Any Ex-Pats Here?

Discussion in 'Retirement & Leisure' started by Mal Campbell, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    My husband and I have talked a lot about selling the house, and moving to a sailboat and just go where the winds blow us. We've been real serious about moving to Belize. Are there any ex-pats here? Anyone living aboard? If so, where are you from and where are you living now? What have you found to be the hardest part of "leaving home"? Any words of wisdom?
     
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  2. Betty Johnstone

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    I am not an ex-pat but do have a few online friends who are. I always thought this would be wonderful but my hubby will never leave home . Although he likes to travel, he does want to come home and not stay anywhere for any length of time. He doesn't have the same sense of adventure as I do, I guess. I'm afraid I don't have any words of wisdom but do envy you the possibility of doing this.
    I'm sure there are ex-pat forums online in case non of our members have any advice.
     
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  3. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    Just like your husband, I'm reluctant to let go of that last thread. When we had our sailboat, we would live aboard for a couple of weeks at a time, and I really loved it. But when the time came to actually sell the house and move aboard full-time, it dawned on me everything I would be giving up. How do you move 3,000 sq feet of stuff onto a sailboat that has maybe 200 square feet of liveable space? What about my garden? Can I really give up all my books and cds, where would I do my workouts? I think it takes a complete "shift" in our mindset.
     
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  4. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    I was looking for a place to post some pictures of my apartment here in Pattaya and found this thread. I left the States in 2008 to relocate in Thailand. It has been absolutely fantastic and there are very few things I miss from the USA. About the only advice I can offer is to visit the place first and stay for at least a few months. There are ups and downs in every country and you will not have the same rights as you do at home.
     
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  5. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    OK, I read your other post about being an ex-pat first, and asked from where. I guess I should have read this post first - disregard the other.

    You say there are very few things you miss from the US - which means there must be at least one or two things that you do miss - what would they be? If it's not too personal, did you give up your citizenship, are you a dual-citizen or just on a Visa in Thailand? That's always been one of the things that's confusing for me - and scary - I couldn't imagine giving up my US citizenship.
     
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  6. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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  7. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    I would never give up my citizenship. I may not live there, but I am proud to be an American! I live here on a yearly Retirement Visa. As far as things l miss, they are mainly food items. Cheese, for example, is very expensive and although Thailand does have dairies, they don't produce it, so it's imported.
     
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  8. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    This is new to me, what is an ex-pat?
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    That's someone who used to root for the Patriots but prefers some other team now.

    Actually, for an American, and ex-pat would be an American who is living outside of the United States, such as in Thailand.
     
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  10. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Ken. My first thought was NE Patriots. Not a fan though.

    As for living abroad, I couldn't do it but my husband could having been in the Navy and touring other countries.
     
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    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  11. Augusta Heathbourne

    Augusta Heathbourne Active Member
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    I am an "ex-pat", [short for expatriate: someone who lives temporarily or permanently in another country not their homeland]. I left the USA in 1990 and moved first to New Zealand for 7 years then on to Australia to seek employment when things got hard there. That was before email and the internet and required one to really break free emotionally from the homeland, which I managed to do rather easily. It was exciting and fun to be in a whole new world and starting a new life. I was sad on the 4th of July and Thanksgiving for many years, however, as those holidays are not celebrated elsewhere, of course.

    After all this time now, however, I find that I DO miss things - like getting old with the people who lived through the same American things I did, the same music and events, etc. Because other societies have their own frames of reference; different music, tv shows, stars, cultural landmarks, etc. So for the past few years I have been more and more connected to the USA, joined AARP, subscribe to a number of American magazines and newspapers, and keep up on the American news much more than I ever did before. Missing my cohort of baby boomers was also the main impetus for joining this forum the other day.

