¨Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of someone else’s thinking.¨
Note: This blog addresses legal residency issues in a general way. However, I can’t determine what will happen if you choose to live in these countries full time. You are advised to seek out help from other expats living in these countries and professional assistance.
When I taught seminars about living and traveling abroad in the 2000s, I always worried that I talked people out of their dreams.
I conducted nearly 500 interviews with Fifty-Plus Nomads as part of my research for my courses. Most interviewees were happy with their decision to live or travel abroad. The majority did not experience any of their worst fears. Many found that living and traveling abroad for extended periods surprisingly easy.
That said, I dreaded telling course participants about the issues and pitfalls that they might encounter. I know that no matter how much I emphasized the benefits of being a Fifty-Plus Nomad, many people only heard the negatives.
However, I also felt a responsibility to make sure that the audience understands the challenges that expatriates and long-term travelers experience.
Therefore, I have made a concerted effort to present these issues while repeatedly emphasizing the benefits of a nomadic existence.
Legal Residency Requirements
Legal residency requirements are the only potentially serious roadblocks for some Fifty-Plus Nomads. And, these requirements only apply to people who want to live full-time in the US/Canada, Europe, or Australia.
Fortunately, these requirements will probably not effect most Fifty-Plus Nomads living in the most popular Latin American countries (Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua) or most people traveling for extended periods.
However, many people find ways to work around these issues, including living in more than one country or spending part of each year traveling around the world.
I will address these issues in-depth in a later course.
Keep These Thoughts In Mind When Taking This Course
Don’t Compare Your Life as a Fifty-Plus Nomad with Your Life in the US or Canada
- It took a lot of time and effort for you to establish your life in the US or Canada. Finding and maintaining employment, buying and maintaining a house, using new technology, learning to drive a car, etc. are not easy anywhere in the world.
- Many tasks that you will need to do as a Fifty-Plus Nomad will appear more complicated than they turn out to be because you are dealing with another culture and language.
- Wait a while before attempting any tasks that you rarely do at home. (Such as home building or repairing or starting a business). Any job that is difficult and new at home will likely be more difficult in another country.
- Don’t be surprised if some of the biggest hurdles come from US and Canadian companies and government agencies. Our home government and business don’t deal well with expats or long-term travelers.
- Most of the warnings contained in this course also apply in the US or Canada. It is just that we have more of a chance to fall into these problems abroad. That said, Fifty-Plus Nomads rarely have many serious issues.
- Immigrants from other countries to the US and Canada face a lot of challenges adjusting to their new lives.
Keep a Balanced Perspective on Your Life as a Fifty-Plus Nomad
- The convenience of living in the US or Canada comes with costs. We are pressed to do and consume more than most other countries.
- Life as a Fifty-Plus Nomad can be very relaxing compared to home. Once you are a Fifty-Plus Nomad for a while, you’ll know what I mean.
- If you concentrate on why you want to be a Fifty-Plus Nomad in the first place, most problems will seem minor.
- Remember, most Fifty-Plus Nomads love their lifestyle.
- Read a memoir like On Mexico Time or Under the Tuscan Sun. The authors capture the joys of being a Fifty-Plus Nomad so well that you will be packing in no time. For a list of recommended reading see the About Me page.