Despite Many of the Problems and Issues Outlined on this Website, I Still Consider My Decision to Live as a Fifty-Plus Nomad the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made.
¨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 live in these countries full time. You are advised to seek out help from other expats living in these countries and professional assistance.
Don’t Get Discouraged: Living Abroad and Traveling Round the World Will Be the Best Decision You’ve Even Made
When I taught seminars about living abroad and traveling worldwide 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. The majority did not experience any of their worst fears. Many found their transformation to Fifty-Plus Nomads surprisingly easy.
That said, I dreaded telling course participants about the issues and pitfalls that they might encounter. I knew 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 responsible for ensuring 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/New Zealand.
Fortunately, these requirements will probably not affect 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 later blog posts.
Keep These Thoughts In Mind When Taking This Website
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 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.
- You will need to do many tasks as a Fifty-Plus Nomad that 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.
- That said, Fifty-Plus Nomads rarely have many serious issues. Many of the warnings contained in this website also apply in the US or Canada. It is just that we have more of a chance to fall into these problems abroad.
- Immigrants from other countries to the US and Canada face many challenges adjusting to their new lives.
- You can travel the world and live abroad using English. I am always amazed how many poople speak English and how eager they are to practice with a native speaker. That said, learning a foreign language will allow you to get a more profound exposure to another country, make a wider range of friends, and get the most of your experiences. Want to learn Spanish? Let me help.
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 list of 50 top travel memoirs.
Want Some Other Good Advice On How to Make Your Living Abroad and Traveling Round the World Dreams Take Flight?
One of the best resources for this information for over thirty years is Transitions Abroad.
Some Additional Living Abroad Related Posts
- Yippee! I Was Interviewed on the Retirement Rovers PodcastListen to my interview on the Retirement Rovers podcast and let me know what you think-
- Join the Exciting Fifty-Plus Nomad Facebook Group: Let Us Put Your Dreams of Living and Travel Abroad Into MotionJoin the Facebook Group Long-Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over the Age of 50 and unravel tons of useful posts of interest to the Fifty-Plus Nomad community from a variety of reputable sources.
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive Traveling and Living Abroad Seminars: Let Me Help You Put Your Dreams Into Flight (Coming Soon)Take one of my two Fifty-Plus Nomad seminars in my home in Merida, Mexico. Benefit from my sixteen years of experience traveling and living around the world. Learn how to travel around the world long-term and live in different countries.
- Introducing The New Fifty-Plus Nomad Blog: The Perfect Place to Begin Your Long-Term Living and Traveling Abroad Adventures Over 50Visit the all-new Fifty-Plus Nomad blog and learn all my tips for long-term travel and living abroad gathered from my 16 years of first-hand experience.
- My Complex Language Learning History: How I Learned 4 Foreign Languages Without Going CrazyI have learned Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian using a wide variety of methods. Some were more successful than others. I believe the most effective way is to combine several methods like I do with my exclusive polyglot method.
- Check Out My One-on-One Spanish and English Classes in Merida, Mexico: I Can Help Anyone Learn Using My Exclusive Polyglot Method (Coming Soon)Introducing Fifty-Plus Nomad Spanish and English classes in my home in Merida, Mexico. Come learn Spanish or English using the same techniques used by polyglots to become fully conversational in multiple foreign languages
- What a Difference a Year Makes: How I Found Contentment with Friends and a Dog in Merida Despite CoronavirusWhile I haven’t written any posts, the last year (Summer 2020-Summer 2021) has been very eventful. I have developed some essential friendships, improved my health, and really settled down into my new life as an expat in Merida.
- My Surprising and Complex Journey from Nomad to Expat in Merida, Mexico During CoronavirusIn March 2020, I decided to live full time as an expat in Merida, Mexico. It was not an easy decision. I spent 2011 to 2015 as a full time traveler. From 2015 to March 2020, I lived part time in Merida and Montreal and also traveled three to four months a year. Right when I was excited about becoming a full time expat, the Coronavirus pandemic happened and changed my plans even more.
- Definitions: Nomadic, Expat, and Fifty-Plus Nomad Communities, Immigrants, Refugees, and MigrantsA Fifty-Plus Nomad is anyone who dreams or has become a long-term traveler or an expat. We explore the world and live abroad for personal growth, intellectual curiosity or other intangible reasons. This post explores how Fifty-Plus Nomads are different and similar to expats, refugees, immigrants, and migrants. It also talks about different communities that are similar to Fifty-Plus Nomads like snowbirds and vanlifers.
- An Accidental Nomad and Expat in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico: Profile of Vicki SkinnerThis is a profile of Vicki Skinner, a friend and an interesting example of a fifty-plus nomad. She has lived over the past 16 years in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico on very limited funds..
- Pros and Cons of Living in Merida, MexicoThis post lists the pros and cons of living in Merida, Mexico. It also shows how I have adapted to (and even come to appreciate) some of the cons of living in Merida.
- 6 Reasons Why I Love Living and Traveling in Mexico (and Probably Will Live Here for the Rest of My Life)I live in Mexico because I love the country’s rich culture, history, nature, food and people. (Note: I have a related post on the pros and cons of living in Merida).
- Justifying Your Fifty-Plus Nomad Lifestyle: An Unexpected ChallengeI was surprised how often I had to justify my existence when I traveled around the world. Here are some tips in case you find yourself in the same situation.
- Paying More than Locals As a Foreigner: How to Deal with and Avoid ProblemsWhen I was younger being charged more for things than locals used to piss me off. Now I simply acknowledge it as part of traveling in third-world countries. I find the less it bothers me the less I attract aggressive vendors, too.
- Culture Shock: The Greatest Challenge for Long-Term Travelers and Expats?By far the biggest issue I had while traveling around the world as a younger man was culture shock. It even resulted in me making some major decisions, most of which I regret in retrospect. In my experience, many people suffer from culture shock while traveling around the world or living abroad but most don’t even know they are suffering from culture shock.
- Long-Term Travel and Living Abroad: 8 Reasons Why We are the First Generation to Enjoy the Awesome OpportunitiesUntil World War II only the wealthy had the ability to travel for extended periods or become expats. Today these nomadic dreams are available to many people.
- Living Abroad and Traveling Around the World Are Not As Difficult as They SoundWhenever you start researching the idea of living abroad or traveling around the world, you will read a lot of useful information that may leave you thinking this is harder than you expected. Yet, it is not that hard. Living abroad and traveling abroad is the best decision I’ve ever made and I think it can be for you too.
- Definitions Used Throughout The Fifty-Plus Nomad WebsiteFind out definitions for the following words used frequently in the Fifty-Plus Nomad website: fifty-plus nomad, developed countries, third world (emerging) countries, expats (expatriates), long term (extended) travel, learning travel, and volunteer travel.
- What is the Intended Audience for this Website? Long-Term, Round the World Travelers and Expats Over 50 Years OldThe audience for this website is long-term travelers and expats over 50 years old. While the website does its best to address the needs of everyone in this category, it is biased toward 1) Americans and Canadians and 2) travelers and expats who can live in some comfort ($100-$250 a day for travel and $2000-$4000 a month for expats).