    I was still in my 30s when I left the USA behind, so was still flexible and adaptable enough, but do not think for a moment that I could have done it successfully at this age. It is very hard to make friends in another society when you are older, there are just so few opportunities and people already have their own social sets firmly established, or have too many financial or physical problems to even want to socialise much. I have certainly read of couples who retired successfully to Thailand or Mexico, but have not personally known any who have done so. The other Americans I met in New Zealand were not happy there and soon left. By the way I am still an American citizen, I could never give that up!
     
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  12. Missy Lee

    Missy Lee Well-Known Member
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    Augusta, you could try Canada next, we share a border with the USA, a lot of the same holidays and customs.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    @Augusta Heathbourne, it's not as dramatic as moving to the other side of the world of course, but I feel much the same way about moving from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where I grew up. I enjoyed living in different places as I moved from there to Iowa, Southern California, the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Maine, North Carolina, and then back to Maine again, but often I wonder what it would have been like to have grown old with the people I grew up with, as people most often did a couple of generations before me. Of course, that wouldn't have been my choice entirely anyhow, as so many of the people I grew up with were moving away too, but there are people I attended elementary school with who are still living in our hometown.
     
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  14. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Augusta Heathbourne
    As a U.S. Citizen, still, have you (could you) taken citizenship abroad? If not, are you required to "sign-in" every so often as an alien resident? Forgive me for being so nosy, if you will, there is method behind my questions! :)
    Frank
     
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  15. Augusta Heathbourne

    Augusta Heathbourne Active Member
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    The answer is quite complicated, but the governments of New Zealand and Australia both had different requirements at different times over the decades I have been away from the USA. At first it was a struggle to be allowed to stay in NZ, and I had to go in every few months and make a case for my being there. Luckily I found an employer who needed an American perspective so he supported my cause, but that was really lucking out.

    Australia has changed its requirements for visitors' and residents' visas repeatedly over the years, and I have no idea what they currently are. But when in the late 1990s I obtained employment with a governmental agency I was required to obtain Australian citizenship, which I was allowed to do without giving up my USA citizenship, but again it took some fast talking! So I ended up becoming a "dual citizen", which has been wonderful.

    In general, the requirements are quite strict: about age, health status, finances, education, whether or not NZ or Australia need your occupational skills, and whether you have family connections already settled in the country. There are lots of hoops to jump through! I was really lucky.

     
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  16. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Augusta Heathbourne
    Thank you so much for the clear and understandable description of what can only be imagined as a quagmire of circumstance! My main reason for inquiring was, as I understood things years ago, U.S. citizenship law forbade continuation of U.S. citizenship, for any who established citizenship elsewhere. This would likely have applied around the end of WW-I, when great debate surrounded granting automatic U.S. citizenship to children born in the U.S. of non-U.S. citizens.

    This was brought up in our family by my Mother, who explained to me early-on that, she having been European-born, had she not sought and obtained Naturalization, my own birth later might have produced a tiny, new, non-citizen.

    Taken a step further, my first wife and her mother, father, and brother, emigrating here in 1963 from Germany, had papers stamped by the Germans as "Citizen of None". This was because her mother and father, Polish citizens by birth, had been rounded up and sent to Germany from their home, to work the produce fields. All three of their children had been born in Germany, of Polish parents of "no citizenship".

    The trials and tribulations experienced by such poor, displaced and maligned folks cannot hardly be imagined today.
    Frank
     
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  17. Augusta Heathbourne

    Augusta Heathbourne Active Member
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    @Frank Sanoica
    The mind boggles, doesn't it, when considering the struggles that immigrants displaced by war faced, like your mother and grandparents. I don't think you would have been a non-citizen, though. Think of all the illegal immigrants who give birth now in the US; those babies are automatically given US citizenship. But the rules change from time to time, so it is hard to say. The borders of the Eastern European countries, especially Poland and, I think, the Baltic countries perhaps, changed so often during WW2 that it would have been vertigo-inducing to try to remember which occupying force was in control. Grim history, I am glad your relatives got away.

