Could becoming an expat be the key to living a happier life?

27 August 2018

If you’re one of the 232 million people living outside of their country of origin¹, you might already know how moving to a new country can lead to a happier, more fulfilled life. For those about to start their life abroad, the outlook is certainly positive. Whether you’re looking to move abroad for work, to retire or for a better quality of life, our expat research² showed that 94.9% of people who moved for a new adventure thought it lived up to some or all of their expectations.

Family moving boxes into a new home

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So how could becoming an expat make you happier?

Expat life can open up new opportunities and experiences that may not have been available (or as appealing) at home. 

Popular expat destinations like Australia and New Zealand give expats the opportunity to make the most of the weather and scenery, living a more active lifestyle. 53% of expats questioned in HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey2 in New Zealand, and 50% in Australia, said they take part in more outdoor activity than before they’d relocated. 

Expats in countries like Thailand or China may feel encouraged to break out of their comfort zones and learn new skills by immersing themselves in the culture and the language. And if you’re an expat looking for a deeper/human connection, the HSBC survey found that the Philippines is the top destination for building relationships.

Whether you’re thinking of becoming an expat or you’re already settled abroad, the key to happiness might be found by pushing your boundaries and trying something new. Here are just a few ideas for you to try:

  • Take the first step and sign up to a language class
  • Join an expat group or forum and become part of a community who share your aspirations
  • Embrace the local cuisine by trying a new dish
  • Book a trip and explore somewhere that you haven’t visited before
  • Have a go at a sport you might not try at home – whether that’s hiking or bungee jumping - the choice is yours.



¹ - How many expats are there?

²HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, 2017