Living abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life for a variety of reasons. Many people begin their journey abroad with the idea of just getting away or seeking an adventure but what they discover is far more fulfilling.
The culture and the opportunity to learn a new language are a couple of the auxiliary benefits people discover and it’s quite common for foreigners to be adopted by the local communities they reside in abroad. I know this was the case for my wife and I who relocated to Tulum, Mexico over 4 years ago. What we also found were many like minded expats and other foreigners that were drawn to the area for it’s natural beauty and found a way to make a life. It wasn’t long after we settled in before we really felt like part of the community.
In the case of Tulum, Mexico we found it to be a true melting pot of people from all over the world. You can literally walk from one end of this small town (about 7 blocks) to the other and hear 6 different languages. What you also find are people that are here because they want to be and that makes most people very happy and friendly!
There’s some culture shock too and you need to be prepared for the differences in culture and timing and the way things are done in your new home country. As Americans we struggled initially with the lack of organization and appointment keeping and we were angry and confused for the first 6 months. We got a few tips from our new local friends and discovered some valuable insights into how things really worked and how to handle some of the things we were used to being automatic back in the states. The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s not your country and you should try to embrace the differences instead of complaining about something lacking or different than where you come from!
One of the other pleasant surprises we found with living abroad is the affordable international insurance. We are now saving more than 50% off our US based policies and the coverage is equal to or better than what we had! Of course we had many of the same concerns as most people about the quality of the policies and care we would receive. We have been pleasantly surprised by the level of service, convenience and coverage the IMG policies provide. These days with so many people retiring and looking for ways to get the most out of savings, the health insurance piece alone is enough to justify a move abroad for many.