I know you’re overwhelmed with the endless internet scrolling and finding no useful information. You’re thinking there must be a better way.
Efficiently researching your new country is the key to finding reliable information. Here’s my advice…
You need to be mindful and focused when creating questions about moving abroad. Thoughtful questions will enable you to find the answers you truly need to make good decisions.
Let me explain this mindful question and answer process, using the very practical example of buying clothing.
Clothes no matter where you live is one of our basic needs, and will be an important part of your cost-of-living budget. Luckily there is a wealth of trustworthy information out there to help. For this example, we’ll call the country you’re moving to as Country X.
Research example for Country X
✓Your initial question: Are clothes expensive in Country X?
This is a very broad and vague question that will give you a range of online results from baby clothes to leather boots. This answer overload will leave you confused and overwhelmed with unnecessary information. But don’t be tempted to go on social media and ask this question, because you’ll get more opinions than actual facts, which again will leave you confused. You need reliable answers, not more questions.
Mindfully create your first question by defining the exact clothing category you want to research.
✓ Am I looking for basic clothing, casual clothing, outdoor wear, or more sophisticated clothes for special occasions?
I am looking to research casual clothes.
✓ Which brands will I research?
I will research the brands that I wear the most, Benneton and Gap.
Go to these websites in your home country and their websites for Country X. Look at the price differences. Use this source information to see for yourself if a pair of jeans are more or less expensive at Benetton or Gap in Country X than in your home country.
Now, take your newfound trustworthy answers to the social media channels and ask specific questions.
✓ On the Benetton and Gap websites in Country X, I found jeans for xxx price. Can someone tell me their experience shopping for jeans in Country X at Benetton and Gap?
Social media will play an interesting role to help you confirm your findings. The answers you receive will be the answers that will help you make decisions about Country X and how to reach your cost-of-living needs and goals when living there.
One more piece of advice I’d like to share…
It’s important to be mindful when we research any subject whether it’s about clothing or even politics, because we all have many cognitive biases. What I mean is that as human beings we all have this ability to create shortcuts in our thinking process. Confirmation bias is one of these many biases, when our minds automatically focus and absorb more information and remember more facts, if they confirm what we already believe.
You may discover during your research answers that don’t match with your expectations. Maybe jeans will be more expensive in Country X even though you expected all your expenses to be lower there. Don’t ignore the evidence, no matter how tempting it maybe to stick with this belief. Remember these company websites are your best direct source of information!
This may sound unbelievable, but I’ll give you an example unrelated to travel.
It is very common during elections to have many different political polls. The answers from these polls with have different results with different projected outcomes for who will win and which ballot questions will pass. All of us will retain the information from the poll that confirms the results we want or hope for from the election – a confirmation bias.
You can counteract this bias tendency by asking other people to look at your informational research. By having this outside person look at your questions and answers, they can help you realize if your conclusions are biased or unbiased. This will also give you an idea of the effectiveness of your research about clothing, destination costs for moving, or whatever you need to research for your move abroad.
It’s difficult to do this research and preparation on our own, especially since sometimes we don’t even know what we don’t know.
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