Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The definitive guide to moving abroad and whether it's right for you


This is a preview to the chapter Overview from the book Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Paul Allen.
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If all that has you fired up and raring to go then great.

But hold on a second. Do yourself a massive favour: take a deep breath and consider.

Enthusiasm for a new life of adventure is one thing, as is frustration with American politics and the economic climate, or lousy British summers and M25 congestion. But how do you know if moving abroad is, in fact, right for you?

Ultimately, the only way to know for sure is to go and see. After all, nothing beats practical experience.

But it’s worth bearing in mind the words of Irish novelist George Moore, who said: “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”

Don’t be seduced into the grass is greener syndrome. It is too easy, and all too common.

Instead, commit yourself to some honest reflection. Answer the hard questions now and you can save yourself a lot of headaches, heartache and money down the pan later.

In particular, if you are fundamentally unsuited to living abroad it will help reveal the reason why. On the other hand, if you do opt to move, this process will give you the best possible chance of making it a successful venture.

It’s important then that you think carefully about each of the following factors. As thoughts, emotions and issues arise while you’re reading note them down. Write a list of the features you’re looking for in your new location and where your best fit lies – what country, what region, even what town if you can get to that level of detail.

After reading each section consider how you feel. Are you so pumped up you can’t wait to book your ticket? Are there issues you hadn’t properly considered before? Do you feel daunted, scared even?

That’s all natural. But don’t gloss over your concerns.
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