Financial journalist Jess Bown made the move four years ago, when she left London and her job at the Sunday Times for the ski resort of Courcheval in the French Alps.
Here, she explains the highs and lows of turning your dream into a reality, and offers advice on how to make the move as painless as possible...
Finding the right location
I chose Courchevel because of its popularity with Russian tourists as, having studied Russian at university but never used the language in a work capacity, I was eager for an opportunity to put my language skills to good use.
I also spoke some French and loved skiing. What's more, 10 years of living in the smoky capital had left me yearning for a different lifestyle in a less built-up environment.
London, my work contacts, family and friends were also just a short flight away.
Think carefully about the reasons why you want to move somewhere and try not to get too carried away by beautiful scenery - especially if you can't speak the local language. Top tip:
There need to be work opportunities and you also need to think about how you will keep in touch with friends and relations.
Picking a destination which is miles from anywhere might seem romantic now, but it'll make seeing loved ones difficult, especially if neither you nor they are in a position to pay for expensive air fares. Financing your dream
Some of the thousands of Britons who leave the UK every year do so because they have been offered a job opportunity elsewhere in the world.
For the rest of us, however, it is vital to think carefully about how we will fund our "dream" lifestyles.
I was fortunate that my chosen career of journalism allowed me to work easily on a freelance basis from France.
However, given that this was my first attempt at going freelance, I accepted the offer of a part-time job in a ski school to supplement my income when I first arrived.
Having a fixed contract there gave me a bit of extra security while I found my feet in the freelance world.
It was also a great way to meet people - an important consideration, as loneliness could easily turn the dream into a nightmare - and it also helped me to improve my French.
I only took the job for the first winter season, though, as the freelance writing was soon going well enough for me to feel comfortable with it as my only source of income.
The only real downside, at the point when the pound reached parity with the euro anyway, was that all my freelance income was paid in sterling.
With the exchange rate moving from about €1.3 to £1 to €1 to £1, I therefore lost about a third of my salary simply because I spent in euros.
The pound is now somewhat stronger against the euro, although still weaker than it was. The current exchange rate is about €1.17 to £1.
And I have been able to protect myself against future fluctuations by asking one international online client to pay me in euros, and by taking on some writing work for magazines and websites based here in the Alps.
I know that many of the Britons "living the dream" in the eurozone have found it harder to adapt, with lots of people being forced to sell up and move back to the UK.
If you are planning to finance an overseas dream with a UK income, you must be aware of the impact that currency fluctuations can have - especially if the income is fixed, for example a payout from a pension scheme. Top tip:
You should also research how best to transfer your cash across.
This will depend on your individual circumstances. However, specialists such as Moneycorp generally offer better rates than high street banks, while anyone needing to withdraw cash overseas using a UK debit card should pick a current account such as Santander Zero that does not impose charges for such transactions. Buying a property
I bought my flat, in a small village just below Courchevel, two years ago, at the end of my second winter season.
Prior to that I had rented a room in a friend's house for the winters, spending the first summer in Tanzania and the second back in England.
I chose the village where I now live because, not only was property much cheaper than in the resort itself - luxury chalets in Courchevel can go for £60 million or more - but it is also a place with a great community spirit that is alive all year round.
However much you love skiing, mountain resorts can be pretty forlorn places out of the winter season, while beachside resorts can be very grey during the winter months.
I would therefore advise anyone considering an overseas purchase to visit the location at different times of the year before taking the plunge.
Researching the area thoroughly will help you to get an idea of how much you should pay for a property, as well as whether this is truly a place that you will enjoy living. Top tip:
You should also make sure that you understand the buying process in your country of choice, as it will not necessarily be the same as in the UK.
The French buying process, for example, involves paying a 10% deposit once the price has been agreed - often several months before the deal is completed.
This prevents gazumping but also means that you lose your money should you get cold feet. Learn the language
A lack of language skills can prove a problem, especially if you are trying to purchase a property overseas
My French was reasonable by the time I bought my flat but I still took a trusted friend, fluent in the language and with experience of buying property in France, with me to any important meetings.
Wherever you buy overseas, I would urge you to do the same if there is a language barrier. Otherwise, you may realise too late that things are not as they seemed.
There are UK law firms that specialise in overseas purchases, so this could be the best solution if you do not speak the language or have someone you trust to translate for you. Top tip:
When it comes to getting a mortgage, consider approaching a specialist mortgage broker such as Conti Financial, which will be able to compare deals from both UK banks and those based in your country of choice.
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