    There was some pressure on me, I must admit, to relinquish my US citizenship - especially given that I was employed by another nation's government; it was pretty nerve-wracking there for awhile.I forget why the US Embassy finally relented, but thank goodness they did. Still, I would have been permitted to stay anyway for other extenuating circumstances, such as having married an Australian. But I cherish my US passport even if I don't plan to ever set foot on a computerised jet ever again. {I prefer DC8s, piloted by quick-witted humans.}

    PS I have met a surprising number of dual US-Aussie citizens here, so my case was not that unusual apparently.
     
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  18. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Augusta Heathbourne ".......even if I don't plan to ever set foot on a computerised jet ever again. {I prefer DC8s, piloted by quick-witted humans.}....."

    A most-interesting, as well as for me, thought-provoking, statement! Stated in jest? Or based on some untoward distasteful experience? Alas, the great fleets of DC-8s are long-gone. Douglas Aircraft blundered severely when designing their great DC-8. They failed to provide it with an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) capable of providing needed air circulation within the aircraft, for use during such periods when all 4 main engines were not running. Prescient in their design, Boeing, developing their B-707, a similar-sized plane, provided such auxiliary power.

    I once sweltered for an extended period of time within a DC-8 on the ground in Las Vegas. For reasons now escaping my rapidly-diminishing memory, it's main engines remained shut down, and connection to ground power was not available. A whole lot of flier complaining ensued. My seating companion happened to be an airline pilot returning home. He explained those facts to me.

    Douglas merged with McDonnell in 1967, going on to build a number of new planes, some eminently successful, others not so great. DC-9, two-engine short-runway small capacity, Super 80 (later MD-80, DC-9 derived), DC-10, in answer to Boeing's giant 747.

    The first two prototypes of Super 80 were destroyed by unintended accidents during initial flight-testing. The second, having it's fuselage broken in two, was supposed to have been delivered to Swissair, which anxiously awaited taking delivery! After the messy test-flight results, they declined acceptance! :rolleyes:

    Frank
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  19. Augusta Heathbourne

    Augusta Heathbourne Active Member
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    @Frank Sanoica

    I'm not a technical person, at all, and know none of the details about airplanes, but I loved the old DC8s, I always thought of them as the Greyhound buses of the air. I was a flight attendant in the 1970s for an international charter airline, and our pilots were almost all ex-military pilots whose intelligence, strength, and lightning-quick reactions saved us in emergencies, more than once. I also liked having just the one aisle, having just a few people in any row and not having elevators, or the huge kitchens with massive holding tanks of meals that during turbulence could injure you (that happened to me). I dreaded being assigned to the DC10 routes.

    I do not find computers reliable, nor people's ability to use computers, for something as essential as flying. The Air France flight that went down somewhere in S America a few years back was attributed to some computer related misunderstanding, remember? There are many episodes like that, I fear.

    Anyway, no I was not jesting, I will not get on a computer-controlled airplane. However, I have done some research and discovered that I could use a combination of smaller airlines and make my way via, say Jakarta, Fiji, Kuala Lumpur, etc to Hawaii, back to the US on the older aircraft that are still flown by these oddball local airlines, so that is comforting. {Except, of course, that I would be on an oddball local airline run by places like Jakarta, Fiji, Kuala Lumpur, etc!! LOL} Nope, I am staying put!

    PS My first stepfather was an aerospace engineer for Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, so was probably aware of some of these design decisions. He died long ago or I would ask him his opinion of this interesting info you shared.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  20. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Augusta Heathbourne

    Whoo, boy! I should have checked here before laying "bare" elsewhere, perhaps! I am most impressed by your knowledge and ability, Ma'am. And, humbled.

    The info I presented hopefully was not interpreted as braggadocio. Just stuff pouring forth from an old, technically-oriented mind.....
    Frank
     
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  21. Augusta Heathbourne

    Augusta Heathbourne Active Member
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    No worries! I was very interested in what you had to say about the DC8s, @Frank Sanoica. I like hearing tech stuff, as long as I'm not quizzed on it afterwards!

    And believe me it does not take knowledge or ability to be a flight attendant! It does take stamina, for sure.
     
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