JAPA: Disadvantages of living abroad from Nigeria

If you want Japa, please Japa. I am not saying you shouldn’t japa.

They can tax so much – eh you want to cry
And sleep. Your own money goes to tax and more tax.

You are not really the owner of your property because of tax. Property tax is something else.

Child support payment na another thing on its own- if you like woman, please be careful not to have many baby mama e get why.

Nigerians back home cannot understand until they come here and experience themselves.

I remember when my cousin was warning me about the Uk. I thought he was talking nonsense until I came and experienced reality. Experience is the best teacher
If you are doing well in Naija, please stay and visit. If you are struggling, then please Japa.

What are the pros and cons of living abroad?
It depends if you are moving for financial or non financial reasons, and how long you move for.

If you are moving for a short period of time when you are young, there are seldom many negatives.

Few people regret studying abroad for a year, doing an internship or a gap year.

When it comes to longer-term assignments, financial considerations are important for most people.

The major positives associated with moving abroad are

If you work for a multi-national, there are sometimes bigger packages abroad, especially in frontier markets due to hardship allowances. For instance, if you are an oil & gas engineer working in Canada or Norway, you are likely to be paid more if you move to Nigeria or Myanmar on a two-year contract.
For business owners, the world markets are always a bigger opportunity than just only focusing on the local market. Whilst it is true that you can target people online successfully, a stint overseas will teach you about other cultures, give you fresh ideas and so on.
New languages and skills will help you if you move back to your home country
If you are high-net-worth you can save a lot on taxes if you move to certain countries, and do the right planning

The main negatives are

In your home country you get back ended benefits. In low-tax countries overseas, you get front ended benefits. What do I mean by that? In your home country, you might feel you are being weighed down by the taxes. However, you get back some of that money when you get old or are sick as per the graph below:

In comparison, if you have more money from lower taxes, you get front ended benefits. This can be great, but only if you are self-disciplined enough to save and invest more.

However, plenty of people in low taxes countries like the UAE and Singapore don’t do that, as many studies have shown
Career wise, you will be behind your peer back home, if you don’t use your time overseas wisely.
What are the pros and cons of teaching abroad?
What are the advantages or disadvantages of living and working abroad?
What are the pros and cons of moving back to your home country after living abroad?
What are the pros and cons of living in your country?

What are the pros and cons of moving abroad, and where are some good places to live?
Let´s start with the cons to get that out of the way first

The more countries you have lived in, the more you loose a sense of belonging (at least I feel that way). I have lived in 9 different ones and although I have of course great memories and part of my heart is in all of them, I feel I belong nowhere and certainly not in my home country anymore either.

After so many years I crave a sense of belonging, a base to call home (even if it just means to be there a couple of months a year), friends I do not have to say goodbye to every few months or years. And no, to stay in touch on Social Media is not the same at all, I personally create bonding through shared experiences and not by living in past memories.

If you move a lot and you know you will not be in a place for a very long time, you wonder if it makes sense to emotionally invest in relationships and friendships and I think sometimes relationship become more superficial because building them takes time and commitment and you know you will leave again and who wants heart breaks.

Depending on your age group, aging parents back home suddenly become a concern. One is far away and cannot just jump in a plane and is home in one hour. A sense of guilt sets in even if your loved ones give you no reason to feel guilt and its only in your head. And you also realize time becomes more precious and one is far away.

When you get home you realize your friends are more or less still the same, they have aged too, might have created a family, changed jobs, etc. but essentially they are still the same. You on the other hand have changed, its unavoidable. Your horizons have widened and you might not have that much in common with old friends anymore. There is a sense of loss and sadness.

Depending on where you are abroad, romantic relationships can take a back seat. If an independent western single women in her late twenties or thirties comes for example to Asia with the hope to not only find professional opportunities and adventures but also a partner to create a family with, I would say, think twice, your choices will be limited, but that is a topic for a different question.

The longer you are in a certain region the more difficult it will be to go back to your home country if you ever want to return, because your skills and experiences will become more bankable in your new country than in your home country. If your business is online it’s a different story of course.

Loneliness can also be an issue. If you do not consider yourself the love of your life and enjoy time alone too, you will struggle, because it is unavoidable that there will be moments when you will be alone, especially if you just arrive in a new place. And when you get sick its also not exactly fun.

Constantly having to let go is sad, at least for me. I do not like to let go of things, people, places that entered my heart, but sometimes life changes and there is nothing you can do about it.

In many places (such as Singapore, Dubai for example) people are in transit, they stay for a couple of years and then they move on, you might loose a job and the work permit that goes with it and the list goes on. If you have no plan B, the stress level rises.

You feel often disconnected if you do not speak the local language, but might also not live there long enough to really fluently communicate. Some languages especially for westerns are just not so easy to learn (thai is one of them).

The frustration you feel when you start learning a new language and can only express yourself like a 2 year old in the body and with the mind of a grown up person.


Personally I also feel sometimes alone, when there is nobody who shares a certain sense of humor. Humor is often very different and culture specific. I can laugh my head off about certain things or situations and my colleagues just look at me and wonder what that is all about.

And they laugh about certain things and I cannot see what is funny about it either. Laughing is also about bonding with people, so I can say sometimes I miss bonding over a shared sense of humor.

Now that we are done with some of the cons, lets talk about the wonderful pros.

You change for the better

You become more tolerant

You become a better Ambassador of your home country when you return. I swear, whenever I return home, I am particularly friendly to anybody who is foreign, I feel so connected because I am a foreigner in other countries too, so I want them to feel welcome and leave with good memories.

Once you have lived abroad, this place will never ever be just a dot on the map. It will penetrate your memory, it will become part of your history, if you disliked your experience or loved it does not matter, it will never leave you indifferent anymore.

You develop courage and learn how to overcome obstacles

You learn to rely on yourself

You realize that essentially all people in the world are the same, we are just shaped by different education, background, beliefs, etc. but we all want to be respected, loved, heard and acknowledged.

You become more flexible (you just have to)

You age slower, because whenever you learn or see something new it feels the days are much longer and more intense. Every day is a new adventure and there is less routine.

Everywhere I go there is something I love and I weave it into my personality to take it with me. It is like as I go along, I create a more interesting and better version of myself (at least I think that, but that is a good start).

You learn to judge less and listen more.

You will feel more emotionally connected to the world.

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