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. 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 Haskins, and I started with even before we started working with the company. 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 is starting to pick up on it. But there are still only a few specialized and truly experienced sources of info on the topic—none, in fact, with more than 30 years of experience as International Living has. And there are even fewer that can mount entire events devoted to the subject the way International Living does.
Suzan and I have been attending these events for years now. She presents at them and writes about them and I have the happy duty of emceeing most of them. I say it’s a happy duty for a couple of reasons, one of which is that I learn something new at every single event. And given that Suzan and I have been living and working abroad for almost 14 years now, that’s saying something.
We love the country-specific events of course… Not only are we able to travel to some of the most popular expat destinations in the world, but we enjoy listening to the presenters drill down into individual countries and their most welcoming towns, cities, and regions. It’s one of the ways we stay up to date on particular expat destinations.
But we also love the combined events—the ones where all our favorite countries are represented—like the upcoming Ultimate Retire Overseas Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There will be a couple of presentations on Mexico for sure, but representatives from all over the expat world will be there as well. In fact, more than 100 presenters and exhibitors will cover everything from insurance, banking, finding rentals, rental management, and starting your own business abroad to funding your travels, staying in touch, learning the language, and topics I probably won’t be aware of until I get there myself.
Conferences like this one were few and far between when Suzan 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 “Ultimate” 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 “Ultimate” 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, I’ll tell you. For us, these Ultimate Retire Overseas 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 Puerto Vallarta. 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 we’re like kids in a candy store at these things. Suzan and I have 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 the Ultimate Retire Overseas Conferences they’re all right there in front of you.
If we were just starting out on this expat journey, this would be the one, single place we’d go to get all the insider information in one huge, tantalizing 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 happy as clams where we are right now, but, for serial relocators, the itch can strike at any time.
Anyone can get the itch for greener, more affordable pastures. And we love these events so much because they’re the perfect place to scratch that itch…for newbies and old hands alike.
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