19 Jan

Wanna-be Expat

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Photo Credit: chrisinplymouth

I wanna-be an expat. I want to live outside of my home and native land*. I want to experience another culture on a more long term basis than when we breezed through country after country on our round-the-world trip. But I am having a devil of a time defining it beyond that.

There’s all kinds of questions that need answering. Big questions that should be addressed before the finer details can be worked out.

Like where do we want to go? How will we make a living? How long would we go for? What about when we’re old? How would we manage health care? What about our families? What would we do with all our stuff? What about when we come back? Will we come back? How much money should we have saved? Should we just do it? Or do we need to plan/save/think about it more?

It all just keeps going round and round in my head and I end up nowhere, feeling like I haven’t moved an inch toward the goal.

That’s not true of course. Every lap a question takes through my over-active imagination the more brain cells it comes into contact with and the closer an answer is. I think my head acts like a Plinko** game. I stuff it full of questions and information that I have no idea what to do with and slowly it Plinko’s its way into the correct slot in my brain.

That’s what I’ve been doing – stuffing, and stuffing, and stuffing. There are 1,497,652 ways to become an expat and they are all stuffed into my head.

Look out…because before long all those bells and whistles, flashing lights and blinking bulbs are gonna start up and Bob Barker is going to declare me a winner!! I will be the Plinko champion and, with any luck, an expat to boot.

How about you? Are you an expat? How did you do it?

*Bonus points for knowing this reference!

** Seriously? You’ve never heard of Plinko? It’s the game on The Price Is Right where a chip is released at the top of a peg board and Plinko’s its way down to a final resting place…hopefully the $50,000 resting place.


9 thoughts on “Wanna-be Expat

  1. I knew both references. Yay for bonus points.

    I can relate to the wanting to be an expat, but I’ve gotta wait another year and a bit, before I can make it happen. Working visas, health care, tax stuff… it all seems really overwhelming. But I remind myself that other people have done it before, and if they can do it I’m sure you and I can do it too.
    Alouise recently posted..Around Edmonton – The Ukranian Cultural Heritage Village

  2. Oh, Canada….I believe you finished the rest of the line.

    No expat here, just trying to figure out how in the world to go about planning my first RTW! I am married and have 2 kids (along with a few very expensive pieces of paper from a university that I am now diligently paying for), so I don’t see it happening in the next few years. Nice to dream, though!

    • Yay, bonus points awarded!!

      How to plan your RTW? Just do it. Just start planning. What would it look like? Where would you go? What would your daily budget be? How much would you need total? Where are all the little (and big) places you could save money every day right now? Don’t think of the limitations, think of the possibilities. There are certainly plenty of people who started out their planning behind the financial eight ball and there are some great examples of families traveling long term with their kids. Start planning it and make it so real that it becomes impossible to imagine not doing it! Good luck…and let me know!

  3. I like to visit Canada but I don’t want to stay there for good. I love my country and I want to grow old here. I want to spend my life here… Good luck to you guys! Hope you will be happy moving in Canada.

  4. Well, you know my story of how I became an expat. Not quite the path for you, but I did worry about all the details of it for months, similar questions bouncing around in my head. I was especially worried about getting a job in Germany and that caused a lot of panic. It still stresses me out, but at least I know I’ve accomplished part of my dream. When I used to freak out to Andy (months before I moved) about how I was going to find a job in Germany, he calmly told me to try not to worry about it until I got there. It’s usually easier to find a job once you’re already there because most companies won’t take you seriously from thousands of miles away, plus the logistics of trying to interview for a job that far away are a nightmare. Hang in there, you’ll figure out something!

  5. Hey Onegiantstep,
    Maybe a little off topic, however, ive always loved both but i cant decide whether to live in the netherlands or flanders (dutch part of belgium)
    which one is cheaper for a house, cost of living and taxation?
    and which one would be best for my children to go to school and medical facilities?
    i know both are beautiful but which one is nicer for expat?

    i only speak english and would like to learn dutch but which one is better for a beginner to start learning?

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