When planning a move abroad, research and planning can start months or even years before you actually pack your bags. There is such a bewildering array of books, blogs and websites offering advice on expat life and your potential new home, it is hard to know where to start. Here is a short selection of some of the best books about moving abroad.
Didgeridoos and Didgeridon’ts: A Brit’s Guide to Moving Your Life Down Under
By Vicky Gray
Vicky Gray has lived in Australia with her family since 2006 and this indispensible book charts her experience settling in down under. It is organized into neat ‘how to’ chapters from how to get a visa and find a job, to getting used to traveling, eating and even shopping in a new country.
The information is presented clearly and concisely with plenty of ‘top tips’ and easy to follow checklists. As well as practical help, the book is also peppered with funny and endearing anecdotes about her family’s first year in Australia and ends with a handful of other expats giving their account of moving abroad. This handy guide is a must for anyone considered moving to Australia and was a clear choice for our expat book review.
Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World
By Robin Pascoe
Acclaimed Canadian author Robin Pascoe has written several books about her life traveling the world with her diplomat husband and can justly be called an expert in all things ‘expat’. ‘Raising Global Nomads’ focuses on the challenges of parenting while roaming the world particularly in the current climate of global connectivity and digitalization.
The book deals with almost every dilemma commonly faced by expat parents, from culture shock and finding schools to keeping healthy and coping with repatriation. Every issue is handled with compassion and humour and backed up by Robin’s vast first hand experience. The book is a helpful, reassuring read for any parent of a ‘third culture kid’.
The Sensible Girl’s Guide to Emigrating Elegantly
By Sally Corner
This guide is an intelligent, funny look at the particular problems and quandaries faced by women emigrating during their 20s and 30s. The book is packed with advice from women who have already made the leap and includes handy checklists and quizzes to help you plan your move.
The book’s real strength is its honest, comforting advice on the emotional trials and tribulations of moving abroad along side the practical tips. The witty illustrations bring the text to life and make this an extremely enjoyable read.
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia
By Chris Stewart
Now a modern literary classic, ‘Driving Over Lemons’ is a witty, engaging account of ex-Genesis drummer, Chris Stewart’s, move to rural Spain. His haphazard attempts to negotiate the landscape, the language and the local farmers are honestly and completely recounted, with his rose-tinted optimism beautifully juxtaposed with his wife, Ava’s, caustic realism.
While it may not answer many practical questions about moving abroad, this warm, humorous memoir is an excellent insight into the trials and tribulations of beginning a new life in a foreign country.
The Mobile Life
By Diane Lemieux and Anne Parker
This book focuses on the emotional side of moving abroad and the difference between relocating (moving) and resettling (establishing a new life). The structure of the book is unique and interesting. Tips and plans for setting up a new life abroad are related to the 1914 Antarctic expedition by Sir Ernest Shackleton, making the point that expatriation is similar to taking an expedition.
As many people will know, moving abroad can be chaotic and the authors aim to provide the reader with advice on things that they can control throughout the process. The book also has a checklist to help you prepare for the move.
Both authors have travelled since they were young and therefore are both very familiar with the relocation experience. Overall, it is a very valuable resource for anyone preparing to move overseas. Further info can also be found on the book’s website: The Mobile Life.
The Grown-Up’s Guide to Running Away from Home: Making a New Life Abroad
By Rosanne Knorr
Completing our expat book review, ‘The Grown-Up’s Guide to Running Away from Home’ is a comprehensive guide for any mid-lifer thinking of emigrating. Whether you’re moving for retirement or work, this book covers every stage of the process from decision making and planning to keeping in touch with family back at home.
Focusing on the specific needs of the over-50 émigré, Rosanne has bespoke advice on managing finances, house hunting and visas. The book is easy-to-read and well laid out, the perfect reference for mid-life expats.