I heard some news today about two families that came to our area of the DR and have since left. One of these families had been here for about a year and the other spent over three. Now people coming and going is nothing new to me and it does happen everywhere on this planet. Einstein once said nothing happens till something moves and he’s correct. However it wasn’t their reasons for leaving that I find interesting rather it was their reason for relocating.
While their reasons for leaving may have been very different both families had exactly the same reason for relocating out of their home nation in the first place. Both families wanted to exit their home nation in efforts to gain a higher sense of personal freedom.
I remember asking each of them when we first met “freedom from what?” For many freedom is little more than a noun alongside a large selection of doughnuts from which to choose from. Since both families hailed from different nations I thought it would be interesting to compare answers. Different nation’s different lifestyles same reason for leaving Government intervention. Both families were looking for freedom in terms of less Government intervention.
Even though it’s been 37 years living or working in different countries besides my mother several people still keep asking me “when are you coming home?” I suppose they don’t get it when I answer them… I am home. Perhaps what they actually want to ask without even realizing it is more along the line of “when are you returning to your birth place?” After so many years I’ve finally come to grasp what is actually being asked… asked about in a roundabout way though.
Similar to how the universe tends to function it’s not so much black or white rather it’s the various shades of grey that make up the complete picture. At times living abroad has been great and other times left me asking questions. Questions like was this the right move or perhaps I should have reconsidered the whole plan.
Sure living abroad can be challenging at times but I can assure you at one time or another all of my readers found themselves asking similar questions… regardless if they’ve relocated or not. It’s normal as if we’re prewired to think in that fashion.
Some of the personal positives I’ve discovered by living in six different countries are as follows. As an expat you tend to be largely unplugged from the system. Personally I like that. Living in a foreign country provides a sense of adventure a different way of living which for me yielded a higher quality of life. I find as an expat you’re often treated better in foreign countries than you are in your own. Many nations value foreign money infused thereby assisting their economy. They understand that you’re not a burden rather you’re enhancing their GDP’s bottom line and unlike their own citizens in several of these countries you’re free to leave any time you choose to.
Governments often seem to treat their own as second class citizens yet they welcome foreigners with special incentives… incentives for choosing them over other competing nations. Take a quick look at your own nation. Notice who’s receiving the perks is it you or the incoming new arrivals? Tough to accept but put that aside for now and analyze is it true? Deep down inside you know it is. Perhaps Some Governments actually do realize that they need foreign investment and this is their way of showing it.
I suppose if I had to dovetail it into the one single thing I like most about living in a foreign country my answer would be I like the fact that basically you’re left alone. I like being left alone to do what I want to with my time with my properties in general with my life. No one’s hounding me for permits whether I want to cut a blade of grass or sell something from my garage. I like having a feeling of disconnection from Government intervention.
Some of you might think this sounds great. I’d like to reside in a place where I don’t feel someone’s constantly over my shoulder. I’d love to slow things down a bit and live more of a balanced higher quality life. Live cheaper eat better quality foods Etc. Etc. If any of this resonates then first plan it correctly secondly simply follow Nike’s slogan and “Just Do It!” Really it’s the only way you’re ever going to know if it is right or not.
Unfortunately for many then you’re reality… or what you think reality is kicks in and something like the following takes place. You’re all excited for the moment and a short time later your sense of what you label reality comes into the picture. Promptly one at a time you begin forgetting all the previously mentioned reasons for wanting a change and the various shades of grey and immediately resort back to the world of black and white. All or nothing starts to register in your brain and what so many seem to do is squirm right back into their same size comfort zone. Until the next time it comes up again.
What happens is you start second guessing yourself. Your subconscious says wait a minute you have too many obligations you can’t just pick up and leave. Family, job, kid’s friends you’ll start finding multiple reasons of why you can’t. For some this may currently be true but notice I mentioned currently.
For most a move like this evolves in stages. Once again it’s not black and white. I’m here today and tomorrow I’m there. Although we’ve met several folks who’ve done exactly that the greater percentage does in in steps. Begin educating yourself and the ones you love now. Make your next vacation destination a place of relocation interest instead of just detoxing in a lounge chair for a week or two. Begin to list out what you’ll require for such a move what resources will be necessary. Start thinking out of the box for a bit and you’ll soon discover there’s several ways of producing income.
Figure out what it’s going to take for your plan “B” to become a reality. Just stop using the excuse of family as that should be the first and foremost reason for having a plan “B” in the first place. Even if you can’t walk away right at this moment start putting together your personal plan for when you can. Effort creates results.
For me living as an expat has been one of the best moves I ever made. That doesn’t mean it will be for everyone. Think shades of grey again. However many are really starting to finally wake up and realize there’s something wrong here. To them I say better late than never.For some it’s relocate to another country for others it’s stay and have a plan “B” but in the same country. Just so long as you’re planning that’s what the key factor is really all about. Everyone needs to have a plan “B” period. It’s only common sense.
Most of us already have several plan “B’s” without even realizing it. If the lineup is too long at your favorite restaurant how many times has it been mentioned let’s go with plan “B” and head on over to you second favorite place to eat. The first movie you wanted to see has been sold out for the 7 o’clock showing so often you’ll hear so what’s our plan “B”? Those that have one the night continues. Often to have a better time than the original plan offered. Think about it at one time or another it’s happened to all of us.
So if we take the time and think about possible backup plans for incidentals like a dinner out or a movie WHY is it that when it comes to the really important things… you know life’s potential game changers most of us tent to leave things till the last minute?
The plans that we should be assembling at this very moment are perhaps the most important ones of our lives. Don’t take them lightly or you may regret that for the rest of your life… heck it might even cost you your life. I think Janis Joplin said it best. For many “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose”.
If your idea of freedom stems more from the previous comment about comparing freedom to a large selection of donuts to choose from at least stay away from the ones containing multi colored sprinkles. People tend to look stupid with sprinkles all over their teeth while trying to open other people’s eyes. Until next time this is Barry in DR.