by: rd95

comment by
badged comment
goobster  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Daydreams of leaving

kleinbl00 called me out because I am an American who pulled up stakes and moved to Budapest, Hungary on a whim, and stayed there for the better part of a decade.

So here's the trick. Both of you become certified English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers for Berlitz. (Or get an ESL certificate.)

Now you have a job anywhere you want to go in the world. You can walk into any Berlitz school and pick up a few hours a week. That will grow into more and more hours, and you will basically make a good college student-level salary.

The key thing is that you will MEET AND LIVE WITH THE LOCALS.

The big mistake that every single American thinks is that they have some sort of exalted way of life, or quality of life that is unmatched in the world, and that's just pure bullshit.

When you make a college student salary in any other country in the world, you are making a living wage. It's basic, but you have enough money to do the basic stuff. And since you are not going to the American Tourist spots, you are paying local prices for your needs... food, clothing, etc.

So you hang out in Prague for three months. Then you hop the train a couple hours south to Bratislava and hang there. It's cheap, and fun, and you love hiking in the hills, so you wind up staying for a year or so.

Then you go to Budapest and do the same thing. Or maybe zip over to the Baltics for the summer, and live it up in Tallinn in Estonia, then beat it down to Croatia for the winter.

Anytime you go anywhere, you jump on a train. You pay $20 to $90 to go anywhere. Or you find a RyanAir flight deal, and pay 20 GBP to fly to someplace crazy, like Morocco and chill there for a bit.

English is everywhere. And there is nothing you can't do without some goofy pantomime, some broken English, and some good-natured foreigner. (The ONLY time I got stumped was when I told a guy I was from San Francisco, and he tried to ask about earthquakes, and I just couldn't get it. Then the tram came, we laughed, got on board, and he slapped me on the back and we parted with a hearty smile.)

You and your wife are both good at something. You don't need a degree to prove it, but you will probably need a degree to get the right to stay permanently in any country. Fortunately, all school is free (and in English) in both the Netherlands and Sweden, so, shit... go there for a couple of years, enroll in school, get an education while working at whatever college students do there, and then go ANYWHERE.

And, being professional Nomads is WAY EASIER THAN YOU THINK. Especially if you have each other. Because the only problem my nomad friends have, is they sometimes feel lonely, and want to share a deeper experience with someone else. You and your wife have each other.

Here's the shitty part. This is incredibly fucking easy. You are going to agonize about it, and worry every detail, and make sure you buy exactly the right pack, and pocket knife, and notebook, and underwear... and you will travel for a week, and it will be stolen. And you'll never get it back. And you will have to wing it on the road, and scramble to replace things with whatever you can find, and there's no REI so you can't get those great socks anywhere, but there's this guy you met from Australia who told you about this place over in the Garment District of this city near by, and you can get there for, like... how much does that exchange to? Two dollars?... and you go, and you find things that work just as well, and you continue on your journey... and realize that YOU GOT THIS. Life can throw anything at you, and you don't even speak the language, but goddamnit motherfucker, I GOT MYSELF TO THAT NEIGHBORHOOD AND I BOUGHT MORE GODDAMN SOCKS!!! I AM A KING!!!! COME AT ME WORLD!!!

And shit will CHANGE in your brain. And you will become a citizen of the whole goddamn WORLD, not just one dopey little country that thinks it's shit don't stink.

And then you will look up and realize that it's been 4 years, and you could go ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET, and you get to CHOOSE now where you want to go. Your life is not dictated by keeping up with your high school friends, or whatever reality TV bullshit is driving the sale of those highwater pants, and you have friends you can visit in Perth, or Cape Town, or Minneapolis, or Hvar, or Berlin, and you travel, and see your friends... and then suddenly you have a job at a cool little startup in Barcelona. And then they want to give you an equity stake in the business, and then... hey... maybe I'll sell my motorcycle and stay in Barcelona. And then it's 7 years after that, and people visit YOU and wish THEY could do the amazing things that YOU AND YOUR WIFE have done, and how BRAVE you must me, and....

You will just shake your head at them sadly and vaguely remember when you thought that, too.