September 20, 2008

to move, or not to move?

Posted in daydreaming tagged , , at 10:53 am by Malia Yoshioka

that is the question.

with the state of the economy and politics in the US these days, i’m very, very tempted. not to mention, while traveling abroad i constantly had to answer for george bush’s antics and everyone – regardless of how well they could even speak english – seemed to know more about the US presidential race than most people i know – myself, included!

the dollar is no longer a dominant currency in the world market, either. in fact, it was crippling for me and my meager budget to have to fork over euros in the weeks that i spent in europe. each week time i went to the ATM, it cost me more and more dollars to take out the same amount of local currency – and this was true in both southeast asia AND europe! the dollar is definitely on a steady decline, and just look at the financial sector falling to pieces in the past few days…

i’ve been thinking for awhile now of moving abroad. it’s actually an idea i’ve toyed with here and there with various degrees of seriousness. so far, the closest i got was in 2003-ish when i started selling all my furniture with plans to move to france. i chickened out a few weeks later, although i got rid of most of my favorite household items in the process, including my beloved pier 1 papasan chair, my blender, and most of my kitchen utensils. (i still miss them sometimes! haha)

but the more i think about it, the more it makes sense for me to do something like this now. one of the blogs i subscribed to came out with a list recently of the 5 best places to live overseas in 2008 and one of the recommendations was buenos aires, argentina. a good friend of mine lived there for awhile (and now speaks pretty fluent spanish and brags that he can tango!) and it’s definitely on my list of places i’d love to visit sometime. hmmmm.

while i was in southeast asia i gave some serious thought to whether i’d be able to live in most of the cities we visited. definite possibilities included chiang mai and bali, while visiting with expat friends in hong kong convinced me that i could do it too. i mean, for $3 a night in bali, you can get a roof over your head (a nicer rental than what $600/month gets you in hawaii!) plus breakfast! how can you beat that?

the trick for me in putting this all together though is figuring out a way to earn money in a strong currency, like the euro or even the (weak!) dollar. one option would be living in hawaii (or elsewhere in the US) for part of the year, then moving abroad for the rest. another, and the more desirable option for me, would be living abroad but working from home doing something (writing, perhaps??) where i could be paid in dollars… so far i haven’t had much luck with writing, but even if it pays nothing, i’d never give it up. so it’s just a matter of exploring all options and finding something that does work. in paris i was even tempted to just move in with adriana and find a job there, even if it meant waiting tables or something like that – the benefit would be earning money in euros and being able to develop flluency in a foreign language, which would be a benefit to my resume as well.

one of the best resources for those considering the expat life is the website (and webzine) transitions abroad. they’ve got lots of info on study abroad, global volunteerism, moving and working abroad, etc. worth a look!



  1. Mom said,

    Interesting thoughts to ponder…..

  2. Lynn said,

    my husband and i are considering the same thing, leaving his corporate job and moving to thailand to do somethingmroe meaningful withour lives. good luck to you. trippinwithrip dot com

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