I was at a dinner soiree the other night (*girlish laughter*), well, I attended three this weekend, including the one I threw (yes I invited myself!), anyway (brag, brag), the hostess was talking about how there is so much more to do here than in the US of A. Which got us hash browning about how expat living rocks the socks off my cat Romeo.
Then I visit one of my favorite blogs, Bangkok Reality Smackdown and lo and behold Miz Megan had posted a smackdown on DC vs BKK. The planets and the songtaews, it seems, were aligning for this latest postscript post. This reminds me of when I was on Areo Gal from Ecuador heading to the States with plans back to Thailand.
Since I was in the mood for a little inflight reading, I picked up the airline mag and was surprised to see on the cover a feature on Tailandia! En serio? Who the heck from Ecuador is going to Thailand? Besides me? I saw it as a sign from the Universe under the goddess moon that I was correct in leaving Cuenca for Chiang Mai.
What we discovered over dinner (or was it dessert?) is back in the States you are pretty much required to work 7-11 and on your days off, do everything else you didn’t have time for because you were too busy WORKING. It’s a form of slave labor. And that totally sucks. But the good news is folks are waking up to this and creating their own lives, hence the whole lifestyle design movement.
I think the biggest misnomer is that it costs a lot of money to get out of the country. And that if you have a family you can’t do it. But the great folks at Got Passport are truly an inspiration. There are people who live at home part time and then out of country the other time. Some take a year off, or a gap year, others work around the world.
The resources out there are aplenty and the age range has been shifting from 20somethings to 30somethings and up. Hollywood and popular society don’t only tell us stupid stuff, they also remind us that Life is on the Short Side, and that there are Bucket Lists to break in. And I suppose with the world wide web it only makes common sense that people are becoming nomadic and global citizens.
It took me years to finally actualize my dream and even when I left, I had to do some experimenting and spend more time figuring out where I belong and what I should do. But I figured I’d rather be chasing down the dream then sitting around pining for it.
What I love most is my freedom. I have time to do what I want to do. You can, of course, work a sun up to sun down job anywhere around the world but I knew I wanted to work part time so I could pursue other interests. You also get to see different places through different eyes which is a kind of freedom in itself.
I think free will is one of the great gifts of being human and without it I feel like something is stuck inside my throat, like I can’t talk. And when I started to feel that way back in my passport country, I started to re-evaluate what I was doing with my life. I started to let my mind wander over the landscape of possibilities.
The peanut gallery will think you are wasting time but since we are given only a limited amount, I think we should be the ones to decide how we want use it. Like the money we make, ah, but that’s another TPS report altogether.
5 replies on “Expat living rocks”
Hi Lani, I think one of the worst things that people can do is not follow their dreams. Of course we all have commitments and we should never abandon these on a whim. There is usually a way to live our dreams and take care of our responsibilities. A lot of people dream of living abroad but never do anything about it. My father always talked about going to live in France. He then started talking about retiring to France. He died at sixty so France became a 'what if..?' When we don’t make our dreams a reality we are selling ourselves short; we have opted to flatline in life.
Just stumbled onto this post, and after a recent return to Bangkok I totally agree!1. It's an incredible social and varied and fascinating place – that's what keeps me coming back again & again.2. The first time you leave your home country is the hardest. It gets much easier as you go on.3. You're absolutely right about the affordability of it. Plus the career options are expanded – definitely something to keep in mind for the under-60s.
I hear ya, Lani. I was doing what you are doing when I was younger. Then I got married and had a kid – and my (Thai) husband's opporunities were better here in the USA. Fortunately for us, we can work anywhere in the world and we have a goal to return for a few years for our son's cultural immersion.Then hopefully we can return again after we've raised our son and sent him off to college. Your words may as well have bene coming out of my own mouth about 10 years ago! LOL! Still feel the same, though more settled. 🙂
What's interesting is how this post seems to coincide with how people are thinking. This whole “End Times” thing just makes people re-evaluate where they are at and that is a good thing.There is definitely a balance though between Seize the Day and paying the bills which is what I think Paul was saying. Loved the flatline metaphor by the by.If you are ever in CM, Elizabeth I'd love to meet you.Hope you are able to making it out here in 2012 Amy…