  Chapter 

Despite the large number of people actually taking the leap and emigrating to another country, there’s another big group that postpones the move. Sometimes indefinitely. What are their reasons?

  • Selling their house proves more difficult than anticipated resulting in a lack of financial means which then throws a spanner in the works;
  • Finding a job or other means of making ends meet is proving slow and difficult;
  • Obtaining the correct documentation such as a work or residence permit or medical papers takes longer than expected;
  • The nuts and bolts of handing over to your successor or signing over your company to a new owner is more time consuming than anticipated;
  • A local qualification course, training or education has not yet been completed;
  • Significant life events of your nearest and dearest, such as the birth of a child, kids moving into a new home or health issues of close family members, prevent you from packing up just yet.


All those reasons not to go, postponing the big leap. People trying to convince me to stay. In the end, I followed my guts and managed to, albeit with heavy heart, leave everyone and everything behind. A tough decision at the time, but one I’m incredibly happy with at present.

- Colombia emigrant


In hindsight, I’m really happy I got to give both my parents the palliative care they needed and deserved. It wasn’t until both passed on that my emigration plans came to full fruition. It saved them unnecessary heartache but it definitely also did me a lot of good.

- Canada emigrant


There have been some heated discussions. My husband wants to emigrate sooner rather than later but we agreed we’d stay put until both our kids had graduated. I’m happy that despite the disagreements, we’ve always kept communicating. My husband now spends intermittent time in Portugal to prepare the house and get it ready for us to move in but we won’t move until everyone is ready.

- Portugal emigrant


When our emigration plans started to take shape, all three of our children were still in school. Now we’re just waiting for our daughter to take her final exams. After that, she’s off to college and will move into student accommodation. We’ll give her a few months to settle in and then we’re finally ready for the big move. One of our dear family friends will act as a back-up parent once we’ve left. Because of the cheap flights from Portugal, we’ll be able to come over frequently to make sure our kids are doing well and they’ll be able to jump on a flight whenever they want to see us.

- Portugal emigrant


What proved difficult at times, is that not just long term but also mid-term planning was put on hold. Every decisions seemed to have an effect on our prospective move. Should we fix that wall in our temporary home, take a pet, do some work on the garden, buy study materials for next year? It all caused quite a bit of turmoil.

- Australia emigrant


Changes of finding employment via traditional routes is slim to none. It’s all about your network. So now whilst still working in my country, I make regular visit to Madeira to network, meet people and build and maintain contacts. I learn a lot, specifically from other immigrants who already life and work in Portugal. It won’t be long ‘till I’ll follow suit!

- Portugal emigrant



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