What Do the Happiest Expats Have in Common?

It doesn’t matter where they came from or what they did back home—teacher, entrepreneur, dentist, secretary, taxi driver, journalist—the happiest expats we meet overseas have one thing in common: They brought their sense of adventure with them.

I’m not talking dare-devil tendencies. I mean, simply, that they went overseas ready to try new things, to be confounded, to be impressed, to be surprised…

I bring this up because you should know: Living overseas works best when you’re pulled there and not just pushed. If your motivation for going abroad is entirely economic, brace yourself for disappointment.

There’s no question: In the right places overseas, you can live better for less. But understand…none of these places looks, feels, or acts exactly like the U.S. That can be a good thing, mind you. They are rich with cultural treasures…full of spectacular landscapes and friendly neighbors… destinations positively teeming with possibility. But it’s up to you to embrace it.

Fortunately, people find all kinds of creative ways to do so, as you’ll see in this month’s issue of International Living magazine. From a serial house-sitter in Central America plunging into life abroad rent-free…to a couple who traded the frenetic pace of corporate life for gentler living in their own Italian B&B…to another “giving back” with community-focused projects in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Among the places readers settle abroad is one renowned for the almost magnetic pull it exerts on those seeking freedom, space, and opportunity: Belize.

“It’s a country where you can explore and develop…there’s room to breathe…and a heady sense that almost anything goes,” says editor Glynna Prentice. “To a growing number of expats weary of regimented, rules-laden lives at home, free-wheeling, casual, affordable Belize has proved almost irresistible.”

Perhaps it will for you, too. To find out if Belize could be the kind of place your sense of adventure takes you, pick up your copy of the December issue now… If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can become one here and get instant access to this issue.

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