Timely research from AXA PPP International found that two in three expats (64 per cent) said that, since moving overseas, their physical health and mental health were better than they would have been if they stayed at home.
Dr. Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP, says: “Following your dream can be very good for mental health and wellbeing. If you’ve always imagined you would one day go and live abroad, chances are you are likely to get a great sense of satisfaction and happiness on achieving this. What’s more, a lot of countries experience better weather than here in the UK. This leads to a more active and outdoor lifestyle, which as we know contributes greatly to overall better health.”
Indeed, the idea of jetting off to seek adventure is a huge draw for many expats. While there is a lot to consider in terms of housing, schooling and work, over half of those Moving Abroad say their main reason to do so was adventure. The health benefits are a bonus – 86 per cent of those who moved abroad for better healthcare said that all their expectations had been filled.
However, Dr Winwood warns that you do need to consider those important practicalities before making the leap. Language courses may also be useful; a quarter of people found learning the local language the most difficult part of working abroad.
“A lot of people get caught up in the adventure of living overseas and don’t realistically consider the everyday practicalities of living somewhere new,” he adds. “Make sure you do your research and carefully consider where you want to live – not just the country but the location too; how connected are you to main transport routes, where are the local amenities, what schools are nearby, how will you access healthcare and are their social or expat groups you can join to meet new people? You don’t want to get caught out and be in a vulnerable situation in an unknown country.”