Ever Consider Becoming An Expat????

ex·pa·tri·ate

 verb \ek-ˈspā-trē-ˌāt\

To withdraw oneself from residence in or allegiance to one’s native country.  

I often dream about it…

Not because I do not love the States but for the simple fact of being able to live a slower lifestyle and having a higher standard of living and more than likely in a tropical location. 

And it is not just for the retired, it is for anyone who desires a different lifestyle.  Just because you move does not mean you cannot work.  Many people mistake that concept because the majority of people who move overseas are retired and have their set income.  

But for someone like me (28)…the world is my playground!

Could you do it?

“Moving to a foreign country is a lot like raising children. It’s harder than you think it’s going to be, and better than you can imagine!” Lisa Condle, Huffington Post

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Here are a few things to consider:

Speaking the language – can you communicate in the country you are moving to?  

Alone time – if you decide to move by yourself I suggest you get used to being by yourself first.  Take a few trips (far away) and see how you handle yourself.

Inconvenience – no matter where you move to things will be different than they are in the States.  Majority of the time much slower…Things you could get done in an afternoon here you should plan on two else where.  Americans move very fast so enjoy the slow down and relax. 

Moving with children – what is the health care system like in the country of your choice?  Will you home school them or enroll them?  Can they speak the language?

Starting a business overseas – get all your ducks in a row first.  Visa info, tax info, permit info, a good attorney, funds lined up, foreign bank account etc. 

Finding work – assuming you will have to have money you need to research the Visa requirements, how friendly the country is to foreign workers, any industries off-limits, any age restrictions, what does the Visa get you and how long does it last..etc. 

A new attitude – this may be the hardest.  Changing the way you handle things.  You have been in the States since you were born, meaning you handle things a certain way.  Living abroad you are going to need to know how to laugh at yourself and let go of any concern you have about embarrassing yourself.  It is going to happen.  Things are going to take longer so exercising patience and enjoying your surroundings will now be a part of what happens.  There will be many times when you cannot communicate with someone – do not get angry.  You are in there world so just pace yourself.  

Embracing your emotions – if you are even considering becoming an expat is it because you want to live a life different than what you have now.  Part of the new adventure is dealing with all the crazy emotions you are going to face and enjoying each and every moment.  Always remember that whatever you are feeling is ok and that you will become stronger because of it.  What you are going to be doing is probably something you will never be doing again and something others probably dream of so recognize it for what it is and smile.  

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Expat friendly countries

What makes a country attractive enough to makes us want to move there?  

Latin American Countries and Mexico
Well, for starters these countries allow the American Dollar to be spread a lot further.  You can live comfortably in Ecuador for $2,000 a month and that includes rent, utilities, a house keeper and dining out.  Just because you live outside of the United States does not mean you have to live like it.  Many times you can live better than you do on your home soil and in tropical oasis’s.  

Europe 
You probably do not believe that you can retire in some European towns and live better than you could in a small town here.  One, the health care is much better than in the States.  Two, can you imagine paying $50,000 for a quaint seaside house in Italy?  Well you can.  And it is not just Italy that offers opportunities like that but also France, Switzerland, Germany – it just all depends on what you want.  

So essentially, cheaper real estate and lower cost of living plus better health care are the top three reasons why people choose to live abroad.  

Taken from hobotraveler – a travel community website
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I suscribe to the International Living magazine and I would suggest doing the same if you are serious about moving abroad.  It is written by expats and provides a ton of information on all destinations making it a great research method before you leave. Remember research, research, research!

Expat Exchange is useful as well. It offers a job searching database, expat banking, finances, healthcare, blogs etc. And it is free, every bit counts when you are saving to move abroad! 



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