THE EXPAT LIFE
Is it for you?
by Paige Wigginton
You go on vacation to a beautiful place and at some point during your trip, you start to wonder what would it take to stay? There’s something about the place that grabs you, and you want more. You see other people that clearly look like they live there, and you ask yourself, what do they actually DO there? Do they have real jobs? What path in life did they take that they spend their days living in this beautiful place?
And you wonder, what if?
We first came to Cabo in 2005 on a family vacation. We had a great trip and returned home to New York City, to our newly remodeled apartment and to our secure corporate jobs. It only took about 5 days for the blues to set in. It was a cold, rainy Saturday night and we were sitting at a pub on 39th street. Out of nowhere, I was suddenly done with the city. In retrospect, I still find it odd that I never had that longing to stay in Mexico while we were actually there, but the contrast between our life in New York City and the week we had just spent in Mexico was too much. I turned to my very-settled-into-New York City husband and muttered, “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
I’ll never forget his response, “Well where do you want to go?”
With that, the whole world opened up to me. Where did I want to go? So simply put as if I could have picked anywhere at that moment and he would have said yes. A feeling of possibility crept in and I saw a glimpse of this person, of this life, that I really wanted.
We start out in our 20s so full of everything. Full of ideas, full of optimism, full of conviction that we’re in control of what our lives will be like. We get one job which leads to another and perhaps another. Pretty soon we’re in it, and the promise of success seduces us into letting the years roll into each other.
But again, what if?
What if you could go back to your 20-year-old self and remember that sense of possibility for all that could be yours? Becoming an expat is a little bit like that. It puts you back in the driver seat but as a much smarter you.
When deciding if buying property in a foreign country makes sense for you, resist the urge to ask questions about the logistics of living here. I can tell you right now paying bills is different, people are different and you’ll need to learn to be proactive about the important things. You’ll get frustrated at times, but you will adapt.
The real question you need to be asking yourself is this: What do you want your life to look like?
Being an expat is not a life you fall into. It’s a life you choose. In the choosing of this lifesyle, you re-evaluate what’s important to you, and in doing so you may just reconnect with someone you haven’t seen for a while – YOURSELF.