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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

How to work and live abroad: tips on maintaining a good work-life balance

5 min read
How to work and live abroad: tips on maintaining a good work-life balance
Do you have a case of wanderlust? If you’re ready to make a move, you need to know how to work and live abroad like a pro. We have the advice you need.

Ready to pack your bags and jetset to your dream destination? If you have the flexibility to work and live abroad, now is the time to seize the opportunity. However, when you’re living in a new and exciting place, maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging. 

Don’t panic—you can balance traveling and working. In the following guide, we will be looking at the ways that you can get it right. Here’s what we'll cover:

  • The basics of how to work and live abroad
  • The best places to live an expat
  • Expert tips on maintaining a work-life balance

1. Make sure you have the right visa

Before you board that plane, train, or automobile, there’s one last thing you need to do. For some countries, you will need to get a visa before you travel. Take a look at the government provided information to see what type of visa you need before you go. It’s worth dealing with all of the paperwork ahead of time so that you can relax when you’re out there. 

Statistical insight

The best places for expats, revealed

If you have a case of wanderlust but don’t know where to go, we’ve got you covered. 

According to the 2023 Expat Insider report, these are the top 10 destinations for expats: 

  1. Mexico
  2. Spain
  3. Panama
  4. Malaysia
  5. Taiwan
  6. Thailand
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Philippines
  9. Bahrain
  10. Portugal

Yes, Mexico has taken the top spot this time around with travelers noting that it scores well on friendliness, affordability, and housing options. Since the survey first launched back in 2014, the country has stayed firmly in the top five rankings.

2. Reach out and make friends online 

Having a strong social circle is central to your work-life balance. Before you make the move abroad, consider how you make new friends. Here are some of the options you can use: 

  • Facebook groups. Look for expat groups in your chosen country. Joining them is a quick and easy way to meet people who are traveling like you.
  • Apps. When you want to make new friends, there’s an app for that. Use Meetup or Bumble BFF to find people and events in your newfound location.
  • LinkedIn. So, you already have a robust LinkedIn presence? Post about where you are headed and see whether you can connect with professionals in the area.

3. Create a flexible schedule that works 

All work and no play is not the answer. When we talk about how to live and work abroad, there’s one tip you can’t overlook. You need a flexible schedule. Yes, there will be so many new and exciting things you will want to do. Make room in your diary for these experiences.

If you are employed, that may mean speaking to your boss about flexible hours. On the other hand, if you happen to be self-employed, you can create room in your schedule. Avoid packing out your diary with tasks and plan your free time early on so you’re not stressed. 

4. Travel around your destination

Living abroad offers a wealth of benefits—not least the opportunity to see new sights. One of the biggest tips on how to work and live abroad is to travel. Plan micro-trips around the country in which you are living. That may mean a long weekend away or a working trip for a matter of weeks. Think about which option suits your work-style the best.

Key takeaways

  • Learning how to work and live abroad doesn’t have to be hard. However, it pays to plan every detail in advance.
  • Deal with the annoying admin jobs—such as sorting out your visa—before you head to your destination.
  • Meeting new people is a must. Harness the power of modern technology to reach out to like-minded people in your chosen destination.
  • Make travel a priority! Seeing and experiencing new things will help you to create a great work-life balance.
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