LIFESTYLE: ARE YOU THINKING OF MOVING ABROAD?

Many people today are realising the miracle of being self employed and taking their jobs on the road, or moving their jobs from one city or country to another. There is a huge world out there and exploring and travelling can open it all up for you; but perhaps you’re wanting to take the plunge and move for a year or more. How easy is it and what do you have to look at before making this monumental decision?  Of course there are quite a few legalities to look at when you’re wanting to emigrate, but there are many other things to look at first also. Let’s take a look at the simplicity vs complexity of moving abroad. 

Photo: Pixabay

Can you afford it? This is firstly the question you need to ask yourself. You probably already have a job that you can transfer abroad, or maybe you just want a working visa and will find the work once you are there, but some countries would not accept this and also some countries have incredibly painstakingly intricate processes for moving, some of which include your finances and how much money you’re planning on taking into the country to prove that you are able to look after yourself (and your family if you’re going as a group), when you’re there. If you’re able to provide your work documents and bank statements easily, then this shouldn’t be a problem, but do you really have the funds to ensure that you will be able to stay afloat. If you’re tapping into your savings, do you have enough to carry you through the amount of time you’re wanting to stay in your chosen country. Food, accommodation, social money, travel money and any taxes and charges that may occur when you’re there. Planning methodically and strategically week to week will help you work out your finances to make sure you’re truly financially stable enough to move. Sometimes your work visas and your documents will cost a set amount too, but there are ways to apply for visas that are quick. Certain countries have easier entry requirements, the EU zones up until Turkey at the start of the Middle East and cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman and it is easy to apply for an Oman Visa. 

Are you moving away from what your comfort blanket? Where you live now will have probably shaped you to an extent as a person. You most likely have family and friends in the town you inhabit at this point, and the question is are you completely sure that you're ready to embark on a new journey and leave your friends and family behind. It’s important to have lots of conversations about this in the upcoming months before you move, to ensure that they’re happy with it, and that they appreciate that this is exactly what you’re wanting in life. Family will of course worry and undoubtedly there will be mutual sad emotions when you leave, but keeping them in the loop and telling them your dreams and passions for moving will probably help them understand a little. Are you emotionally prepared to move to a city where you may not know anyone and do you have a strategy in place of how you’re going to integrate in your chosen destination. Where do you want to see yourself in the first few months of your stay. Do you want to have a group of friends within six months? Would you like to find other expats from the same country and share some common ground? Making social plans is important and if you have children, look at groups they can join and how they can become involved. If you’re moving to a non English speaking country, look for the local English speaking groups, you will usually find something in every country. 

Photo: Pixabay

Do you know all the rules of the country? You’ve chosen a country, a city and probably a specific location for your accommodation. Have you fully researched where you’d like to stay? We may look at moving to a specific capital city but within the city, there may be rules and regulations you weren’t aware of, or even a specific type of crime that you didn’t know existed. For example, what are the crimes rates for burglary like? Do you need permits to park? Are there any areas that are completely off bounds at certain times or closed private roads that could lead to fines if you breach any of the rules. Making note of this and making contact with local police can be very helpful to gather a good positive image in your mind of what your neighbourhood is like. If you visit the city, go into the shops in the area and ask them, find out the basics. Just because somewhere looks beautiful at first glance, doesn’t mean it may not have other issues. Safety first is key when youre looking to move abroad and it may be something that you haven't even thought of! 

Have you prioritised your health? When we travel, we do not need to think about registering with clinics or chemists for our prescriptions - we most often have travel insurance which covers us for any mishaps but when you’re moving abroad for long periods, it’s important to note exactly how you’re going to take care of your health if you fall ill. Even if it is something as simple as the flu or a chest infection and you need medication, how are you going to be prescribed these tablets? Some countries will offer free healthcare which may be included in your visa but it’s worth fully researching so you’re not caught out, especially if you are out of the EU zone. In America for example, they offer acute care clinics but you must make sure that this too is included in your visa and health insurance before you go to avoid any kind of hefty bills afterwards. Taking risks with your health isn’t worth it and neither is taking risks with laws.

