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It pays to research the countries you may live in. Moving to a new country with plans of realizing a dream, or living a better life with your family is a wonderful prospect. Once you’ve made the decision, it can feel as though you’re about to embark on a significant adventure. The reason you feel like that is because it’s true, right down to the basis of your ability. Depending on who you are and how you prefer going about things, you might take more or less time to come to your decision.

 

However, you must remember to conduct heavy research before you go. It’s important you have a total 360 degree understanding of your future. This means collating information about the country you hope to attend, from the significant to the menial. You should leave nothing out, because it could all be relevant to your stay.

 

Moving in itself can feel overwhelming, and so our aim with this article is to help you with this research. We have crafted a checklist below that should hopefully help you conduct a step by step approach to your information gathering. The information ahead should be relevant to families, those in pursuit of a career and those in need of retiring on foreign shores.

 

Without further ado:

 

News

 

You must stay up to date with the news of a select region. News covers various subjects, so it’s important to know exactly which categories to pursue. We’d argue that the political, career-relevant and housing markets are most important to know about. For example, if you were to live in the UK in the next year, house prices may fluctuate on account of the uncertainty around Brexit.

 

Often, this can serve as an incentive or a hindrance. Perhaps the timeline may not be right. Sometimes it is. For example, Malaysia property news has recently signified that it is one of the cheapest and most valuable countries for expats to move to. Keeping on top of this news cycle for the countries you are somewhat interested in will help inform your wise decision, and the timeline in which it occurs.

 

Crime

 

Every country has elements of crime, from the bottom rungs to the top. This is normal, and should be expected, despite the best efforts of the police in said country. That being said, not all crime is equally located. All countries contain good and bad areas, areas more and less suitable for your living pursuits. Researching the density of a crime rate in an area will help you figure out if you’re accepting of the levels, and if you should find somewhere else to live. It might be that despite the seemingly high crime rate, it’s actually less than your current environment.

 

This is a number that you should of course desire to keep as low as possible. Governments are required by international law to publish their crime statistics per capita, meaning that all of this information is online for free. You may also publish questions on websites like Reddit or Yahoo Answers to ask advice about the best places to research in your efforts.

 

Economic Potential

 

Predicting future trends is important. How is the economy looking in a select region and country? Is it on a downward or uphill slope? Both sides of the spectrum could be equally as troubling or interesting. A slow economy might mean that business could benefit from innovating and investing in a local area. Too much growth might mean gentrification is taking place at a rapid rate, and that property prices and rent are set to grow to uncomfortable levels.

 

Always be mindful that economic troubles are often closely tied to political troubles and then societal turmoil. Stability is the name of the game here. If a country is stable, and relatively comfortable in it’s flow of cash, then you can expect this to occur in the future.Still, it’s important to constantly monitor the economy of your chosen country and region, particularly if you are moving for business considerations.

 

Rights & Law

 

Not all citizens have the same rights. Some might, but the courts may favor one side over the other as a default. For example, renting tenants in Canada are granted many more rights than citizens in the United Kingdom. It all depends on what you are looking for, and what you are willing to put up with. While your human rights are universally applicable, some specifics differ wildly.

 

It’s important to brush up on the main rights you expect to receive. You can find these online, as all governments will publish these through official channels. Check and contact the citizen’s advice, or otherwise named form of facility. These institutions are solely there to help you through any of your woes from a tourist or new citizen perspective.

 

Understand The Citizenship Process

 

It may be a number of years before you consider yourself a citizen in the country, both personally and from a legal perspective. Some countries require you to live as a ‘permanent citizen’ before you gain actual citizenship. This means living in a country for a number of years before you are able to apply for this categorization. No two countries are exactly the same, so it’s important to be wise about this.

 

You might need to prove your worth from a financial perspective, or undergo tests to ensure you are a committed, trustworthy and educated newcomer to the nation. Countries such as Australia will conduct a thorough search of your past to make sure you have a reliable and trustworthy history. This means finding any court decisions, any penal punishments or something of note. You may need to declare this first and foremost before heading into the country. Setting up a life somewhere might not be as attractive if the prospect of becoming a full citizen is otherwise prevented by law.

 

Culture

 

You must understand the culture of a location you move to. Otherwise, you will feel disconnected, and have a hard time meeting new people. You might even be the cause of some social blunders, and this is best left avoided. For example, the famous ‘okay’ symbol using forefinger and thumb making a circle is considered a polite affirmation in some western countries, but is the equivalent of flipping the bird in some cultures. Some countries prefer to conduct business deals by shaking a particular hand, or by engaging in refreshments for a period before business is mentioned.

 

Learning the culture of a place, through art, history, architecture and music will also help you understand the national identity. This is more of a felt thing as opposed to an exact science, but it’s important to submerge yourself in nonetheless.  The internet is your friend here.

 

It also pays to learn the language of a select nation. This is the best way to conduct your social efforts. Take night classes, or use a service such as Rosetta Stone. It might take you years to become fluent, but knowing and working at and beyond the basics will show your willingness to absorb and become part of a culture. Research has also indicated that speaking in a language helps you think like the populace, which is a stunning discovery. It also makes it relevant to our aims here, so get as absorbed as you can in your specific dialect.

