We’ve had a series of video posts and other blog topics since our last blog in this series: “Is Part-Time Expat Living for Me? I’m excited to be returning to this series because there are still a myriad of questions to ask ourselves in this quest.
In this article, we will look at the activities you enjoy doing and how they match with the countries you are considering.
So, here we go . . .
What do I enjoy doing in my spare time? What are my hobbies?
Activities and hobbies are an important part of our lives. They allow us to give expression to our creativity, our abilities, our curiosities, and our energies. They also often provide us with communities of like-minded people, friendships, and an ever-expanding group of interests. It will be important to find outlets for these hobbies and interests in your new country. There may be some activities that you will choose to discontinue; however, you will be wise to include your favorites in your new life. They will help to give your new life structure, familiarity, and security as you go through the adjustment period, not to mention the enjoyment you already receive from them.
So, what do you like to do? Make a list. Make note of those you enjoy the most or those you really want to make sure you include in your new life. Then begin researching to see if your interests can be pursued in your new country. If it is something internet-based, you’ll need to know how internet service is. If it centers around books, you’ll need to know if you can acquire books easily. If it’s centered around food, can you get the ingredients you’ll want and will you have the appropriate cooking utensils and equipment?
Join expat groups on Facebook and other online expat forums that highlight life in your potential places . . . and then start asking questions. (On Facebook, simply search “Expats in Bolivia” or “Brussels Expats.”) You will be amazed at the information that is at your fingertips in these groups and forums. Real people who are living in the places you are interest in will be there, happy to answer your questions.
How Does the Climate Interface with the Activities I Love Most?
If you love outdoor activities, you’ll need to know if they are available. For instance, if you love to snow ski, Nicaragua would not be a good choice! If you love to hike on mountain trails, then the Cayman Islands is not your place. If you love playing American football, you’ll have to do a lot of digging and searching to find others to play with in Beijing.
Sometimes we live in bubbles, thinking that the whole world will offer what we are used to enjoying, and it’s just not true. With more and more people living around the world as expats and global nomads, it is true that there may be people most anywhere who share your interests, but it may be very difficult to actually participate in activities due to logistics, lack of equipment, travel distances, language barriers, etc. It will serve you well to research and ask, ask, ask.
How About Learning Some New Things?
Perhaps you are ready to jump into some new activities and interests. You may not even know what those are right now, but you’re eager to try new things and have new experiences. Then, delve into what is popular in your potential places and see if they might interest you. Who knows? You may find something that fits you better than anything else ever has.
What Am I Willing to Eliminate?
As you look at the things you enjoy, you can be assured that there will be some things that will not be practical or possible in your new place. Lives are lived differently around the world. You won’t find everything everywhere. So, what are you willing to eliminate? What would you be content to discontinue?
After you’ve narrowed things down, you’ll know what to focus on. Then, we can’t say it enough, research, ask, inquire, and pursue. You can continue many of your present activities. You’ll just have to find out how and where.
And, think of the interesting people you will meet along the way!
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