Thinking about living between two countries? Remember those story books from when you were young, the ones where you could pick your ending?… “If you want to go through the enchanted forest turn to page five, or if you prefer to sneak by the witch’s house go to page 10?”
So what happens when you get handed a choice like this in life. Well, in reality every day is like this, isn’t it? But I’m talking big choices here. No, no lotto win, no presidency! But a choice between two countries to live in. Two great counties to live in. What on earth do you do? Which path do you take?…
First instinct is to madly bounce back and forth between the two like a ping-pong ball, squeezing out as many experiences from both as you can. It’s great fun, makes you feel free and perfectly doable if you’re young, adventurous and wise with money. Seems like a great answer doesn’t it? Well you can’t decide on one. So why not live between both, chasing the summer?
Bouncing between countries can be and is amazing, however it’s not sustainable. There will come a time when you start to realize that…Well, it doesn’t work, at least not in the long-term. You get to a point where you want and need one base.
There are limits and disadvantages to living a ping-pong lifestyle that probably haven’t crossed your mind and may not until you’re actually faced with them.
You can’t buy certain things living between two countries
Big, heavy, expensive assets or objects, or pets that you really, really want, you shouldn’t buy them because you could leave at any time and then you’ll have to sell or organize what to do with them. It ends up being somewhere between a hassle to total heartbreak.
There’s the option of taking things with you, of course but is it kind to put your pet on a long haul flight? Worth shipping your car? It all comes down to individual situations in this case. Moving across continents is easier than moving to the other side of the world.
You’re never really sure how long to get your rental lease for
Often you get this wrong and end up getting it too long or too short. It can easily end up costly! While at the same time you need to avoid getting a bad name with the real estate. All so annoying.
Where will you be staying until you get your own place?
If you’ve got family or friends who can lend you a spare room that’s ideal but sometimes that’s not an option. Hostels are great, but don’t suit everyone or every situation.
You may presume you’ll get a rental quickly
The reality, however may be completely different. Do you really want to fork out for a hotel room until you get your own place? Think how long you could potentially be there and how much it would actually cost you.
What if your job is awesome and you would love to stay?
You’ll have to quit though because you’ve already organised moving again. It’s the best practice to do this as amicably as possible. (What if there’s a chance for you to return in the future if you want or you need a reference? Don’t burn bridges, also it’s kind to do it the right way.)
What will you do with your belongings?
Things that won’t fit in your luggage will either need to be sold, sent to somewhere or put in storage (and if in storage, what if when you return you go to a different place? Or what if you decide not to return?)
You’ll need to invest in decent luggage when living between two countries
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination with broken luggage, you might even be unlucky enough to have your stuff falling out everywhere. It’s tempting to buy cheap luggage however it’s imperative to spend the extra money and invest in good quality luggage, preferably hard case as this can withstand a lot and will prevent breakages within. When you travel lots this is a must.
Are you able to secure a job before you arrive?
This takes away a lot of stress factor, although it’s hard to do as you’re not there physically, but it’s not impossible. Think of people you know who may be able to help you, or jobs you had in the past who may re hire you. Those are good places to start, and interviews over Skype are quite commonplace these days too.
Are you able to live permanently in the countries you frequent?
Are you a citizen, resident or there on a visa? Of course the answer to this question changes a lot of things when living between countries.
Missing your family and friends
This is the hardest part of all and something that you obviously realise will happen when living between two countries, although often you underestimate just how much.
The are many, many things to think about before deciding to move abroad all of which are important. If you are thinking about living between two counties hopefully these pointers will help you with your journey.
❄️We’ve bounced between Finland and Australia for 7 years. By sharing things we’ve experienced along our journey (many of them much hassle, money and disappointment later) we hope to help you with your journey.
Have you lived or are living between countries? What are some disadvantages that you’ve encountered?