Besides helping wedge your foot in the overseas employment door, Watson said, paying a visit to the region you're considering making your new home "helps you solidify that you really can live in that culture. It's kind of a nice beta test."
That's what a New York City museum registrar I'll call "Anna" did.
"I visited London about 15 times before moving here," said Anna, who relocated to the UK in 2007. Not only did she cultivate a cadre of friends during those visits, she freelanced at several European art fairs for the art shipping company that now employs her full time.
No job search would be complete without a healthy amount of detective work. Use the Internet, your conversations with international contacts and your visits abroad to gather as many insider details as you can about the world you're hoping to enter. (Remember, they call it "culture shock" for a reason.)
"Find out what the lifestyle's going to be," said Margo Schlossberg, a marketing professional from Vienna, Va. who recently spent three years working in Jakarta.
"In Indonesia, you do have a wonderful lifestyle, but there are floods certain times of the year, the infrastructure is bad and there's a lot of government corruption."
Don't stop with politics, transportation and the weather though. U.S. expats say it's essential to also look into the nation's health care system, attitudes toward leisure time and the employment taxes you will be paying -- both abroad and to Uncle Sam.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some airfares and exchange rates to look into.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer and former cubicle dweller. Her books include "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire," and, "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube." Follow her at @anti9to5guide.