Dreaming of retiring to a life of year-round sunshine on the Spanish coast? Or perhaps you love the idea of joining the existing 1.3 million Brits working down under in Australia? Whether you already have a good idea of where you’d like to move to when the world opens back up again, or you just know that you’d like to settle down on foreign land at some point in the future, this list of the top 20 blogs from UK expats is a great place to get started.
An estimated 5.5 million British people live abroad permanently, creating hubs of UK expats all over the world. While COVID-19 and fears over freedom of movement being impacted due to Brexit may have slowed down the emigration of Brits in the past year or so, moving abroad to seek greener pastures is certainly still on many people’s bucket list for the future.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for moving to a completely new country is to hear some first-hand accounts of people who have been there, done that, and are now enjoying life in a new culture. With inside knowledge on settling down halfway across the world, the following blogs are all founded by UK expats who document their own experiences adjusting to life in a foreign country and the adventures that come with it.
We update this list regularly so if the destination you were thinking about moving to hasn’t been added yet it may appear in the future.
Australia is the most popular destination for UK expats, with over 1 million Brits currently living there. Australia is a popular choice for a number of reasons. First, the fact that it’s an English-speaking country is a big appeal for many expats, making things like finding a job, setting up a bank account to send money to Australia from home, and dealing with visa requirements much more straightforward.
Other reasons why Australia is so popular amongst Brits is the comparatively higher-salary job opportunities, warm climate, and rich wildlife – if you can deal with the inevitably bigger and scarier creepy-crawlies!
Some of the top blogs for UK expats based in Australia include:
In Search of a Life Less Ordinary (ISOALLO) is a blog started by Russell Ward, who left the UK in 2003 in a quest for less stress and a “fuller way of living life”. Whilst he was based in Sydney (now living in Squamish, B.C.), Russell produced some fantastic guides about expat life in Australia specifically but has also written extensively about moving abroad and creating a life with more emphasis on the things that matter, providing an inspiring read for anyone interested in stepping off the beaten path.
Getting Down Under was launched in 2006 by Mark, who moved to Australia in the same year with his wife, their 4-year old son, and two cats. Mark writes about everything from getting a visa in Australia to the best jobs for UK expats.
You might also find the forum on Getting Down Under helpful – with sections including ‘Thinking About Doing It’, ‘Made The Move’ and visa advice, this is a great way to connect with other expats and get your questions answered by people already living the lifestyle.
Fran Can was founded by Fran Cormack, who moved from Yorkshire to Australia and has documented his travels ever since. Fran’s blog provides some great insights into road trips and excursions other UK expats might love to try especially in the Perth area – and also gives an interesting insight into how he and his partner dealt with travel coming to a halt due to the pandemic.
Londoner in Sydney is packed full of excellent tips and resources for expats travelling around Australia. The site was founded by Annie and Steve in 2014, who started Londoner in Sydney with two main goals in mind. First, the site shares some amazing hidden gems for travelling around Australia, with detailed guides and videos to plan trips off the beaten path.
Secondly, Londoner in Sydney offers an insight into living in Australia as an expat, with tips on moving to the country, settling in, and a wealth of related guides.
Bob in Oz was founded after Bob moved to Australia from the UK permanently in 2007 with his wife, Karen, and their daughter, Elizabeth. The site includes over 1,000 guides all about life in Australia, as well as a number of posts and videos documenting the family’s experiences living in Australia as expats.
The benefits of living and working in Holland are clear to all – the country is ranked as one of the safest in the world, has excellent travel links to the rest of Europe, a great healthcare system, and countless beautiful cities to choose to settle in. You may need to check guidance on residency following Brexit.
Amsterdam, of course, is one of the top choices for UK expats to settle in the Netherlands, with its vibrant culture and winding canals providing a truly jaw-dropping backdrop to a move abroad. With flights from London to Amsterdam taking just over an hour, you can safely assume that transferring your money from the UK to Holland is just as fast. There are a number of excellent money transfer operators available to help you easily, quickly, and cheaply send money to the Netherlands for your move there.
Invading Holland was founded by Stuart, who moved to Amsterdam over 15 years ago for a job and has since settled down, got married, and started a family. This fun and quirky blog provides a hilarious insight into Stuart’s experiences living in Holland, learning Dutch, and some funny stories about life as an expat – all illustrated with cartoons Stuart draws himself.
