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I hit a milestone today... and now have enough saved up to head abroad, get a CELTA, support myself for a few months while I do the course and secure employment, and find the woman of my dreams!
I'm not ready to go yet though. I want to keep saving up over the next few months so I can have some serious flexibility and freedom to just chill abroad for a few months without having to worry about getting certified and finding employment quickly. Not to mention still having several cars and my househould items to sell off and liquidate for at least a few grand more in the pocket! However, knowing that I now officially have the freedom to say "Screw this place, I'm outta here!" whenever I want is HUGE. I am no longer stuck here, but am willfully staying of my own accord to save up a bigger nestegg. My window of departure has finally opened!
Feels good man.
So for those of you who haven't gone abroad yet but are trying to make it happen, how far along are you? How much longer until you plan on leaving and where are you gonna go? And what's the one thing holding you back from doing it, if anything?
Thought that it might be fun to discuss this in light of my accomplishment.
Congratulations on your being able to go abroad, the more money you have saved up the better off you will be. I still have a ways to go yet, that's why I am working my butt off right now. Once I am able to take a trip abroad, I will be making my travel arrangements.
Keep us informed about when you will be leaving and what countries you will be visiting.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
My advice for you is - SELL EVERYTHING!
I sold loads of stuff when I left, but wish I'd sold more.
Now I've come back I'm still living out of a suitcase. I have one dinner plate, one bowl, one saucepan. I don't even own a spoon. I am saving up an even bigger cash warchest so I can go get my CELTA then do teaching on a long term basis.
Incidentally. where are you going to get your CELTA? I was going to get mine in Thailand. I know that CELTAs "should" have equal weight whereever you get them, but my Chinese friend told me to do one in the UK - this would impress Chinese prospective employers a lot more.
I know it's easy to get teaching jobs, but in China there are elite teaching jobs that pay as much as I get paid in this country.
I think it's a very good idea that you're willing to wait a few extra months, so you can have extra cash. I got my TESOL cert. and then saved up money. It sure has helped me, now that I find myself in a foreign country not really sure if I want to commit to teaching English. The extra cash gives you a bit of a safety net in case things don't go according to plan.
JamesBond - thanks man. Hope your preparations go quickly!
xiongmao - Not completely sure about where I'm going to get it. I plan on doing it in whatever country I'm going to live in so I can get exposure to teaching the actual people I'll be doing classes for during training. However, if I end up in Mexico instead of Brazil, I might skip the CELTA and get a teacher's diploma which from what I've read is much more valuable if you plan on living in Mexico long-term. Definitely going to sell everything... cars, electronics, furniture, etc. I only rent so fortunately I don't have to worry about selling a house.
rudder - Definitely. The more the merrier, plus with a big enough nestegg I'll be able to hit multiple countries and live in each for a few months to make my final decision.
Once I head abroad I might try my hand at SEO writing since some people seem to have had decent luck with it. That will significantly stretch out my savings, and maybe even give me enough to sustain myself so I don't even have to use the rest of the savings. Then I can take my time and make sure I wind up with a job I'll really like doing, be it teaching English or something else. Obviously more options would open up once I meet my girl and get married and gain better residency in her country.
Thanks for the replies!
Congratulations on getting closer to your goals, Manly.
Well, in some countries, you still need to pass a citizenship test in the language of that country if your want to become a citizen, even if you marry a woman there (it's like this in Hungary, for example) But perhaps a few countries may have easier citizenship requirements or may have more different types of residency permits.
The big issue would be Brazil, since it appears to be very difficult to get a legal work Visa aside from getting married or getting sponsored by a company, which very few seem willing to do. I feel like I'd have to rush to find someone within 6 months if I wanted to live there legally (which could be a recipe for disaster picking the wrong girl), whereas with Mexico you can pretty much stay forever as a single guy.
Its not that hard to get a job in Brazil....... I don't know what your job skills are so I won't speculate. The biggest thing preventing employment in Brazil is learning Portuguese. By paying for your own relocation, that is usually the biggest cost to a company to hire foreign workers.
Am not sure why citizenship is a big deal with many wanna-be expats. Permanent residency is sufficient for 99% of whatever you're trying to do.
