Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How and When to Leave America

An ex-pat, in the comments section of my post, Is It Time to Leave America?, provides some advice for  those thinking about making the move. I reproduce the comment here for broader exposure:

My 2 cents. I've been an expat for the last 10 years, and embraced it from the start. No regrets at all.

The essence of the question is not "when", but "would I". It may be scary, it is clearly out of one's "safety zone", and not everyone has what it takes to leave the home country for good.

A few things that would help to make that decision:

1. Give yourself a trial run at it. Go for a relatively long trip to a country of choice, or two, then come back home.

2. Assume the mindset of a traveler. You don't have to change who you are (i.e. American), you can still love your country, you can feel for your people, etc. But these things can be done abroad, they don't really chain you to a place, or doom you to perish there (if that transpires).

3. You can take everything you really love with you. Immaterial things can be packed nicely into your heart and taken everywhere you go. Even if they cease to exist at home, they will still be with you, in your heart. This is not a touchy-feely crap, it's what drives people nuts if not managed properly. If done right, you'll be fine anywhere, at peace with yourself and the country you left.

4. Your country will not be missing you, not even notice you are gone. It should give you a peace of mind.

5. You can keep in touch with anyone at home. We're in the 21 century, a click away from anyone.

And the most important thing. When "it is time to leave" the country, it's already late, already a damage control. You will make avoidable mistakes then. Any departure must me thought through well in advance, meticulously prepared, planned and executed. You do NOT want to be a refugee of any kind.

1 comment:

  1. So, for an English speaking older person who would have trouble learning a new language, what country is good? Chile is capitalistic, but do many people understand Eglish? Singapore and Hong Kong are freedom beacons,. but how do they receive Westerners? Mexico can be good to rich (and any American who can afford to live abroad is rich by their standards) but corruption and lack of rule of law may leae you on the short end of a very nasty stick by process totally outside of your knowledge.