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International Living
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I think looking at leaving your current country will rank in the top three scariest things to do in ones' life. When I decided to jump (figuratively), I think it did help that it was a fifteen year stewing process prompted by changing financial circumstances. Closing my design business after 21 years paled in comparison to the emotional and physical energy it took to leave my home of twenty-nine years.

I only started calling it International Living when I discovered it to be a daunting phenomenon and growing sound byte in the North American culture. Funny that a population should develop such a concept. And, then there is the ex-pat sound byte which I found to be ridiculous until I actually got away from the USA and lived the meaning full out.

The way I see it, you have to have a few key qualities to be able to make this leap to international living. One, if you hate change, it will be an undeniable struggle. Two, if you expect all things to remain equal, stay where you are. Three, the USA and Canada have been vastly more advanced, industrialized and gentrified than many emerging nations...if you can let go of those 'near and dear' paradigms (and it does take time), you will reap the rewards and celebrate your new life. Apple stores are not easy to get to, quinoa can be tricky to find, paying bills online or by post may not exist, getting menial things done in an hour may turn into a day outing, and getting irritated and voicing your feelings will mostly fall on deft ears and gain you zilch.

It is compelling to close your eyes and study your character long and hard and ask yourself if you are willing to shift paradigms daily. Unless you are looking at going to a cosmopolitan economy like Singapore where the crime is low and everything stylish will be at your finger tips, a list of 'pluses and minuses' is necessary. The top things I looked for when choosing my new home: my kids will be bi-lingual in Spanish, there will be 90% sunny and warm days without humidity throughout the year, we will be centrally located with few possible natural disasters (take into account your willingness to deal with issues....mine is -low tolerance'), and we will be in a small community with history and easy access to agriculture. These were paramount concerns. Now, there are down-sides which we have learned to adjust to: schooling is taking a more creative turn, learning to play in other financial markets has been eye-opening and productive, and letting go of of 'how Americans do it' has been, at times, exasperating.

As a family living together, international living, pushes our buttons daily. It is, however, safe to say, we, and especially our children, are vastly more open-minded and laid back. Expecting all things to be perfect all the time has gone by the wayside. Our days are full and the community of people in our quaint little colonial town are our new family. Living in Mexico in the High Desert is like living in the Wild West. My soccer son has turned cowboy, riding bare-back, collecting cowboy boots, and expanding his resourcefulness as he cuts down corn to feed to his first horse. All of my children are thriving and almost magically, doing great things with their lives. Creating sensations in their circles. My oldest adult daughter joined us here and has gone from intolerant spoiled brat to open, happy, dance instructor training to travel internationally and coach Latin dancers. My second daughter followed my example and allowed herself to go abroad and study and is in the process of publishing and marketing her first and second books at age 22. My third daughter has found a theater coach in this tiny town and is well on her way to stardom in the song and dance world.

I will confess when I made the move, there was a tiny nagging thought that my kids would be deprived of opportunity by leaving the powerful USA...and now, the elephant in the room has left. There is no turning back. In three years, we made the leap together and I see and feel, we can all do anything and go anywhere.


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Hi Sarah, My wish to you is a very good morning and the next parts of the day. I just passed by to say hello and tell you that I like your article because it rich and informative. When should we expect to see your profile and photo?

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