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How Technology Has Made It Easier Than Ever To Live Abroad

19/05/2017 13:23
Tim Robberts via Getty Images

According to a recent UN study, more British citizens have migrated to another country than any other Western state. Whether for work, culture or even a change of weather, many young Brits are deciding to up sticks and see what life is like in different parts of the world.

The reason for this growing number of adventurous millennials crossing the ocean? It's getting easier. The unbridled rise in technological advancements in the last decade has made the world feel smaller. Need to send a message to your friend in India? You can do so instantly and for free, using any number of social media outlets. The same goes for living abroad. Technology has allowed us to live and work almost anywhere while still keeping the comforts and financial benefits of home.

Working from home, the office, or a beach

It's a heated subject, but there's no denying the effect globalisation has had on the world of business and work. Many UK and US corporations aspire to open up offices overseas, making it possible to work for a familiar company without having to instantly learn a foreign language.

That's if you're planning to work for a company. The number of people working freelance has grown rapidly in the past decade thanks to ever-improving internet connections, video messaging services like Skype, and online networking platforms. Office meetings no longer have to be face to face. Designers, programmers or writers - if you can offer a service that's in corporate demand, you can do it just about anywhere you can steal the WiFi password from. Sites such as People Per Hour provide a network for freelancers to connect with buyers in an effective and secure way.

Working remotely can mean anywhere from at home in your dressing gown to a beach in Cuba. As long as you have the right resources - usually just a laptop will do - you can make a living wherever you hang your hat.

It's cheaper

If you were thinking of becoming an expat 20 years ago, the options of which airline and moving companies you could choose from were limited, to say the least. But thanks to rapid technological innovation in the travel sector, there are tonnes of online resources that will not only help you make the most informed decision about your next journey but also guarantee you the best deal. Now, sites such as MoveHub and Skyscanner let you compare a range of airlines and moving companies, allowing you to find the best quote and move for as little expense as possible.

Additionally, certain services born out of the digital era can now give you a taste of what it's like living in a country without having to fully take the plunge. For example, Airbnb now offers a sublet service where you use an apartment for months at a time, either to test your new home or as a place to stay before you find something more permanent.

Home comforts on demand

Staying in communication with friends and family will no longer cost an arm and a leg, as instant online messaging has made it quick and almost free. The technology that lets you work remotely is the same that shortens the distances between you and your folks. Important news doesn't have to wait for a recipient to be near a phone or a letter to be delivered.

One of the biggest anxieties surrounding living abroad is the culture shock: what home comforts will you miss in your new country? Although getting to know the lifestyle, pace and entertainment of your new home is important and generally quite fun, it's inevitable that there will be times where the alienation of a new environment kicks in. Streaming devices mean that your favourite books, music and films are often just a few clicks away, helping you to carry a piece of home wherever you happen to be.

Whatever your views on the rise of tech; as digital communication continues to improve and remote working becomes easier and more common, so will living abroad.

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