, education, healthcare, and more. They get more PTO for vacations, sick time, and parental leave. They spend more time with their families and have less stress.

However, before you move in search of those benefits, be absolutely certain of what you’ll receive as a foreigner. If you do qualify for them, be sure you can find work in the country you want to move to.

To Save the Locals

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In your new country, people are already living happy, fulfilled lives—even without your attention or money. There’s also increasing backlash against missionaries and volunteers. See one example in Max’s hit documentary Savior Complex.

It’s a very American concept to think that we’re so exceptional that every other country must want what we have. Newsflash: they don’t. While people in many countries admire our technological advances, entertainment offerings, military might, and universities, they aren’t impressed with our standard of living or healthcare. Worse, only 17% of people surveyed think the U.S. is still a good example of democracy.

To Make More Money

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This one is just a no-brainer: very few countries can touch American salaries. Only Monaco, Bermuda (UK), Switzerland, Luxembourg, Norway, and Ireland have higher average earnings. However, if you’re one of the 28% of American households that earns less than $28,000/year, and especially if you’re in a skilled trade, you may be able to make more abroad.

More important, you may not need to make more money to have a higher quality of life, thanks to cultural differences, lower costs of living, and social safety nets. Plenty of people choose to earn money in the United States and retire to their favorite country, while others work remotely as digital nomads.

To Run Away From Problems

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A popular adage says wherever you go, there you are. This is especially true for expats, who may have stars in their eyes about their new home but fail to see the baggage they’re bringing with them.

It’s perfectly OK to try to find a place that’s better suited to you, that’s more affordable, or less divided. But if you want to avoid your own problems, like being bad with money, not having necessary skills, or not being a good friend, your new home can’t solve those problems. Make a plan to work on yourself as part of your journey.

People Hate Living in These “Perfect” Countries

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Like us, lots of people want to move abroad. They dream of a new life filled with sidewalk cafés, rainforest ecotours, or midnight street food.

To help you find a place to live, prominent organizations use data to sort and rank destinations and announce those findings in the media. They create superlatives like the happiest country (Finland) or the most livable city (Vienna).

Even if a country is ranked tops on some list or other, it doesn’t mean you will love it yourself. Reddit proved it this week in a thread on the r/Expats subreddit, where a user asked, “What is your story of ‘lived in this perfect, happiest… country yet hated it?'”

Here’s what users had to say:

People Hate Living in These “Perfect” Countries

11 Reasons Women Are Fleeing the USA

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While the number of people emigrating from the United States grows, there’s one thing the news isn’t reporting: many of these people are women.

The number of solo woman expats is soaring, while married women work to convince reticent husbands to move abroad. Here are some of the reasons women are fleeing the USA:

11 Reasons Women Are Fleeing the USA

Is the US Driving You Insane? Consider These Countries for Mental Health

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Since 2022, the Expatsi Test has helped users find out where they’d like to move abroad to, based on their personal needs. Its data covers everything from healthcare rankings to languages spoken and best places for raising kids. The goal—to boost psychological safety for Americans by navigating to a healthier life in another country.

Over 40,000 people have taken the Expatsi Test in the last 18 months. Here’s their best countries for mental health, based on test data:

Is the US Driving You Insane? Consider These Countries for Mental Health

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

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Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?