So, with all the above covered, are you still thinking of moving abroad? The world is a big, bold and beautiful place so there is no reason to fear it, but it is important to be completely aware of all the implications of moving, as well as the emotional and physical upheaval of changing your atmosphere and world. Is it time for a change? You decide! 







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LIFESTYLE: MY INTERIOR WISHLIST- PASTELS



I'm really into pastel interiors at the moment, we have a blush theme going on in our living room and I don't see it going anywhere soon! I just love it, it's warm and makes our living room really cosy. We rent so our walls are white so I like to add colour where I can. I really want to get some new bits for our living room so I've put together a little wish list of some of my favourite pieces. I've gone for a colour scheme of grey, white, pale blue and blush pink.  

I've tried to add different textures, I would love a mixture of pink and grey cushions on the sofa. I love this fluffy grey cushion from Next. These suede effect blush curtains are so lovely, they look super expensive and look amazing with this fluffy pink rug!  

How beautiful is this Duck Egg Blue sofa from Zurleys it's from their Scandinavian furniture collection. I just love it!! I love the clean, simple style. I would add loads of cushions to add texture.  
I think the blue and pink look fab together and I love some of the Velvet and fluffy textures look beautiful together. I think some plants and candles would tie everything together for an amazing scandi inspired look. The colour is just gorgeous but it also comes in Grey.  

I think the sofa would love fab next to this velvet pouffe from John Lewis, it comes in loads of colours so perfect for any colour scheme.  

I think this rattan basket  from Amazon is fab for any living room, you can use it to keep your blankets in or even toys if you have a little one like me. Again it adds texture to the room, I think rattan is fab to adds to the Scandinavian inspired living space I'm after.  
  
These Scandinavian side tables are really modern, but the natural wood dipped legs add to the Scandinavian vibe i'm trying to create.  
They also come in Grey. You can use them as a nest of tables or split them up and use them in different areas of the room.  

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LIFESTYLE: 6 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS TO HELP YOU GROW AS A PERSON




New year’s resolutions are a great chance to turn over a new leaf, set some intentions for the year ahead and provide yourself with SMART goals to work towards. Many people stick to the same set of resolutions, to lose weight, to exercise more, to earn more money or to be more healthy and although these aren’t bad resolutions to have, most people don’t stick to them. So why not try something a little bit different this New Year and set yourself some new year’s resolutions that will help you grow as a person. Here are a few examples. 

  1. To travel more
    Whether planning a round the world trip has always been on your bucket list or you simply want to take a few more European weekend breaks, set it as a new years resolution and then make it happen. Travelling is a great way to grow as a person and will open your eyes to new cultures and ways of doing things.
  2. To give back
    Giving back to your local community by either volunteering your time or making a regular financial donation can impact the lives of so many people in need and is a great way to remind yourself how fortunate you are to be in a position to help. Just a few hours of volunteering a month can make a big difference.
  3. To practice self-love regularly
    Self-love is a term that has been thrown around a lot in recent years but it remains an important part of personal growth. Learning to look after and love yourself is at the core of so many other areas of personal development so why not make your new years resolution to simply do something for yourself each week and to be more positive about yourself.
  4. To learn something new
    Unless it’s learning something new for work, many of us tend to neglect the act of learning as we enter adulthood. But learning a new skill not only provides you with a new party trick but is also a great way to challenge yourself and expand your mind. Learning something new is a great new years resolution as it is diverse, you could learn a new language, take piano lessons, or teach yourself to knit, whatever it is, do it for you.
  5. To say ‘yes’ more
    One of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and grow your confidence is by saying yes to more things. Whether it’s saying yes to going out for a meal when you would rather stay in bed or saying yes to taking charge of a project at work that you’d usually let someone else handle, saying yes will help you try new things and push yourself.
  6. To say ‘no’ more
    If on the other hand, you are constantly finding yourself overwhelmed with things to do or are neglecting your own self-care to do things for others, then it may be time to start learning to say no more. Saying no can be hard but it’s important to realise that your time is precious and you need to look after yourself first in order to be best positioned to look after others.
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LIFESTYLE: 4 THINGS YOU COULD BUY YOUR FOUR LEGGED FRIEND THIS CHRISTMAS


The UK is a nation of animal lovers with 24% of the UK population owning a cat and 26% owning a dog meaning that there are currently more pets in UK households than ever before. Our four-legged friends are often so much more than just a pet, they’re a friend, a loved one and a member of the family with people splashing out £250,000,000 during the festive season on Christmas gifts for their pets. So a gift guide for our furry friends suddenly doesn’t seem all that out of place? Here are 4 things you could purchase your pet this Christmas. 

