Dare to move overseas after the COVID-19 crisis?

  • passport in hand
Published 2020-06-24 12:00

The global health crisis, without a doubt, is having a significant impact on expatriation. Taking into account the health risks and current travel restrictions, some people simply had to give up on their projects. Others, however, are impatiently waiting for things to get back on track and travel restrictions to be lifted to be able to pursue their dreams. Soon, hopefully. They talk to us about their plans.

Allison, a young mother of three – two sons and a 2-year-old daughter – is looking to relocate to Mauritius. She moved to France with her family 37 years ago, but it's been a while since she made up her mind to go back to her home country. If it weren't for the border closure and travel restrictions, she would have been in Mauritius by now. Even though there are no indications as to when the borders will reopen, her initial plans are to relocate by October 2020.

The main reason why Allison chose to relocate abroad is to look for new career prospects. "I've been occupying an executive position in the retail sector for several years, and I've really enjoyed my job. However, I've reached a point that now makes me want to try something different. I quit my job to look after my kids for 4 years, which gave me plenty of time to think about my next step, so I chose to be a nail technician. I already had a training before been offered that executive position. I'm now ready to be my own boss".

Why Mauritius? “Most importantly, for the quality of life. I was looking for a change of lifestyle and a better environment for my daughter and I, so the choice was quite natural". However, she agrees that planning her trip currently is quite tricky. “I do have some key information. But, even though I've made some arrangements prior to leaving France, I don't really know how it's going to be in Mauritius, given the current situation. ”

Nevertheless, Allison stays optimistic and has a lot of ideas for her homeland. "I'm just moving with my daughter, our suitcases and some money to pay rent and buy us food for the first few months." Her husband is going to join her once he's got the budget to relocate.

Marie, a French national, is looking to settle in Pondicherry, India. Initially, she was supposed to arrive on August 14, 2020. After two years of preparation, the global health crisis led her to put her relocation plans on hold. “We still don't have our visas for India, and the borders are still closed. It's a real hassle as our entire organisation is falling apart", she says. However, she still believed that relocating abroad is going to be a life-changing decision for her, so she won't give up, just like Nolwenn, another French national who is about to relocate to Moldova with her Moldavian companion. “We are planning to leave in July if everything goes as planned. We are currently fine-tuning our plans to move with our 9-year-old son ”.

Fidan is a young French engineer who is looking to settle and work in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has already started looking for accommodation and expects to be able to relocate there in September with his wife.

Let's not forget those who, instead, prefered to postpone their plans, like Thomas, a young British national who has always dreamed of the quality of life and the warm climate of Spain. “I should have moved to Barcelona since last October, but I couldn't make it for some reason. Subsequently, borders were closed. Honestly, I don't think that now is the right time for me to travel. I'd rather wait a little bit more until things get back to normal. Since I'm a freelancer, I still have a lot of time to think about my career in Spain. Maybe I'll start a business that will create jobs".

As you have seen, despite its considerable impact on the world economy and the job market, and on expatriation, the COVID-19 crisis does not seem to discourage people from moving abroad. In fact, nothing can stop you from pursuing your dream, so start planning. Expat.com forums and our guides are an excellent resource, so good luck!