Bitterballen Bruid is run by Hayley, who moved to the Netherlands in 2014 with a husband, who’s Dutch, and their cat, Paris. The website mostly focuses on the Hilversum and ‘t Gooi areas, such as things to do and places to eat – including, as you might expect, Bitterballen! There are also more general guides to life as an expat in Holland, however, that anyone considering a similar move may find particularly useful.
Turning Dutch was founded by Amanda Van Mulligen, who moved to the Netherlands from the UK in 2000 and writes about life as an expat as a mother of three, wife, and freelance writer/translator. Amanda’s blog explores a wealth of topics other potential expats may find helpful – from navigating motherhood and pregnancy in a foreign country, to making the most of living abroad.
Nether Netherland is run by Simone, who has been living in the Netherlands for the past three years. Simone writes about expat life, learning the language, dutch travel guides, and shares some beautiful pictures of her travels on her blog and Instagram page.
There are an estimated 360,000 British residents registered in Spain as of 2021, making Spain one of the most popular UK expat destinations in the world. It’s not hard to see why: Spain has countless beautiful beach towns with sunny weather to pick from, great food, and a laid-back way of life perfect for people seeking a life with less stress.
If you are worried about gaining residency in Spain following Brexit, check gov.uk’s official guidance for more information on what you need to know. Sending money to Spain when moving to the country is a very straightforward process, with a number of operators facilitating rapid transfers in a number of different ways.
Some of our top UK expat blogs for Spain include:
Piccavey has been running since 2011, and was started by Molly who moved from Nottingham to Spain in 1998, first living in Barcelona and later moving to Granada.
Molly’s blog revolves around practical advice for expats that may not always appear in the larger travel mags – things like where to eat like a local, the best places to stay and live, and cooking Spanish food from your own apartment.
Ohla Living is a lifestyle, travel, and personal blog run by Maria, a Filipino mom, wife, and website designer living in Valencia. Maria lived and worked in the UK for 23 years before moving to Valencia with her family for a slower-pace of life, and documents their travels, new discoveries, and lifestyle tips on the blog.
Spain for Pleasure was started by Josh in 2012 to help give other travellers and would-be expats an insight into living in Spain as a foreigner. Working as a blogger and English teacher in Granada, Josh documents his own travels, as well as some well-placed tips and tricks for anyone else considering the life of an expat in Spain.
Scribbler in Seville covers Seville travel tips, food and drink, family days out, expat guides and more. Fiona Watson is a writer, translator, guide, teacher, mother, and wife living in Southern Spain and uses her blog to cover everything you need to know about life as an expat in Seville.
Berlin is known for being a multicultural city with a creative spirit at its heart, and is extremely popular with expats, digital nomads, and backpackers seeking out a lower cost of living in a vibrant city that’s alive 24/7.
Many people choose to move to Berlin because of the increased job opportunities city-life offers, but the city is also known to be a great base for freelancers and location-independent workers. This guide shows some of the best ways to send money to and from Germany if you’re working with people around the world on a regular basis. To uncover some of the best hidden gems to do in Berlin, here is one of our favourite expat blogs:
The British Berliner is run by Victoria Ade-Genschow, who lives in Berlin with her husband and their son. This lifestyle blog follows Victoria’s experiences as an expat in Berlin as well as her wider travels around Europe.
Around 60,000 Brits are thought to live in Portugal – although the number of expats from around the world is closer to 900,000! Portugal has seen a significant increase in the number of foreigners immigrating to the country in the past few years, with the lower cost of living, masses of culture, sunny weather, and friendly people all being reasons why.
If you’re thinking of a move to Portugal, there are a number of things you’ll need to plan for. This includes visa requirements, purchasing a property, organising the transfer of funds to Portugal, and settling into a new culture. Some great blogs to help you with all of these things and more include:
This Portugal travel blog is packed with insider tips for anyone planning a trip to Portugal or considering a more long-term move to the country. Julie travelled around over 30 countries before finally settling in Portugal in 2007, where she met her husband, Mike. Julie’s blog features hidden gems that you won’t always find on the beaten tourist trail, as well as practical advice and resources for expats in Portugal.
