SPONTANEOUS EXPATRIATION – I dropped everything to go abroad

” To leave it is to die a little “, wrote Alphonse Allais. Thousands of French people choose nevertheless to do it every year, and sometimes overnight. Who urges them to want to leave so quickly? Identikit pictures of these very spontaneous expatriates

“The French people, whom we sometimes tend to describe as cold and hexagonal, are also completely opened on the outside “, underlined during an interview with Reuters François Saint Paul, director of the French people abroad and the consular administration. Thousands of French people prove it by leaving France every year without snivelling goodbye. They are either real adventurers, lovers of exotic lands, people who look for themselves or French in exile, they left everything in France to find abroad what they did not have.

The adventurer

Symptoms: looking for adventure, he went to quench his thirst for wide open spaces and impromptu

Take a toothbrush, a guidebook, passports, and the nearest airport! Expatriation is that easy for this adventurer whose backpack is well harnessed. According to a survey published in the book S’expatrier en toute connaissance de cause by Jean-Luc Cerdin, 65 % of expatriates choose to leave because of a sense of adventure. Some possess certainly a more pronounced one than others. This is true of Rudolph and Nirina, respectively 26 and 22 years, who decided to leave everything and go to sell their property to travel around the world and especially in Thailand. “Life is, uncertain and so precious, he explains. We wanted to experience something different, go out and meet celebrity, learn from others and about ourselves. ”

The same goes for Cedric, 32, who resigned from his position as commercial for a tour of Australia and Asia. ‘I was afraid of being bored, to become old too soon and regret it. So without thinking too much, I quit and emptied my savings. I had one desire: to live my Erasmus in me, even at age 30 I joined some friends in Australia, not knowing where I was. The road map was open! I lived as a kid: beach day, bar at night, to live over the meetings … It was a life with zero constraint, which led to nothing.  I knew it, but that feelt good! “, he said.

Gwenola also sees her life marked by various adventures around the world. “I come from a region where it is very good to live: the Basque Country, yet the curiosity and the desire to discover other cultures led me to make my first trips: 6 months in Dublin, six months in Mexico, six months in Seville, London 1 year, 6 months in India … Everywhere I managed to find work and adapt to local life . Each time, the duration of my stay abroad was determined and then I went home. (…) I now live in Madrid for 6 months. I went to Europe to get closer to my family (…). So quietly I adapt to this new life I like a lot, but who knows where I’ll be in a year? I just met an Argentinean … “

Cons-indications: The budget! Going abroad overnight to tour the world, it’s exciting but attention to your lifestyle. If a few weeks to live off the beaten track do not come back very expensive, preserve your savings for the unexpected, and save some money to be able to book a return ticket if your funds are in red!

The dreaming expat

Symptoms: fell in love with a country, a culture, has always wanted to explore new horizons and needed only one click to leave everything and move abroad.

Curiosity about the “elsewhere” was there but for the expat a little less daring, this is an opportunity that makes the thief. He just needed one trip into the unknown to never wanting to return. A love story, a professional opportunity, or a cultural thunderbolt, and now the expected short stay has no expiration date.

The expatriation becomes the realization of a dream. “I am a widow for several years, we had a dream, living a year abroad, in 2009 I went with my three children for one year, it will be three years now “, reflecting” the Irish “enthusiastic about her spontaneous departure. Many retirees also take to their heels, using their savings to afford a better life in a lifetime dream destination.

Some graduates, particularly those who have benefited from international academic exchange programs, have acquired a taste for life abroad and prefer to pick up on another expatriation. “After my studies a decision should be made: stay in France or try my luck abroad to extend the Erasmus experience. I love France but I left it in a stroke of heart and wanted something differen. I had the feeling my country could not offer me what I wanted, “said” Barcelona “.

