Are we lucky to be here on this beautiful island, drinking and eating outdoors in the sun all year around? Having a lot of free time with friends and activities. Walking along beaches, harbours and mountain ranges. The question is a trigger for a lot of expats as it has dual meanings.
Viva la vida
The simple answer is of course yes, we feel lucky to be here. If we weren’t the majority of us expats could just head back to where we came from. We are not stranded refugees, we are seekers of happiness.
That said, the question also implies that we are in some sense lucky to be here. It’s usually presented like a harmless statement from a non-expat: You are so lucky to live in such a lovely place like….
Like some flight tickets, a new job and school for the children just happened to be magically found in the cereal box one morning. It usually also implies that the person saying it can’t live there because they are not “lucky” enough. Let make this very clear directly, luck has nothing to do with it!
“He who dares, wins”
The majority of the expats has been taking big risks and efforts to be where they are. They have let go of their job security, and maybe well paid careers and not knowing if they even will be able to support themselves in their new home. I have several new friends here who had high level positions with an accompanying large pay check back home who know work as language teachers or handymen. A lot of us have also moved our precious children from a familiar and safe place to a new large unknown, where neither we or the children know if they will find new friends and thrive in their new social environment. Most of us have also put in a huge amount of work in the moving abroad process, which is both exhausting mentally as well as costly. Moving abroad has very, very, little to do with luck. Daring to take all those risks, letting go of all the well knowns and safe harbours. Putting in all that extra work in an already busy life. That is what it is all about, and nothing of that is about “luck”.
So now you know, expats are usually not lucky bastards, but daring and hard working people. This is important because what i am trying to say is that anyone can do it. You can do it! There is nothing hindering you, stop telling yourself that. There will always be things that you can use as an excuse why you particularly you can’t do it. The kids have to many close friends. My career is really moving forward right now. I’m not sure about the healthcare, schools, society, whatever... There won’t be a perfect time to move abroad, there is always reasons to hold you back. What you need to do is take a leap of faith and put in some work efforts. It will not happen by itself, the chances of being offered a posting abroad with loads of support is highly unlikely for the most of us. If you really want to try to live abroad for a while, or for the rest of you life, you are the one that is going to make it happen. Don’t let the unknowns scare you, you can always come back.
I´ve talked to several people who have chosen, or couldn’t make it work, to move back “home”. They have all said the exact same thing: “Even if we could not/wanted to stay, it was still the best thing we have ever done”. Based on that, what is there really to loose? You only live once, right?
What are you main obstacles or scares? Let us know, we might have something to share?
“IN THE END… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” – Lewis Carrol