An Expat Talks about Living in
Sep 17, 2019
An expat in Colombia shares their journey to Medellin, which includes time in Panama and a lot of careful research into what it would mean to live in Central America.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.
We did a lot of research beforehand and had traveled on our sailboat from San Francisco down the west coast of the US, Central America, going through the Panama Canal and on to Florida over a course of 3 years. We experienced every country in Central America, by exploring in each country on the "chicken buses." This allowed us to immerse ourselves into the culture, history, and stability of the governments first hand. This gave us insight into the realization that we could retire earlier and do it by becoming expats.
Upon our return to the US, we knew we can live cheaper, and healthier in another country. So we set a plan to stock up our retirement funds and a goal of being an expat by 2015. In 2015 we moved to Panama and lived there for 3.5 years. We visited Medellin and missed a big city life so we decided to move to Colombia. We are very glad we did.
How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
As mentioned we did a lot of homework and on the ground visits. Nothing was really a big surprise to us. Getting used to a different culture and their way of doing things takes understanding and consideration. Learning the language is the most challenging aspect of becoming an expat. You can become an expat without learning the language but you miss out on the cultural experience and making friends in your new country.
Our experience has been wonderful and has exceeded our expectations.
How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
That's a very thought-provoking question. Honestly, we have not had any bad expectations since we have moved abroad. We have had to learn to be more patient and have a manana attitude. Muy Tranquillo! The only regret is we wish we could have done it sooner!
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