Updated: Nov 16, 2021
For a lot of people, packing up and moving overseas is the stuff dreams are made of. If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, "If I were rich, I'd go to..." I'd be able to retire myself. It's like there are travelers, adventure travelers, and then there's another group of people who actually move to different locations across the globe. In some cases, they go to a favorite city that they've researched and find fits their needs. In other cases (like me), you just go. One day, you find yourself selling your belongings, storing sentimental items in your parent's garage, packing your bags, closing your eyes, and jumping. I don't recommend this way, by the way.
When I first moved abroad, I did it pretty much exactly how I just described it. In retrospect, I think the reason I didn't plan more was because I was secretly afraid I'd talk myself out of it or I'd find a bunch of logical reasons why this plan didn't make any sense. This period of my life felt like a hot-potato and I found myself moving to a new country every few months for a few years. Because I was essentially homeless during this period, when I was between jobs, I'd end up hanging out at a friend's place in a country that was neither my point of origin nor was it my destination. On paper (and on Social Media), I'm sure my life looked fabulous: I was jet-setting to a different location on a moment's notice to do nothing but enjoy the earth's beauty. In reality, I'm surprised my hair didn't all fall out and that I didn't develop some sort of serious illness brought on by the intense anxiety I was constantly under.
The reasons people move overseas are many and there are just as many ways that people do it. Some people wait to move overseas after they retire and I suppose for them, life becomes about relaxing or doing whatever you do in retirement except in a different country. But a lot of us moved overseas when we were still in our working years and so, despite what people "back home" think, you actually do have to go to work, get groceries, pay bills, pay rent, and all the other things that they do back at home. The difference is, the places we go on the weekends are places that others can only go when they have their annual vacation. Really, it's just a matter of perspective.
Living overseas is not always as romantic and idyllic as books (I'm looking at you, Eat, Pray, Love) make it sound. Sometimes it is, but other times, it's filled with stress and anxiety over visas, apartments, figuring out transportation, language, religion, cultural differences, the climate, and any number of other things that you never thought were going to be an issue. I created this website as a resource to help those of you living overseas cope with the issues that sometimes get in the way. If there is a specific topic you'd like me to address, please reach out and let me know.