Love is also a nice springboard for expatriation, as evidenced by Annabelle: “I left France in 1999, destination London. Originally I had planned to stay in London a year to improve my English and broaden my future job opportunities … in the end I met my South African husband and I decided to follow him to South Africa. “For Clarita and Zazou, love made them stay. “I was part of Chile for an internship graduation of six months. But now that after three months, Alfredo (Chilean) arrived in my life and made heckle my heart. I told my parents I wanted to stay so far from my native Landes, but obviously it does not matter “said Clarita. Zazou’s comment echoes: “I left France almost 19 years ago. At first it was going to work for one year only. Then I met the man who became my husband. I love this country that adopted me, the people are vibrant and warm”.

Cons-indications: Going to live abroad takes planning! If the transition is easier for those who have already made a short stay, you will nevertheless need to consider all the practical and administrative aspects of a longer stay. Careful with holiday romances, they often embody great love stories but weigh out the pros and cons before you leave everything. Will I be able to find a job there? adapt to local life? break the language barrier? … Your personal development is essential to survive in this new environment and avoid many tensions with your partner (s).
As for retirees, François Saint-Paul warns, “seduced by advertising, eager to get out of the gloom in France, they organized a retirement abroad, particularly in Africa, because they dangled over low cost. But if they lose their heads or health, they have nothing. “

The expat in a quest  

Symptoms: In the midst of an identity crisis, he wants to go far to relax and get together. Expatriation is then a back to square one needed.

He was tired from the hum drum, all the more depressing in the gray, cold and rain hex. His life bored him or choked him and he really needed a breath of fresh air. Lost in his professional life and / or love, he was looking for something of a renaissance. “Circumstances in my life in France led me to reflect on what I really wanted to do with my life. I decided to do what I always wanted: to live in Spain, “explains Madrileña de corazón.

Olivier, 25, had also needed a new personal challenge: “I invented the concept of the” crisis of 24 years “I had to sign a permanent contract in an advertising agency, I rented an apartment ‘in Paris and weeks began to look alike. I wanted to live anything but like that. So on a whim, I decided to leave to Argentina because it is far, I did not know about it and I did not speak Spanish! I wanted to prove I could do it over again elsewhere. ”

Julie, 29, wanted to leave everything after a disappointment in love: “I was 25 and I was at a turning point in my life. No more job, no apartment and the man of my life left me. I fell into an abyss. So I thought it was time to leave. Because I wanted it for a long time and then, objectively, nothing held me back! “

Cons-indications: Leaving France can be a great escape, but living abroad is not the panacea to all problems. As explained Assia Rubinowitz, author of It’s decided I’m going!, : “It is better not to go with the idea of running away from something: we are usually disappointed with experience, and get chased by what they were trying to escape! “

bagageThe expat in exile

Symptoms: he  has moved away from France because it suits him more or that it can no longer offer it. If sometimes a tug at my heart, thinking back to his native region, there is no hurry to return.

No interesting job, not enough recognition, France has not really that benefits the French, who chose to leave it overnight, and no regrets! Many French entrepreneurs have decided to start their business abroad rather than suffer the brunt of the French tax burden. “I probably would not have done the same thing in France. Mexico is a young country, which is being built and there is still much to do! Administrative expenses and tax are certainly less severe than in France” , explains Christine Vassort, founder of Centro de Arte y Lenguas, a language school.

For Christian Roudault, author of France, I love you, I leave you (Fayard), “the French are increasingly likely to flee a country offering few opportunities.” Many graduates, especially those from immigrant families, must go into exile to finally find a job that meets their qualifications. France, land of opportunity no longer exists. Today, when we want to get into the job market its better to look to emerging markets,  like Asia.

Cons-indications: If the French labor market is not ideal and if the tax sometimes gives up-the-heart, all is not rosy either overseas. Check before departure as to the specifics of the local market (level of English required, the average wage, taxes …). Sometimes it is easier to find a job abroad but sometimes more difficult to climb in the hierarchy.  Attention also to the attitude of wanting to “leave at any price”: Jean-Luc Cerdin, a professor at ESSEC explains that “studies show that if you leave because you want to flee the country, the probability of failure is greater than if one is motivated, for example, by the discovery of a new culture. ”

Published in Lepetitjournal.com