We love talking about breaking the stereotypical ‘rules’ about moving abroad here at WI. After all, if you’re reading this and considering a move, you may already be breaking the rules yourself! Have a family? You should probably be living in suburbia and hosting your kid’s birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese. A young, professional couple? Commuting, gridlock and 60-hour workweeks should be the norm, right? Or, are you retired? That would mean living in an ‘adult community’, participating in weekly bingo and bridge nights and waiting for… the inevitable?
We try hard to cover all the angles of moving abroad – young, old, families, entrepreneurs, etc.; but with an abundance of information on the internet about moving, living and working in a foreign country, it’s hard to escape the cliché…
You know the one we mean; the presumption that moving abroad is reserved for retirees in perfect ‘coupledom’… cozy pictures of couples walking the beach at sunset (usually with sweaters casually tossed around their shoulders), broad smiles on their faces, lovingly looking into each others eyes…
And don’t get us wrong… if this fits you to a tee, then that’s great! But for many folks looking to improve their quality of life by moving to Latin America, this is not a reality.
But should your single status be stopping you from dreaming of a simpler life? Definitely not! It may be your excuse (go HERE to read about other excuses for not making the move), but it shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Pros and Cons of Being a Solo Expat
Just like there are pluses and minuses for families and couples moving abroad, singles have their own considerations to ponder…
By moving abroad on your own, you can come and go as you please without ever feeling you need to appease a partner. Part of being a couple usually means some compromise on where to go/eat/visit, what to do when you get there and when you go.
When you’re flying solo in your new home, you have the freedom to date, stay out late or choose at the last minute to stay the night or a weekend in a new town or city that you were perhaps visiting on a day-trip. No phone call home required.
If you’re moving abroad to start a new career or to continue working in your current career remotely, doing it on your own means you can dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to your work. Even if you were already doing this in your home country, at least now your expenses are much lower and the view is way nicer!
Moving to a new country where you don’t know anyone… by yourself… will make even the most reclusive person social. This may not sound like a ‘pro’ (especially if you are a recluse!), but living in a new setting, surrounded by people who don’t know you, can be extremely empowering and will 100% bring you out of your shell.
All of the expenses and bills that come with living abroad (or anywhere, for that matter) are shouldered by only you. Thankfully, Latin America is incredibly affordable to live!
It can get lonely. For this reason, getting to know people in your community is essential. And usually pretty easy. Both locals and other expats are generally very welcoming and open to meeting new people, especially other single ones. This is also a good reason to settle in a populated area… not necessarily a city, but a town or community where you will find like-minded expats and can get involved with activities and clubs.
Dealing with everything involved with moving abroad can be a daunting task… purchasing/renting a home, setting up your phone, internet, electricity, furnishings for your new place and even announcing to friends and family back home – you’ll hear it all, “you’re crazy!” “Aren’t you scared?” “Why are you doing this, alone?!” And many more… if you’re not careful, they can talk you right out of your decision!
Not having someone with you who knows you through and through during such a monumental move can be intimidating. We all feel the need to vent, share frustrations and even gossip with loved ones. This is where feelings of isolation and doubt may take over… “Did I do the right thing?” “Should I just go home?” The upside is the rise of incredible technology that’s available in even the most (what seems like) remote communities. You can combat these feelings with a Skype or phone call back home to family and friends, or hit up an expat forum (there are tons of these online). Even just reading about other people living around the world, out of the their comfort zone, will be enough to put your mind at ease and remind you why you’ve made this choice.
No doubt about it, moving to a foreign country is a huge, overwhelming and of course, exciting prospect for anyone… single or coupled. And regardless of your situation, it’s always so important to remember that this is an adventure! That’s why you’re doing it, right? Keeping it all in perspective… pushing through the tough stuff and embracing the fun/exciting times are what life’s all about – regardless of where you live and who you live with or without.
The best way to see if a country is right for your personal status, pocketbook and lifestyle is to visit on a Discovery Weekend!
Explore your options in different countries; all offering very affordable properties, homes and a guaranteed change of pace – for the better.