I Once Made A Mix Tape I Called “Wandering”
Much to my family's chagrin, I have always had a case of the wanderlust. I've always had a sense of longing to get to the next experience that life has to offer. Maybe living in the “grass is greener” mindset, which, frankly, can be detrimental.
Now, I have reached a level of satisfaction since moving to southern Utah that I have never really had in my life. We've lived here longer, and myself personally, have been here longer than anywhere before. Our community is warm and welcoming. Our neighborhood is fantastic. Simply put, I feel like I've found home.
That said, the strong pull of wandering still raises its head from time to time, which is why I didn't surprise myself on the radio show this morning as saying that I frequently give consideration to spending my post working life outside of the United States. It seems almost unpatriotic to even make the suggestion, and I can see the finger pointing now like “why do you hate our country?” I really don't. The founding principles of the U.S. are precious to me. But to turn the phrase from the sixties inside out “America, love it (I do), or leave it (I might - at least for a good portion of the year).”
I've talked with some who have become expatriates or “expats” and they have some compelling stories to tell, and some online searches provide possibilities that are worthy of consideration.
When we brought the subject up on the morning show, we had a caller tell us they were in the process right now of building a home in Mexico, so I'm not alone in my thoughts.
Becoming an expat, or an expatriate, means choosing to live outside of one's native country. This can be for various reasons, such as work opportunities, cultural exploration, or personal relationships.
But, if you're considering becoming an expat, there are a many things to keep in mind and here are a few.
Research, research, research! Research the country you plan to move to. Learn about the local culture, customs, language, laws, and economic situation. It will most likely be different than what you are used to. This will help you better prepare for your move and avoid any potential culture shock.
Secure your finances. Even if the area you are looking to move to has a lower cost of living, make sure you have a solid financial plan before moving abroad. This may include setting up a local bank account, understanding the local currency, and budgeting for any additional expenses.
Obtain necessary visas and documentation. Check the necessary visa requirements for the country you plan to move to and obtain any necessary documentation, such as a passport and work permit. Find out how long you can stay there without obtaining citizenship.
Network and connect with others. Join expat communities, online forums, or social groups to connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. This can help you navigate your new surroundings and ease any feelings of homesickness.
Embrace new experiences. Being an expat can be, in fact I daresay will be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Try to embrace new experiences, learn from your mistakes, and be open to new perspectives and ways of living.
Overall, becoming an expat can be a life-changing experience that allows you to broaden your horizons and learn about new cultures. However, it's important to be prepared, do your research, and remain open-minded.
I mentioned that our caller to the show was building a home in Mexico. Here are some of the potential benefits of being an expat in that country.