Work Abroad but earn in USD

Friday, April 15, 2005

T-Minus 30 Days and Counting...

Exactly one month from today, I will arrive at Ezezia Airport in Buenos Aires, having left my home in the US permanently. For the last couple years, I've been between countries -- spending time in Buenos Aires when I can, but always returning to the US. A number of things were always bringing me back -- the house, the business, the unfinished degree, all my stuff. For me, making the decision to expatriate was a long and gradual decision.

Very slowly, almost subconsciously really, I started removing the barriers to leaving. I sold my house last year, leaving me no property to worry about or take care of. I gradually worked on structuring my business to do most of my marketing by Internet, so I didn't have to be in-town to go after clients. Finally, I'm finishing my degree this May (graduating just before my departure date, in fact).

With that taken care of, all that was left to hold me back was all this stuff in my house. Could I take it with me? Would I have to sell it? Well, if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I ended-up selling everything instead of shipping it. As I sit, typing this entry in an empty apartment, I can tell you that selling everything you own gives you a liberating feeling. I thought I would be a little sad to see everything I owned walk out the door with a new owner -- that hasn't been the case at all. What it does is make you realize what's truly important, what you actually miss and what you don't. I haven't missed much.

Two Types of Expatriates

I've always believed that there were two types of expatriates -- people who became expatriates because they had to, and people who did so because they wanted to. When your company asks you to take a foreign assignment, or your spouse asks you to follow them abraod, or you're being deployed with your unit, you're becoming a forced expatriate. Sure, one can always turn their employer down, tell a spouse to forget it, or disobey orders, but if you're a career-minded professional, a devoted spouce, or a loyal soldier, you go and make the best of it.

On the other hand, there are people who have an instinct to leave home, to explore, to get away from the familiar. As a young boy, I was lucky enough to have my parents take me all over Europe, giving me a look at places and people that were totally different than what I was used to. When I was 18, I wasted no time in leaving home. When I visit a city for the first time, I like to take a day just to walk around on my own and explore, with no particular destination in mind.

I guess the best way to describe it would be to say that just as some people find themselves "drawn" to a place, I find myself "drawn away" from the US. Something inside tells me that I need to leave. Before I settled on Argentina as a new home, I knew I wanted to go somewhere -- Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica -- I thought about each one.

Reasons for Leaving

Even though I've spent a lot of time there, I still don't know entirely what to expect once I'm living in Argentina full-time. I'm not sure whether or not I'll find what I'm looking for, probably because I don't know what that is yet. Even though I have a business in Argentina and I tell people that I'm going because of work, that's not really the whole truth.

I'm going there because I can't stay here anymore. But I don't say that because I don't think most people would understand. Though, maybe some readers here will...

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Gary said...

"I'm going there because I can't stay here anymore. But I don't say that because I don't think most people would understand. Though, maybe some readers here will..."

I know exactly what you mean. I don't know where I will end up; I just know that--as you put it--I feel "drawn away" from the U.S.

4/18/2005 01:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also going to move to Argentina this month. I was going to leave Thursday but I need more time. Shipping my things is outrageously expensive and in the end, what do I really have that I cannot buy again there or live without. Great web site. I am leaving because I love Argentina after living there 3 1/2 months in 1999 and 2 1/2 months--returning the beginning of April 2005. I need more time, likely to sell everything. I have a new corporation there and a foundation too. Thanks!!!

4/18/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger apartmentsba.com said...

Moving to Argentina was the best decision of my life. As you mentioned, there are two types of Expats. Those that have to and those that choose to. I left a really easy life in the USA. Made lots of money, lived in a great house and had the Beemer.

I just found that I wasn't happy in the USA. My happiest times was when I was in Argentina. I've never been one to complain in life. If you aren't happy with your wife -- get divorced. If you aren't happy with your job -- quit. If you don't like your city -- move. Life isn't so difficult. We get used to things and are afraid to change.

I'd say after reading your site you are well prepared. Moving here was the best decision of my life as I mentioned. Honestly, I never see myself moving back to the USA. There has not been one day when I miss the USA. That is the 100% truth. I miss my friends but they fly down here now and visit me. They envy me for doing what I did.

Everyone thought I was crazy to leave a really comfortable life and move to South America. It's tough enough to start a corporation in the USA let alone South America.

My advice for anyone making the move like this is to come up with a business plan. Pitch it to your friends, your family, even your bank. Keep pitching it until every single one of them would be willing to invest money or loan you the money to get it started. And don't make the move if you actually needed the loan..ha, ha.

Best of luck to all.

5/12/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lostchijd said...

I realize this is an old post, but you sumemd up very nicely my own feelings on why I want to expatriate.

1/01/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI !! ALL ,WELL NOW IS APRIL 2009 KIND OF LONG TIME SINCE THE COMMENTS WERE POSTED. I GUESS WE ARE THE ONES TO RETIRE IN A PLACE WITH SOCIETY OF FRIENDS EVEN UNKNOWN AND QUALITY OF FAMILY TYPE CIRCLE; COURSE THE COUNTRY HAS A LOT TO OFFER FROM THE POINT OF BEEN UNFAMILIAR AND GEOGRAPHICALLY.CAN ANYBODY TELL ME NOW IF STILL A GOOD PLACE WITH THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY (1000 .DLS AND TWO CHILDREN) PLUS A SUPLEMENT MAYBE OF 300 MORE ?.I KNOW HOW TO GENERATE MORE MONEY AS A PROFESIONAL AND 4 LANGUAGES.I ASK THIS CUESTIONS BECAUSE MY WIFE IS AMERICAN AND HAS SOME MAYBE"S ? . THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS .

4/12/2009 03:41:00 AM  

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