Also I am not sure why it would be a "rush" to find a suitable woman for LTR in six months. You're a Gringo, it really shouldn't take that long unless there's something that makes you physically unattractive in a country that takes outward appearances seriously (1# in Plastic Surgery, Colombia is #2).
Since you're not packing your bags yet, try forging some relationships ahead of time to help speed up the process.
It's not a matter of full-blown citizenship, it's a matter of overstaying the 6-month tourist Visa. I'm not too worried about securing a job, what worries me is having to work and live illegally there. When I say that I'd have to "rush" to find a good girl to marry in 6 months it's strictly due to remaining in-country legally. As a permanent resident, not citizen.
Portuguese will be fine for me. Pratico minhas linguas todas as dias, mas solamente preciso gente com quem posso falar. Jobwise, I am well experienced in IT most of all, but also have experience teaching certain skills, so I think I'd do well as an English teacher.
To find the girl who is absolutely right for me, It will likely take longer than 6 months to date, court, and weed out the incompatible ones. If I feel pressured to marry someone right away to be able to stay and work legally, I very well might make a bad decision and end up with a girl who is all wrong for me, and once again end up where I was after the destruction of my original marriage. I'm decent looking and built like a brick sh!thouse, so no worries about being physically attractive.
Maybe I'm overcomplicating this, but I want to be absolutely sure that I do this as right and best as possible.
By the way... how are your preparations coming along my friend? Are you still on track to leave for that great southern tropical land in a few months? Me, you, skateboardstephen, and anyone else who loves Brasil need to get together down there and tear sh!t up!!!
I've checked into this. The English-language schools in Brazil do not bother about your visa, and pay in cash. Same with some other latin and Mediterranean-Europe countries.
I know this doesnt address you concern about having to leave after 6 months. I dont think there is a way to address that until you're there and make some friends.
In the meantime, get down there if you can. I would skip the CELTA and just GO. English schools are busy training servers and staff for the World Cup which is coming up now.
You can get the CELTA somewhere, or plan your next country, after that.
PS If you cant sell your stuff fast, store it with a relative. You know you'll be back someday for a quick visit, you can deal with it then.
Travel light and fast.
Great advice Jester, thanks!
As far as relatives go... well... I don't have any here any longer. I lost 'em all during my divorce. Once I leave this place I will never, ever come back, even for a short visit. I just flat out don't have anyone or anything here anymore... so no reason to ever come back.
I don't want to go now because I want to increase my nestegg more. The World Cup provides some awesome opportunities, but at the same time, I think the 2016 Olympics provide even more. If I leave closer to the end of this year and start teaching English in the 2015 schoolyear, I should be pretty golden pra opportunidades trabalhar e construir uma vida no Brasil.
Pero... yo apreciado sus palabras mi amigo. Disculpe, pero estoy um pouco borracho y puedo solamente hablar em portunhol ahorita. jajajjaajaja!
Risos my friend. RISOSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!
You know, it's crazy...
I've felt so bad, for so long...
Stuck in debt, living in the ashes of my former life...
But all of the sudden, when I least expected it, everything turned around. I am now in a position of strength... I can leave for the promised land whenever I want... and I want to do whatever it takes to do it right.
This is so different. I have the money to do it. No more debt, no more pain. Just my future.
I can't wait!!
Thanks to each and every one of you for providing what you have. Making your life a success is all that matters. Finding what you want. Being the person you want.
Whatever country you love.
Make it happen.
Life will be there for you.
STOP DOUBTING IT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HAPPIER ABROAD RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THANKS WINSTON!!! You rule my man!!
I hope you've lived abroad before. It's certainly not the cakewalk that people on here make it sound like. I think the main issues you face will be finding employment that is worth your while and not having to work 50 hours/week on some stupid local salary just to make ends meet. But still, that's probably even better than not doing anything at all and just bumming around. At least that's how I'm wired. If I'm not doing something constructive with my life then I spiral into a pretty dark depression that no good woman will be able to get me out of.
Also, another recommendation I have (that probably contradicts what others would say) is to strike while the iron is hot. Try and make it so that the first woman you hook up with is the right one for you long term. The only reason I say this is because the first girl you kiss when you're abroad is going to be such a magical experience and you will be looking at the relationship with such hope and wild enthusiasm. It is difficult to replicate these sentiments 5 months and countless inadequate women later.
I am in that effort at the moment and I do appreciate the encouragement.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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