What Your Well-Meaning Friends May Never Understand
When friends dare to ask why you’re even entertaining this crazy notion of moving overseas, what do you tell them?
Do you have a list of justifications ready to defend yourself… in the hope that it will help them understand what, in your mind, is a very logical decision?
I’ve been there. And, sometimes, it gets exhausting…
Maybe you tell them you’re looking for a better quality of life that just can’t be had where you are right now…
Or you want to be somewhere you can stretch your dollars farther and live more comfortably…
You might be in search of better weather (somewhere you can be at the beach and enjoy summer temperatures year-round)…
Or perhaps you tell them you’re tired of the fast pace of modern life and want to escape to a place that’s more laid-back and embraces more traditional values (and, hey, where you’ll be surrounded by more supportive, like-minded people)…
These are all top reasons soon-to-be expats tend to throw out when explaining their decision to leave behind their old home in search of a new life.
And, while we may all have different reasons for going overseas, I believe there’s one thing we all have in common. One main motivator that, through all the hassle we may get from those around us, helps us keep our eye on the prize.
And this, dear reader, is what we French call depaysement…
Really, like dozens of French words, there’s no single English word to match it.
Depaysement is about leaving behind the old and plunging ourselves into a totally new environment… one that challenges us in new ways and brings back our sense of wonder in the world.
It’s like falling asleep in New York City, only to wake up in the Himalayas.
You’re disoriented by everything new that surrounds you… but you can’t beat that feeling of excitement. Suddenly, you’re alive again. A new chapter begins.
This time last year, I was badly in need of depaysement. On the surface, I was in a good place. In my mid-20s, and still at the beginning of my career, I held a great job in Central Paris—one of the best cities in the world by any standard.
But this job could never afford me the rent I needed to live in the heart of Paris.
So, five days a week, I was in one of two places: sitting at my desk… or in the process of getting to and from that desk (by two trains and three overcroweded metros).
And for what? A few hours a month when I could meet my friends, enjoy the cafés, boutiques, and parks the city is famous for…
I couldn’t go on living for mere flashes of enjoyment. Something had to change.
Enter Panama City…
Here, I can have a fulfilling career… but not have that career dictate my lifestyle.
In Panama City, I’m forced (by the pace of everything and everyone around me) to slow down and enjoy more of life.
And, goodbye crazy commute! I get from my home—in the hills, surrounded by nature—to my desk in 15 minutes. And I’m no longer traveling underground to work. I breeze in by scooter.
On weekends, I enjoy the beach. I get to swim, snorkel, surf, golf—opportunities I wouldn’t have had back home. And, weekdays, after work, I have more time to relax and take in my surroundings.
I’m still adjusting to the changes, of course. That’s part of expat life no matter where you go. That said, Americans in Panama City, will have an advantage over a girl from the Parisian suburbs…
With its modern sky-line, Panama City is as close as you’ll get to the model of a modern American city overseas… but with that easier, slower pace.
If you like big cities—and to have plenty of options for entertainment, shopping, and dining—then Panama City is an easy first dip into living overseas.
Likewise, if you’re starting a business, or moving with a business, then—for its banking and tax advantages (as well as being a major hub in the Americas), this city is certainly worth your consideration.
But, for quality of life—and to escape the intense heat of the city—more retirees are drawn out to the City Beaches areas like Coronado… or to our favorite spot in the country, the Azuero Peninsula. This is a world apart from what you may have seen of Panama City—and one that needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.
I’ll share more with you about my own transition into life in Panama in next week’s issue.
But for now, I wanted to remind you that we’ll be showcasing the best that Panama has to offer—from opportunities in the heart of the city… to the City Beaches… to the laid-back and affordable life on the Azuero Peninsula… at our upcoming Live and Invest in Panama Conference, June 8–10, 2016.
We’re not announcing details of this to the full readership until next week. So, if you’d like to join me and the rest of the Live and Invest Overseas team on the ground in Panama City, this is the time to secure your place, get the best discount, and be a VIP for the event (complimentary VIP status will be granted to the first 25 people to register). You can go here to reserve your free VIP Package (and don’t forget to use your exclusive LIOS Confidential Coupon Code PTYCONFIDENTIAL).
If you have any queries, please feel free to call—or drop me a line—at the details below…
Editor, Live and Invest Overseas Confidential
Tel. 1-888-627-8834 (toll-free in the United States)