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 Veteran Member
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    This is new to me, what is an ex-pat?
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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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 Veteran 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 Greeter
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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 Veteran 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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