Moving abroad made eas(ier) – 5 tips and thoughts

sydney Piercey moving abroad

This week on Instagram, I shared the news of my family and I moving abroad (indefinitely) to France. I received so many wonderful messages of congratulations, excitement and support as well as a lot of questions about how we had done it from people wanting to do the same. I’ve shared below the main ways we have been able to make a big dream come true, should they be helpful for those of you who are also rethinking life where you are.


My husband and I both being able to work remotely is the main thing that has made moving abroad possible. For so many of us, remote working through lockdown and the pandemic has shone a light on our working methods. From the number of meetings we have to the number of miles we travel. Workers worldwide have had and continue to amend and adapt the ways in which they work.

It has not always been easy to work and have our children at home and these tips by Addie have been a huge help. However for the most part, remote working has allowed for more family time, more flexibility and for our move abroad.

If there’s scope for your work to be done remotely, in theory, moving abroad is possible for you too. Speak to your directors or HR departments about this, so as to find out where your company stands.


I feel there is a big misconception that the only way to move abroad is ‘to sell up, pack up and start your life anew’. This idea can seem so scary and daunting. Of course for many, selling up is a necessity. Oh to be able to keep your home, and have a new one. Except that there are ways that this is possible and below are some ideas to explore.

  • Renting abroad – we have rented in France as opposed to buying which allows us the flexibility to move between towns and explore out here (before potentially picking somewhere permanent). Speak to letting agents abroad and consider letting holiday rentals long term for a less drastic way to relocate.
  • Rent out your house – similarly, renting your own house gives you flexibility too. Depending on where you are moving to and from, i.e. from a city to the middle of the countryside, it is very possible to be able to cover your overheads at home whilst working and affording elsewhere.
  • House exchanges –  here is another option for affordable relocation. There are so many verified websites, including one of our favourites Kid and Coe that offer this, and I know of friends who have had such successful experiences swapping homes overseas.


A bit like the first friend you make at school or a new job, it makes all the difference to have ‘a person’ when moving abroad, who can help and advise you as you navigate through the newness. This can be a friend or family member already living there, your agent, anyone who you feel comfortable inundating with messages and questions for help and advice.

We have used two agents to find our houses out here, both of whom have been invaluable to me. From helping us to find somewhere locally to replace my husband’s lost laptop charger, inviting me to a Pilates class so as to meet and make friends, and endless recommendations and suggestions on things I have asked for. Having an ‘insider’ to make you feel included and give you the lowdown is a must have in navigating what can otherwise feel a little isolating and a lot overwhelming.


Another thing that has made our move easy is the fact that it has been a dream of ours for so long. We were married in the region we have moved to, and had holidayed here many times before and after that. Our huge love for it has made the huge upheaval utterly worthwhile.

I am all for spontaneity and adventure, but do believe for a move to be successful your heart must be in it. It is important that you move to a place you feel comfortable and can truly seeing yourself living (not just on holiday). Whilst it is easy to romanticise life abroad, and think of the obvious benefits, do give consideration to the things that give you joy where you are. For example, where will your new local pub be? What will you do instead of your Tuesday evening spin class? (My husband has swapped pulled pints for rosé and I’ve swapped spinning for swimming!)

The pandemic has actually been practice for many of us in managing without life’s luxuries. But do think of the things that make up life where you are, and whether (long-term) you can do without them, or do them differently, abroad.


Lastly of course, is the biggest but most important one. It’s the being brave, the having faith and the taking of the leap. Any and all change can feel scary, and this is definitely a big one to make. Following your dreams may not always be easy, but will always be worth it.

Do be brave, do be kind to yourself with your emotions, (beforehand and when you arrive) and do enjoy! I am a firm believer of enriching your life by taking risks and embracing change. I can also personally vouch for the magic that awaits from moving abroad.

Best of luck!

Sydney x

P.S. I love hearing of other people’s experiences of moving abroad. I’ve been so inspired by my many of my fellow contributors, almost all of whom have moved abroad with their families. I would love to hear of your experiences or considerations so do please share in comments!


Comments (3)

September 22, 2020

I moved from Spain to the UK last year and the Internet makes everything easier, although it’s not easy to make local friends.

Sydney in Provence
November 12, 2020

Hi! Yes I totally agree- the internet definitely makes things easier! I have found it tricky to meet people locally too (especially during lockdown) but joining a local pilates class was fun!

Nancy Stone
June 30, 2022

Happy for you! I’ve wanted to move abroad for a long time. Curious how you did it. I didn’t think americans are wanted by European countries. Are either of you a citizen of a European country? Or, are your jobs affiliated overseas. I’m happy for you. The quality of life is so vastly different than in the US. My kids are grown now. I’d love to move abroad & take them with me! Thanks 💗

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