The Brits are out there! Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in 2005 indicated that an estimated 5.5 million Britons lived permanently abroad, that’s equivalent to one tenth of the country’s population. With an estimated 2,000 Brits moving abroad each week since then this figure has grown considerably.
A 2012 study by NatWest titled the International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index showed exactly where these British expats are living. Australia is the most popular destination with 1.4 million British expats, followed by Spain with 940,000, USA with 794,000 and Canada with 630,000. New Zealand has one of the highest proportions of expats with the 230,000-strong community making up 5% of the country’s total population.
With so many Britons living abroad it’s unsurprising that many have set up expat blogs or forums to communicate with friends and family back home as well as other British expats around the world. We’ve put together a list of some of the most prominent expat blogs and forums, that give a real idea of the expat experience, and which can also be used as a valuable tool for anyone moving abroad.
One of the best places to start if you are looking to find out more about moving abroad from an expatriate point of view is BritishExpats.com. This is both a content-driven site and forum with expats from all over the world asking questions such as “what foods do you miss the most from the UK?” and “where is the best place to rent a car in Brisbane?” Their archive of articles is also very helpful: “Transferring British Pension to Canada – Q & A” and 5 “Tips For Moving Abroad With Your Kids” are just two of the many topics they cover here.
Poms in Oz is a forum dedicated to people migrating to Australia, and with a strong British contingent. Many of the users are expats in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland, with migration issues always one of the hot topics. There are also plenty of specific groups in the forum for topics such as “Irish in Australia” and “Working in Australia.”
You can also find large continents of British expats on Meetup, a website dedicated to organising events and meeting new people. Two examples are the Sydney British Expats Meetup Group and the Melbourne British Expats Meetup Group, both responsible for arranging a host of events that will appeal to British expats in Australia.
British expats in the USA seem to be the best at keeping their blogs up-to-date and packed with interesting stories. From Sheep to Alligators is a prime example, featuring the exploits of Paul Goodman, who swapped North England for Florida. Stories such as “British TV vs American TV and how I watch BBC iPlayer in USA” and “Living in the USA: My Culture Shock Top 10” are prime fodder for those looking to move abroad or those who already call themselves expats.
One of the best British expat blogs in Spain is called rather imaginatively A Brit In Spain. This is a regularly-updated blog from a Brit couple living near Blanca, Murcia. Its depiction of the simple life in Spain is its main appeal.
More Expat Blogs and Forums
For a whole host of blogs from all across the world just visit Expat Blog, a site that currently hosts well over 5,000 blogs written by expats. If you’re a Briton who has recently moved abroad, maybe it will be your blog we feature in the near future.
The last word should really go to the Britannia Emigration Blog (https://www.britannia-movers.co.uk/emigration-blog) where you will find advice on the best expat destinations, tips for living abroad and everything else that may be of interest to the expat moving abroad.