A Smoother International Relocation
Jan Chipchase
49825

Sell or give away everything.
My children (all adults) got most of my worldly goods.
Arrived in my new country with 2 checked bags and 2 carry on bags.

Travel light…travel right.

Family is important. I had a sit down, face-to-face meeting with my 4 children. I explained my desire to live abroad and that I may not return to the U.S. They all advised me to do what makes me happy and that it would provide them a greater opportunity to visit a foreign country as I would have a working knowledge of the country I chose.

My lifestyle is on par with the majority of the locals. There are no expats on my street. Occasionally, I will chat with an expat in the mall (we only have one), or a restaurant, but I do not have frequent contact with the others expats here. I think we all value our privacy or anonymity.

One suggestion would be that a person make a prior visit to the country they are considering as a place of residence. At the very least, find an expat forum online in that particular country; spend some time reading the posts and asking questions.

I chose a fairly remote island and the infrastructure is certainly not equivalent to that of a Western nation. Water shut offs and power outages occur without notice, the WiFi speed is almost faster than a dial-up connection prior to WiFi, cellphone usage is mainly text messages because voice calls are expensive and limited to certain amount of time and learning to buy extra of my favorite items was a necessity because the phase “Out-Of- Stock” is a common reply when those things I formally took for granted cannot been found. How any store could be “Out-Of-Stock” when it comes to Ketchup or Mayonnaise…simply amazes me.

Basically, it comes down to equitable trades. I will gladly trade a few minor inconveniences for: temperatures that always range from 80–90 degrees, beautiful beaches, a superb currency exchange rate, domestic air fares that allow me to travel in country several times a years and locals, that for the most part, speak English.

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