My friends By and Mariah lived in Boquete, and now live in Medellin Colombia. This is the second in a series of articles By has written about the expat experience.
Read the article, but the main points he makes are:
- Factor in travel expenses because chances are you will want to go back to see family and friends.
- Will you feel guilty about moving away from family and friends? Will family and friends make you feel guilty?
- Will you feel guilty about “doing nothing” after years of work, earning money, and contributing to the world?
- Will you feel guilty about having more money than most of the people around you in your adopted country?
For me, we can afford travel because our cost of living is so much less. If we were still in Florida but not working, travel would be out of the question. Now that I have grandkids, I’m especially thankful to be able to visit every few months. Yes it takes time, but I have time now.
Guilty about moving away? No, but I didn’t live close to my kids before. My family – we are not that way with each other. Friends who make me feel guilty for any of my choices are not friends.
“Doing nothing”? There are numerous opportunities to volunteer, and how nice to choose without worry if it covers the bills. I felt guilty about not doing anything, and I don’t seem to be recovering from the work that drained me dry. But I’m slowly coming to the realization that I’ve done enough in my life, and being happy and positive is “doing something” enough.
Guilty about having money? No. We live a modest but very comfortable life, and now I have some extra to share with causes and people I believe in. I feel extremely fortunate, not guilty.
As I’ve said before, there are many things that are common to most of us in this expat experience, but it’s also a very individual experience.