  1. Some tasty high-quality food
    Most animals think with their stomachs so buying them some tasty, natural, high-quality food from companies such as Lilys Kitchen is bound to go down a treat and your pets will thank you for it. Most commercial pet food is filled with ingredients that are neither nutritional or balanced for your pet so looking into higher quality food alternatives won’t only keep your pets tastebuds happy but could help to prologue their life too.
  2. A subscription to a Pawsome Box
    Out pets, love treats all year round and subscription box services such as Pawsome Box ensure that they get a seasonal selection of tasty treats and tantalising toys all year round, not to mention there are some things in there for the owners too. Pawsome Boxes can be customised to suit your pet so whether they are a cat or dog, big, small, young or old, there will be a selection of custom treats coming their way each month.
  3. A donation to an animal charity
    Although we love seeing our pets play with new toys on Christmas day why not also help provide for one of the thousands of pets in animal shelters over the Christmas period by donating a portion of your pets Christmas present budget to charities such as the RSPCA where £3 can buy an abandoned pet a Christmas dinner on Christmas day. With 90% of pet owners buying their pets gifts on Christmas day if each of them donated just £3 to an animal charity they could collectively raise a huge amount of money to help pets in need.
  4. The chance to try out something new
    Although we like to buy our pets a physical gift, let’s be honest, many of them also just love the process of ripping apart wrapping paper and playing with it on the floor, so you could wrap them up an empty box if you chose to get them a gift that isn’t something they can immediately play with on Christmas day. People aren’t the only ones who like to try something new, our pets do too, so why not give them the opportunity to experience something fun and exciting in the new year such as subscribing your dog to a series of dog agility classes, or taking your cat to a cat yoga class? There are so many pet based activities that you could choose from which will not only enrich your pets life but help to strengthen your bond with them too.

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LIFESTYLE: TOP TIPS FOR ADDING VALUE TO YOUR HOME

f you are looking to add value to your home, then there are a whole host of things that you could do. From a complete renovation to just updating a room, there are plenty of options for you, depending on your budget. You don’t need to have to plan to sell your home anytime soon, but knowing that you have more value in your home can make such a difference; your home is an investment after all. 

There are certain projects that will not only be able to boost the kerb appeal of the home, which can seal the deal when you’re showing potential buyers. But they don’t need to cost a lot of money, even if they can help to make you some money. The work of builders is a lot that you will be paying for, so make sure that you choose people to do the work that you are really happy with. Then it can all make a difference to the value and quality of your home.


Put Structural Issues Right

One of the best ways to add value to your home is to sort out any of the structural problems that come from wear and tear in the home. There can be issues like subsidence, and these kinds of things can really lower the value of the home. Plus, it doesn’t make sense to overhaul so much of the inside of the home, if the outside, or structural issues, aren’t dealt with first. Put your mindset in that of a prospective buyer; will they want a brand new kitchen if there is subsidence or issues with the basement, for example? 

New Heating System

If you are thinking about adding some value to your home, then one simple things that you can do is to look at what you already have; your heating system. There are many homes that don’t even central heating, so if you have an older home like that, then that can be the first thing to do. You could have a system that needs updating; either way, it will make a big difference and help to add value to your home. A new central heating system can also help to make the home more energy efficient.

Convert Your Loft

A loft conversion can cost quite a bit of money, depending on the size of the loft space. But when you think about adding value to the home, then it is likely to be something that is a good investment because you can add in a brand new room. You will need to make space for a new staircase, though, too. But a loft conversion can add so much value to the home, and definitely make its money back. Make sure enough natural light can be brought in too, as that can make a real difference to the overall look and feel of the room. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adding value, but there are plenty of different things that you can do if you’re prepared to invest in it.


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