Algarve Blog is run by Dave & Alyson Sheldrake, who share their story about moving from the UK to Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coast. The couple purchased their home in the Algarve in 2006 while still working and living in the UK, and finally moved permanently to Portugal in 2011, setting up their own businesses and settling into a quieter, less stressful way of life.
Living in the US is a popular choice for many Brits. Moving to another English-speaking country is a big attraction, making travel, job opportunities, navigating the culture, and really settling into a new community that bit easier. Converting pounds to dollars is an extremely popular exchange so you should have no trouble getting your funds to the US when moving there – our guide to sending money to the US details some of the best providers.
The US is a vast country with options for everyone: whether you’d prefer to settle down on the sunny beaches of California, immerse yourself in city life in New York, or explore the beautiful national parks in Utah, Oregon, and Colorado, to name just a few. Some of our top picks of expat blogs in the US include:
Lost in the Pond is a blog written by Laurence Brown, who moved to the US with his wife in 2008. Laurence’s blog and YouTube channel by the same name focus on the life of a Brit in America, highlighting the major differences between the two countries in an entertaining and lighthearted way.
Between England and Iowa is a travel and lifestyle blog founded by Kylie, a British expat living in Iowa, US. Her blog is packed full of resources on moving and working in the USA as an expat, adventures around Iowa and the Midwest, and plenty of information for anyone thinking about moving to the states anytime soon.
American Travel Blogger is a travel blog that focuses on travel tips all around the US as well as a few key highlights from trips abroad. The blog is run by Victoria, who is originally from Manchester and moved to New York city after a life-long love affair with the US in general – talk about the American dream!
New Zealand is a popular expat destination, with the great weather, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and low crime rate all major contributing reasons why. New Zealand’s currency is New Zealand Dollars (NZD), and there are a number of money transfer operators that can get your money from the UK to New Zealand quickly and cheaply – find the best ways to send money to New Zealand here.
Of course, moving countries isn’t just about money. You’ll want to know how to get the right visa, where to find job opportunities, as well as travel tips for really exploring this beautiful country to the fullest. Our top pick of UK expat blogs in New Zealand are:
Josie moved to Wellington, NZ, in 2016 and started her blog, Lost in Silver Fern, to document her move across the world and share some of her adventures in New Zealand with her readers. Her blog provides some great tips for moving to New Zealand and settling into life as an expat, and Josie’s photos are enough to convince anyone to consider a trip to this beautiful country!
If ‘live abroad’ is on your bucket list, but you don’t quite have the where nailed down yet, there are a number of more general expat blogs that you’ll still find helpful. The following blogs can provide a great overview of popular UK expat destinations, as well as tips and necessary information on visas, job opportunities, finding accommodation abroad, and how to make the most of immersing yourself in a new country.
This blog has some great travel guides for popular expat destinations, as well as useful info on shipping your belongings to the other side of the world (without paying a small fortune to do so!).
This is a great one-stop blog for expat guides, resources, and services whether you’re just considering a move or are already living abroad. Expat Info Desk also has a forum which can be helpful for connecting with other travellers.
The Expater was written for women abroad in mind, with a host of travel guides and tips to keeping safe when on the road. Nina also shares interviews and stories from other female expats on their own experiences living in a foreign country.
Featuring travel guides, packing lists, numerous destinations guides, and information on working abroad or running an online remot business, Where in the World is Nina has some useful tips for anyone considering living and travelling abroad.
The focus of this blog is community – bringing expats together to connect and make friends when living in an unfamiliar part of the world. With over 2 million members, this site can be useful if you’re feeling isolated as an expat and would like to meet some like minded people.
Covering financial matters such as pensions, investments, tax, and property tailored specifically towards expats living and working abroad, this website has numerous helpful blog posts and case studies to help you get your finances in order.
Expat Network lists jobs, events, guides, top destinations, money q&a’s and more, this long-standing blog has thousands of useful articles for would-be expats and those already living abroad alike.
We have provided every blog on this list with this badge, so they can proudly display that they are recognised for being one of the best expat blogs in the UK.
For a brief insight into how we picked the blogs listed in this guide, we considered the following criteria: