Moving abroad for any reason is a big decision…one that takes some thought and planning.
Most people will never seriously consider moving out of their comfort zone in the first place, even if it becomes uncomfortable for some reason. But for those of us who are willing to go to new places, meet new people, and try new things, the process of picking the right place and moving the right way can seem a little daunting.
Of course, there are resources like International Living to help. A few years ago, International Living was just about the only resource that specialized in information about moving and retiring abroad, and it’s the one my wife Suzan and I started with. It introduced us for the first time to the idea of living a happier, healthier, more affordable life in a country other than our own.
Nowadays that concept isn’t as exotic as it used to be…the mainstream media has definitely picked it up and run with it. But there are still only a few specialized and truly experienced sources of info on the topic—none, in fact, with more than 36 years of experience, as International Living has. And even fewer that can host entire events devoted to the subject the way International Living does.
I have been attending these events for years now…I have the happy duty of emceeing most of them. I say it’s a happy duty for a couple of reasons. One is that I learn something new at every single event. And given that my wife and I have been living and working abroad for more than 15 years now, that’s saying something.
These events often happen in exotic destinations, but some of my favorites are the ones that happen right in the U.S. These are the events designed for folks who are just catching on to the idea that there are other places on the planet to live…places where their money goes farther and their lives can be happier and less stressful. They want the basics, the meat and potatoes, and these are the conferences that deliver the goods.
And this year I’m extremely excited, because I get to emcee an event just like this in Atlanta.
Conferences like this one were few and far between when my wife and I started our own journey abroad. I don’t know if we would have done anything differently if we’d attended one of these conferences before making our move or not…but I’m certain we would have felt far more prepared.
But that’s not what we like most about these Stateside events now. I mean, we still learn something we can use at every single one…but we’ve already taken the plunge and are living the expat life. Really, how much more info do we need?
Well, for us, these conferences are like an expat’s smorgasbord. We’ve lived in seven locations in four countries so far, but there are lots, lots more destinations to consider, and they’ll all be represented in Atlanta.
Anybody who has any interest in moving, living, or working abroad will have so much choice, so many options, so many presenters with so much first-hand knowledge of so many places right in front of them, that they’ll really have no excuse afterward for not knowing if the expat life is right for them or having at least an inkling of where they might want to go.
That’s why my wife and I are like kids in a candy store at these conferences. We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we’re “serial relocators.” Moving to and living in exotic, affordable places has gotten under our skin. We’re always on the lookout for the next best place…and at these conferences they’re all right there in front of you.
If we were just starting out on this expat journey, this conference would be the place we’d go for the real scoop on living, working, or retiring abroad in one big, basic dose.
As it is, we’ll probably use this conference to tweak and refine our own short list of places we’d consider moving to sometime in the future. We’re always looking for the next big place, and I’m pretty sure we’ll hear all about it—and dozens of other likely spots—in Atlanta.
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