5 reasons to become an expat in a developing country
There is nothing quite like the feeling of spinning a globe and deciding which country you would like to live in next. Being an expat comes with a certain feeling of freedom but there also comes the burden of choice. With so many countries in the world, how do you choose one?
One big decision expats need to make is whether to travel to a developing country or a developed country. So here are five reasons that a less economically developed country could be the right option for you:
Grow with new experiences
As we grow older, our rate of development slows down considerably since we simply don’t have the same number of new experiences as we once did. This is one of the primary reasons that expats give for moving abroad, and those deciding to move to developing countries are much more likely to experience more and grow personally.
Whether you’re looking to make the move to a small Colombian village or a town in Tanzania, there will be fresh experiences in abundance. Shopping for local food will be exciting, meeting locals will be a thrill as you attempt to communicate in their native tongue, a trip to the supermarket takes you way out of your comfort zone the first time around, but the more you push yourself to do these scary things, the further you will grow and the happier you will become!
That isn’t to say living in a developing country comes without its difficulties; many of the services we take for granted may not be as readily available. In this case, city and country guides can be an essential source of information for those looking for further information on living in a specific location.
Enjoy warmer weather
If you’re looking to make the move to a developing country, statistics dictate that you’re likely to experience warmer weather for much of the year. For those that love the sun, this is great as not only does the climate make a big difference to lifestyle, it can have a significant effect on your mood and temperament as a person.
Although warmer weather is a big thumbs up in most people’s books, greater extremes of weather conditions often accompany warmer climates; such localities are often affected by hurricanes, monsoons, volcanic and seismic activity in a way that many developed nations are not. Therefore, it is prudent to research your destination’s climate in depth before making any life-changing decisions. The continuing cost of volcano insurance may not justify the move!
Reduce your cost of living
It’s no surprise that relocating to a developing country carries the potential of financial benefits, especially if you’re moving away from a country with a high living cost such as the UK, USA, Norway, or Switzerland. In fact, moving from a developed country such as the USA to Guatemala, one can witness an average reduction of over 50% in living costs!
Couple this with an external income and you’ve got a pretty cost-effective way of living. With a lifestyle that allows you to save and with less of a burden on you to buy things you don’t need, this is all likely to contribute to your overall well-being, improving your life and your day to day experiences.
You may have enough income to invest a portion into your town or village and improve the lives of your community members!
Contribute to a new community
Developing countries tend to have greater gaps in their development – whether it’s fewer local services, poor educational opportunities for children or even a lack of a radio station. You will likely have lots of opportunities to be able to share your talents and skills, giving back to the community. There’ll likely be a multitude of chances to collaborate with neighbours, learn new skills and make new local friends too!
In developed countries, we are spoon-fed ways in which we think we’re helping people; such as donating money to charity or buying products that promise to help developing communities. Contributing in this way ensures we stay lazy, loyal to brands and we never actually feel that satisfaction that comes from genuinely helping someone.
Making a physical and emotional contribution to the community will absolutely improve your satisfaction towards life, help you grow personally, and benefit your local community.
Embrace new life challenges
Removing yourself from your zone of comfort – i.e. your home country, where everything feels normal and safe, and placing yourself in an entirely foreign environment is not without its risks. However, this is precisely the reason expats choose to do this, to embrace new life challenges and grow!
Naturally, choosing to relocate to a less developed country won’t be the best option for everyone and it depends on your personal needs and goals.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t dismiss the idea outright just because the developing country is unfamiliar. After all, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
As Mark Twain, author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn once said:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”