Looking Beyond the Hype for the Real Expat Lifestyle
“The times, they are a changin’.” The iconic lyrics from Bob Dylan have rang true over the years in more ways than one, in regards to both politics and finance as well as the state of the global economy and overall population on planet Earth. And if you are looking for a doorway into the reality of the current situation for expats around the world, those lyrics are the perfect description of the current reality.
Every year, more and more people are choosing to live abroad in other countries and the reasons are as varied as there are people on the planet. Yet despite this fact there is a singular reason that stands above all of the rest, which is simply that the times are changing, and with change comes a restructuring of elements that cause panic for some and peace of mind for others. For those who are stuck in the hamster wheel of economic duress, struggling to make ends meet in a reality where their jobs are paying less and less while the cost of living is going up and up, the situation seems dire. But for those of you who have chosen to look beyond your local areas for solutions the change is a positive one.
Once you change your mindset from local to global you will suddenly realize that there are literally millions of opportunities available for both financial independence as well as wealth and ‘s just that these things are no longer available in your home country. This is the reality for many an entrepreneurial expat, because they have chosen to substitute wage slavery in a country where the cost of living is beyond livable for a reality where they are paying a fraction of the costs in other countries. When you can keep your Western salary and trade it for a country where the cost of living is only $10,000 a year at most for all your basic amenities (compared to the U.S. where you need $30,000 to $50,000 a year to barely survive) you can find yourself riding high on the hog rather than living in abject poverty.
However, it does take a certain strength of mind to be able to transition into the expat lifestyle. It’s not something you can simply jump into on a whim and expect to see absolute results. If you want to truly change your life you have to be willing to go above and beyond the average individual’s capability of simply glancing at something and taking it for face value. Look at safety and security in foreign countries, for example. The vast majority of travelers take the State Department and Western media at their word when it comes to how dangerous countries around the world supposedly are, but the reality is that most countries around the world are as safe (if not safer than) the United States. Cancun, Mexico, for example, only has a murder rate of 2 in 100,000 compared to Washington D.C.’s 31 in 100,000 as of 2010 according to USA Today, so you have to be willing to look beyond the hype at the actual truth if you want to get the most benefits of living abroad as an expat.