 

These tips are the best places to get started without a doubt. Be sure to collect this information in a handy binder or singular resource. Tag information and update it as more comes along. Subscribe to RSS feeds and YouTube channels concerned with celebrating the culture of your intention. Before long you will feel comfortable moving, using familiarity as your tool.

 

We wish you the best in your journey.

 

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As 98% of festive songs tell us, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s 24-plus days of fun, frolics, family, friends, merriment, good tidings, festive parties and cheer. But it is also a time of some super-stress, the kind that starts out kind of unnoticeable and then snowballs into total uncontrollable freaking out as you try and make everything perfect on the big day.

 

So, to prevent stress from wreaking havoc this year, we have pulled together some top tips that will guarantee to make Christmas day nothing but enjoyable.

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1. A Fresh Take

We know what it’s like, Christmas is all about traditions, which means you want to do certain tasks in certain ways. But you don’t have to. Instead of hitting your head against the wall as you try and tackle that one task that always drives you nuts, make a change. If you hate making Christmas dinner, especially because every year you have a different theme and this year is Italian, get caters in and for the best catering, party platters and banquets, look no further than Illiano’s for the best Italian food. If it is just getting your Christmas cards done, why not enlist the help of your entire family bu a) splitting the list or b) getting creative with a family photo.

 

2. Less Pressure, Please

Perfection is not real. It isn’t. It is subjective and, in terms of Christmas, also temporary. Instead, you should be happy with good enough. You don’t have to top last year’s efforts and you don’t need to go bigger than your next-door-neighbor. Just be happy with your efforts. Take your Christmas tree; it’s just an evergreen shrub, so there’s no need to have one flown in from the wilds of Quebec.

 

3. Take A Break From Tradition

We’ve touched on traditions once above, and we’re touching on them again. Why? Because if they are causing stress then give them a break. Let’s say you go and watch the Rockettes every Christmas (because it’s tradition), but your kids are kicking and screaming about it, then try something new. Traditions are only fun if you all find them fun. We all change, so adapt to any change instead of stressing yourself out.

 

4. Keep A Lemon With You

No matter what task you are taking on, make sure you have a lemon on you. This may sound mental and, no, it isn’t a metaphor for making lemonade, it’s because science proves lemony scents improve our mood. So, when you feel yourself getting stressed, either sniff a lemon or pop into a department store and ask to try their most lemony fragrance.

 

5. Stay True Daily

We all have daily rituals we cling onto for dear life as a way of relaxing and unwinding. It could be reading for half an hour before bed, or curling up on a chair and plugging into Spotify for an hour or any number of things. Whatever it is, don’t give it up just because it is Christmas. These everyday rituals of ours help centre us and keep us calm, so keep them up.

 

A Christmas Gift Guide For The Creative In You

 

As November turns into December, the organiser in you starts to get a little panicked due to the prospect that there are only 25 days and counting until Christmas Day – and your Christmas shopping is still not complete! Your diary is turning into a mash-up of family get-togethers and festive parties, and your days for browsing the shops wondering what to get everyone are limited. Finding something that is perfect and personal for each person you love is time-consuming, and with the clock ticking, there may not be enough time to do 30 rounds of M and S before deciding that there’s nothing suitable. Cut out the stress and the middleman by making something personal – and less expensive – for your loved ones.

 

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                (Source)                                                      (Source)                                                             (Source)                                                                

 

Create A Photo Collage

Whether you are giving to a friend or family member, photos are always a great way of giving a personal gift that doesn’t break the bank. Just buy a simple plain white canvas and tastefully display photos from your year together – maybe leave a few spaces for the receiver to put some Christmas snaps in – and it will be sure to be greeted with lots of smiles Christmas Day.

 

Make A Scarf Or Shawl… Or Even An Embossed Christmas Sack

If you’re really into fashion, and dream of making your own line one day – how about starting small and making a scarf or shawl for a family member. This can be as personal as you like – choose the exact fabric you know they’ll love, and that will match their entire wardrobe – and you can even add their initials for a personal touch. Looking for websites where you can buy bulk fabric and multiple designs will mean you have presents sorted for all your fashion-obsessed friends and family. Plus if you have some left over – you could use the excess fabric to make an embossed stylish Santa sack that can be used year after year. No need to waste money on Christmas gift bags year after year. Win.

 

Create An A-Z Activity Itinerary for 2018

This one is a little bit of a brain tester for you, and a little bit of challenge to complete for your loved ones next year! This is suitable for a friend, partner or family member – or you could even make it interesting by including the whole family! The idea is to come up with an activity for you to do that starts with each letter of the alphabet – and it is not as easy as it sounds – and you need to complete the alphabet by the end of 2018. From baking to kayaking, and hiking to zorbing finishing off this present could make your head hurt a little – but it will be worth it! Presenting the list in a shopping list format that can be displayed on a loved ones’ fridge means you can tick it off as you go, and keep track of your progress.  

 

Create A Photo Calendar

Another way to bring a smile to your loved one’s face is to create a calendar for 2018 that has a chosen-by-you picture for every month. They can be themed to the particular month you’re in – like a Halloween photo from this year’s party for October – or be a reminder of a happy memory from 2017.

 

Please comment if you have tried any of these ideas out, and have fun creating!  

 

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