My First Step In Becoming An American Expat
November 11, 2013 by admin
Where and when, in my journey of ten-thousand miles (and counting) did I decide to become an expat? And exactly what is that, anyway?
Well, an expat is still a loyal American and isn’t leaving this country in a huff to make a statement of protest. In fact, those who move offshore are upstanding senior citizens, with family and property in the U.S., seeking ways to live well on their retirement income in countries where the dollar stretches to allow a far-better lifestyle than is possible here at home.
Right now, I’m luxuriating at the Hilton Phoenix Mesa Hotel, on the first day of International Living’s Fund Your Life Overseas three-day Conference. In less than three weeks, I’ll be exploring Montevideo, Uruguay, as a new American expat, and I’ll take you with me, step-by-step, into my new life. Where will I live? Who will I know? What will fill my days? Will I actually learn Spanish this time?
Today is the first day of the rest of my life! Yikes!
I’ll write about it all, naturally; but it dawned on me that I should also capture this adventure visually. I’m even thinking of buying a camcorder to tape my reports from ground zero. Maybe, someday, you’d like to follow in my footsteps? Possibly, I can help you to take heart and make your own retirement-enhancing opportunities. Believe me, I couldn’t have done this alone. I wouldn’t have known where to start.
My Social Security has funded two year-long meandering solo journeys around this globe, but I’d never have had a clue that the Expat Opportunity even existed if I hadn’t stumbled upon INTERNATIONAL LIVING MAGAZINE, (IL), http://www.InternationalLiving.com, about two years ago. My latest trip around the Southern Hemisphere took me to the West Coast in July, 2012, to head across the Pacific. When I learned that IL’s Travel Writing Conference in San Francisco coincided with my schedule, I signed up for it as an obvious way to turn my passion for global wandering into an income stream. It would certainly help justify these itchy feet if they kicked up a little cash, now and then.
But the conference did so much more than hone my interest in travel writing. After all, I was already a published author, times three; with a travel book aimed towards senior citizens. I had two active blogs and a passion for constantly writing in my journal. How hard could it be? As it turned out, the magazine writing is still waiting to take off, because leisure, privacy, and Wi-Fi connections to nurture that trade, were hard to come by, given my rough-travel lifestyle on this pass around the globe.
I frequently stayed in hostels’ mixed dormitories; sleeping in bunk beds and sharing bathrooms down the hall. Plus, I was socializing and kicking back with people a third my age and I couldn’t just disappear into my computer upon check-in. This setup is not conducive to serious writing; though truly, I found article composition easier than the research necessary to query magazines and fulfil their editorial requirements. It’s just not exactly a hostel-friendly activity but I have big plans to crank out some beautiful articles using my notes and photos generated on that trip once I settle down in my new expat routine in Uruguay.
And that whole plan could not have happened if I hadn’t attended the International Living conference on my way overseas. Because, once this dedicated staff embraces you, they will never abandon you! To be sure, I joined their ranks as a lifetime member and have since signed up for many perks and online study courses…..because their goals fit mine perfectly. I hear from them more often that I do from friends and family!
A very big part of International Living’s goal is helping retirees identify their very best international city to settle in, and then, helping us find ways to create or supplement an income if we need to do so. Thirty-five years of specializing in how to earn a living overseas has given them a true overview of wealth production because their many protégées have reinvented themselves so creatively. Many turn into entrepreneurs with businesses they didn’t expect to discover; perhaps trading on a hobby or a brand-new idea to fill a niche. Others go online in home-based businesses they can operate from a hammock on the beach…. if they can type better than I can lying down. Because of new digital possibilities, we have, virtually, no limitations.
Thanks to International Living, I believe in myself even more and am ready to tackle the scary part of trying to stay still in one place for a long time, rather than the global swanning about that I’ve become so good at, lately. Thus begins my report to you as to how this is working for me.