There Are Only Four Valid Reasons for Moving Country Aged 25+

When you’re young, you get away with pretty much anything. You can wear your pants below the ankle, collapse, pissed as a fart, over a receptacle designed to hold doggie doo dahs, and you can move to any old country in the world without anyone batting an eyelid.

There are several popular ways of approaching the latter: you can sign up for an organised student binge drinking expedition (the infamous Erasmus programme), you can bum about on a beach while your hair slowly corrodes into dreadlocks (“gap year”), you can opt to cook, clean and be pelted with snot balls by vicious whelps for a pittance (au-pairing) or you can inflict permanent damage on your vocal chords explaining the present continuous to a classroom full of hormone-crazed teenagers who don’t give a rat’s arse (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

But be warned: Once you officially enter into adult life, say, aged 25+, it’s an entirely different kettle of fish. From then on, to avoid social disgrace, you need ‘legitimate’ reasons to justify taking up sticks, and there are only four that count.

1. You’re fleeing an evil regime
If you’re at risk of having your head lopped off or your genitals torched, you’ve got to get yourself outta there, no question. And good luck to you.

2. You move for a job
But watch out! One of the following criteria must be met if you don’t want to go raising eyebrows:

  • You are unemployed and can’t, for the life of you, find a job in your country. In fact, you’re so overqualified that not even a charity shop will have you
  • You’ll be earning considerably more dosh abroad
  • The move presents a major career advancement. [So, instead of a non-descript admin bod at home, you’ll be Head of Office Supplies in your company’s Mongolian outpost (or rather, four posts, as these will be holding up your “office”), and in charge of a whole stationery cupboard all by yourself. In a country where staples count as an official currency!]

3. You move because of your husband’s job.
Blogspace is packed with expat wifies suffering it out with their exiled petrochemical engineer spouses.
After much initial wailing and chest beating, she has not only come round to the idea, but she’s positively excited about the whole thing. Needless to say, hubby’s company has organised the whole translocation affair, from packing up every last ceramic figurine she won’t be able to live without, to air conditioned accommodation in a hermetically sealed compound and free leisure club membership for the entire tribe.

Once the moving stress is over and the last doily has been lovingly laid out by the live-in maid, wifie can finally relax and get on with her own new job: sending hourly updates back to the civilised world on how the well the little darlings are settling into international school (aw, they are so adaptable at that age!), which  – just imagine!! – is attended by two bona fide natives.

Imagine the sheer thrill when the freshly baked expat couple is invited over for dinner by one of hubby’s local work colleagues! Finally, she gets a chance to experience, at first hand, what life is really like on Mars. She takes reams of snaps of every dish from four different angles, so that she can extoll to her friends back home on how much fun it was to scoop up every morsel with her bare hands. And it was all delicious, of course. This makes a delightful change from endless photo coverage of camel/yak/llama rides. And the day after, she’ll be posting the recipes, instead of pics of bruised body parts.

[Strangely enough, expat blogs written by guys whose other halves have landed a job in foreign climes are about as common a sight on the interwebs as giraffes strolling through Greenland. I mean, just imagine the scenario… resigned to twiddling his thumbs to the beat of economic dependency on the missus, and his career prospects reduced to a smoking stack of ruins for all eternity, his balls would drop off in an instant.]

4. Retirement
Aaah, finally, after four gruelling decades,  you stand liberated from the shackles of your 9-5 existence. There’s nothing stopping you now from making a new home in an idyllic land, where the sun appears in the sky for longer than twenty five consecutive minutes at three-week intervals. Yes, UK readers, I can hear your collective sigh…

Needless to say, you wont have to bother yourself learning the language of your destination country – everybody there speaks English – and you’ll just “pick up”  the necessary pleasantries to flatter the locals with. Also, your native country’s laws and social norms will continue to apply to you wherever you are.

If you believe any of the statements in the previous paragraph to be accurate, you may want to consider relocating to a nice care home near Chichester instead.

So, now you know all there is to know about legit rationales for deserting your country of birth. As for the number of whimsical ones (“och, because… I just fancy a change” or “to see what a proper curry really tastes like”), which are guaranteed to induce looks ranging from mild incredulity to outright horror on the faces of your born-here-and-shall-die-here compatriots, the sky is the limit. If you happen to have any good ones, I’d love to hear them. The more frivolous and idiosyncratic, the better.

17 thoughts on “There Are Only Four Valid Reasons for Moving Country Aged 25+

  1. Vania

    I don’t know how valid or justifiable can be to do it for ”Love”. I’ve met many people(men included) who moved to another country in order to be close to the one they love. Unfortunately this hardly works out, as for me… well, i give you my most frivolous one and I bet you will agree: I moved to Germany just for the cakes.:)))


    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      That is true… I missed out the mail order bride category!! Might have to add that… or it could be lumped in with the “job” category, lol.
      You should have moved to Austria… best cakes are to be found there. I’m seriously considering moving to Vienna next.


      1. Vania

        Simone in Vienna surrounded by austrians all the time… can not see that happening. Impossible mission even for the lady of the cakes.


      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        No, no, I love them!!! Well, I couldn’t see myself there forever, but I quite fancy a 1-2 year stint. It would be good for me to spend a bit of time in a German-speaking country…


  2. Loving Language

    Dang! I’m trying to figure out a fifth reason, but I haven’t come up with one. So I live in Minnesota 🙂 We almost went to Ukraine on a Fulbright, but we decided against it. I’m going to keep thinking of a good reason to go abroad for a while–though I’m well past 25.


    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Aw, you’ll just have to go and use your powers of post-rationalisation to justify it all 😉 But wait till spring… I hear Ukraine is even more freezing in winter than MN 🙂


  3. Hilary Buckley

    We’ve moved to Chicago to wait out the stepdaughter’s high school time, and are planning to move overseas in four years when she graduates. Just moving to Chicago from Santa Fe, NM (all USA) raised a lot of eyebrows and we finally resorted to inventing reasons we had moved so that people would rent apartments to us! Whenever we tell people that we’re moving overseas in four years, we get the inevitable mini-snort/sigh, from which we are supposed to understand that we will grow up someday. Plus, in the US, everyone is so isolated that they’re convinced that everywhere else in the world is a Terrifying and Dangerous Place. Friends of ours who just moved to Amman, Jordan resorted to telling everyone they were moving to Oregon to avoid condescending remarks. Good job you for moving twice, and hooray for whimsical reasons for moving country!


  4. Anna

    Oh my gosh, I was LOLing the entire time I was reading this. Brilliant and hilarious! I fall into the second category, but hopefully in my future I can do a couple more relocs for much more whimsical reasons (=to ride horses with my Wild Highlander).


  5. Olivia

    Hilarious, as all of your posts…
    Isn’t “looking for a better weather” a good reason? I know plenty of people moving from Paris to the South of France for that reason. And also, because of the traffic, the crowded metro and the pollution. And because of the ever-grumpy Parisians.
    But it is true however none of them would move out of France.

    I’m seriously considering moving out because I don’t agree with the (socialist) government… I guess that could fall into the job category – even if I don’t get a raise, at least I’ll stop having 60% of my salary disappearing in taxes… That one has become an acceptable reason for French people to flee out of the country lately…



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