Do You Have the Right Stuff to Live Abroad?

An introduction to the expatriate lifestyle.

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Travel Advisory

Up close and personal with an archeological dig--is that your idea of romance and adventure like in all the stories?  Read how to do it at this blog post

Wherever you journey you will get the most from the experience by enjoying the local food and drink.  Everything tastes better when you are happy and relaxed.  Read more at   Taste the Place, Greek Island Wine

Also we have a villa to rent in Aliki, Paros that includes olive oil and vegetables grown on the premises.  Greek island villas

Antiparos Cross Channel Swim start

Recent Events

We try to keep up with interesting events in our three blogs:

  • Greece
  • Prague
  • Ireland

  • Its all in the attitude . . .

    I am often contacted by people who are considering moving to one of the countries in which I have lived. Their questions usually center around cost of living, medical insurance, government requirements. My answers, however, relate to their goals, attitudes and ability to deal with uncertainty.

    Many people visiting my wife and me at touristy towns compare their two weeks of relaxation, fun activities and free spending to their 50 weeks back home of mundane jobs and tedious commuting. I compare it to walking down a residential street at twilight as people have turned on their lights but not yet closed their curtains? The homes look so warm, cozy and inviting that you envy these strangers their ideal lives.

    handling Christmas carp at home Yes, there are countless benefits to living and working abroad yet there is the same number of drawbacks. Why leave the comfort of home and support of your family and friends for the excitement, adventure, discovery, and romance of the foreign? For one, I have found that in depth immersion into local culture to be vastly superior to being mere tourists gawking at the scenery or quaintness of the locals. Yet we frequently travel as tourists to many attractions within easy reach of our then current home. In both cases we delve into the history, geography and art that brought about the society that we are experiencing today.

     If you are well established in your career, a choice to relocate abroad generally means reducing your prosperity in exchange for a more enjoyable life style. The exception is those who work for a large company and apply for a foreign posting. That is a good way to both enhance your career and get your feet wet in living abroad. Young people do not have any limitations in career advancement while broadening their social horizons at the same time. For instance statistics show that more and more internationally minded people are finding the land of opportunity is not the home of the dollar.

     With the world as your oyster it is not easy to pick the best location to start a new life. The best places to visit do not always make the best places to live. Believe it or not, lying on a sunny beach with cool drinks can get boring after a few weeks. You need to follow your interests and consider places with easy access to those interests as well as the world beyond. Also choose a culture that is not consistently shocking to your standards and values. Shepherd's storefront Ballydehob

    When we moved from the USA to Ireland adapting to small village life was more difficult than our differences with the Irish people. Though we did make a few social faux pas. For instance, during my wife’s first trip back to Oregon I stayed to mind the shop. Our helper was behind the counter chatting about her absence with a couple customers, John and Mary. I sauntered over to make the comment, "It certainly has made a difference in my pants!" They all froze for a long pregnant moment as I tried to figure out what I had said. Mary chuckled and asked, "Oh, how is that, Michael?" And it hit me. "My trousers that is, they have a lot more room," I said as I thumbed the waistband to show them. Everyone laughed and changed the subject. (In the USA pants refers to trousers; in Ireland it means underwear.)

    Misuse of language, however, will be the least of your mistakes and miscalculations. Be prepared that your carefully researched plans will not work out. There are always glitches. Our family said we were foolish; our friends said we were brave. We replied confidently that we were following our dream but also had all the possible scenarios covered. Everything was planned to a tee. How right they were, how wrong we were. Yet nearly 20 years later we are still seeking new experiences and finding them almost daily.

    Top photo is an ad referring to the Czech tradition of bringing home a live carp for Christmas dinner. Bottom photo is our shop and living quarters in Ballydehob, West Cork.

    2020 Coronavirus Update:  Digital Nomads in Demand




    Related Content


     Our personal choice to become expats:  Inside Out or Outside In

    For a light hearted look at earning a living abroad check out Work at the Beach

    More about Study Abroad -- Instructors Earn Two Weeks in Greece

    More about the expatriate lifestyle    &    Various articles about global nomads

    Digital Nomad Quotes to inspire and motivate and some to make you laugh

    Medical Tourism --  Opportunity for quality care at lower prices

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