Why I’m here

It’s the birth of a new blog, “Aspiring Expat,” today and I’d be remiss not to post something just to make it official. So here’s the obligatory first post just to introduce myself and say hello.

I’m Heather Larson, American, over 40/GenX, single, able, and willing to move around the world. It almost happened a decade ago, but a job offer fell through. I ended up staying in America and moving to the Midwest.

I’m going to start this blog today, July 19, 2020 by saying I have no idea what I am doing, where I am going, or how — much less when. I have a list of a handful of countries I am interested in moving to with a clear front runner.

Making the decision will take time and research — and most likely — an end to the pandemic. But I’m not ruling out packing two bags, getting on a plane, and dealing with an appropriate quarantine either. If it comes to that.

I’m interested in country hopping as a digital nomad. I’m also interested in a path to permanent citizenship in a better country. I have concerns and roots to the U.S., like many people do. I also have a few friends who are intrepid travelers and some who are very good at being expats in countries like Germany, Taiwan, and Vietnam. But mostly, I’m absolutely clueless.

Becoming more interested in emigrating somewhere has shown me how little I do know about the process and about other countries. I’ve come to realize how much I didn’t even know about the U.S. and its place in the world. Many Americans are ignorant like this. I hope to end my own ignorance and share what I learn here.

So my first blogs will be pretty basic, just a lot of me gathering information and sharing it as I find it and attempting to explain where I’m coming from. I don’t know how much I have to explain how disappointed I am in my country or how others look so tremendously better right now in the pandemic. Many friends and I have been discussing privately where we would like to go. Some just want to leave the Midwest for other parts of the U.S. Others, like me, would be willing to become migrants or digital nomads.

So being a writer, I thought I’d start this blog and share my experience. Worst case scenario — I go nowhere. I stay right in the U.S. Maybe I do the digital nomad thing, then become a migrant, then a new citizen of some other country. Either way, I think my successes and failures can benefit another person someday, who is just like me today — clueless and unsure where to begin.

Who knows when we can travel again? Some of my die-hard traveler friends have made an attempt to get back to it. Two have traveled out of the U.S. so far — but I have many more of these crazy-for-travel friends who are staying put.

What is the future of travel for us all? When can we travel safely again? I’m already quite tired of wearing my mask outside my home and at work. I used to think I’d hate to wear a mask in an airport and on a long flight, but I’m past that now. I wear it 40 hours a week. I’m over it.

I have a long decision-making process ahead of me. Friends who have lived in other countries have shown me how great it is — but have also warned me about tax penalties.

What makes a country desirable? Why I am so tired of the U.S.? What am I seeking? How to go about all this the best way? How to afford all this? How can one make a living, be sane/healthy, and fulfilled as a digital nomad? Do I roam from country to country playing the visa game or do I settle down? Do I travel first to my top 10 list of countries I want to immigrate to, then decide once I’ve experienced them all? How long with that take? What will it cost? Or do I just throw a dart at the map and settle down? Ok, I am NOT throwing a dart at a map! I know what kinds of countries I’d prefer.

But I want to answer all these questions and more, plus gain expert opinions, find other expat and travel bloggers, and really enjoy the true “journey” here. So let’s see what happens.

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