I'm on mobile, so this will probably come out short and staccato, like bad prose poetry. I'm thinking about approaching the wife to seriously talk about moving out of the country. I'll shout out to flagamuffin, wasoxygen, and WanderingEng because they showed some interest in my rambling post. kleinbl00, if you see these, I'd love to hear your brutally honest, fuck any ego or feelings I might have, ideas on this. This is mostly musings on my part and the chances of us as a couple actually doing this are honestly pretty low. At the same time though, neither of us have done anything big or exciting with our lives, and something like moving to another country is our chance to literally go big or go home.
So I've been musing about places to be and things to do and here are some thoughts that I've had.
Neither my wife nor I have completed college or have what are considered any strong marketable skills, so job hunting in another country might be a bit of an issue as would potentially securing work visas or whatever you call them. Maybe she could teach English as a second language, as she's smart and approachable. Maybe I could open up my own store, maybe general goods or maybe something that sells niche American goods, like comic books or something. I'd half expect any country we would look moving too would have an agency I could send out letters to, saying "Howdy. We wanna move to your lovely neck of the woods. Tell us what to do and how to find work!"
We both only speak English, but she knows a handful of Spanish and I know a handful of French, so if we move to a country with one or both of those languages and hopefully English speakers here and there, we could make by for a bit until we learn the language better. I think anywhere we go, at least one of the core native languages need to be Germanic or Latin based. I think anything else would be too steep of a learning curve, ramping the difficulty of getting by up to 100.
I think safety for us would be a huge concern and there's multiple ways we could find ourselves in trouble. For example, I know in a lot of South East Asian countries, the governments allegedly don't do much to protect the rights of foreigners. Similarly, one of my co-workers travels with her family all over the Caribbean and Central America and she says poverty and crime are a huge problem almost everywhere. For example, she said in Costa Rica almost every neighborhood had bars on their windows and in Jamaica, they were advised to never leave resort grounds for their safety. That's scary. Similarly, we wouldn't want to find ourselves the target of theft or burglarly. A lot of this risk could of course be reduced by moving to a richer country, say in Europe, but cost of living and our lack of marketable skills would come in play, making getting by a hard thing to do.
Cost of living would have to be something we'd have to look very carefully at. For example, a place could have super cheap rent, but if food prices are through the roof, we might find ourselves in financial trouble. Knowing first hand how rough it can be to live in impoverished neighborhoods, we'd have to make sure wherever we end up is both affordable and safe.
Shit. Lunch is up. Ran out of time. I'll get back to this tonight.
Like most decisions, this is one that isn't "a decision" so much as a series of things you can try on easily and simply. I was going to ping briandmyers because he's one of like six people I know that have emigrated to Kiwiland. I myself took a good hard look at Canada in 2004. Friends of mine were going to take jobs in Brisbane but opted out; since he had that very discussion with me, I'll share the way it went:
Jill didn't like her options in her field in Seattle but her office had an opening in Brisbane. Jack asked me what I thought about it; he was madly in love with Jill but wasn't sure he wanted to follow her clear around the world.
I told Jack that the smart thing would be to take Jill on vacation to Brisbane to see how they liked it. I mean, when you're talking about upending your life for years/forever, what's a couple plane tickets? It was the first trip Jack and Jill went on, and she was thrilled.
Until she got to Brisbane. Her office, which ostensibly was willing to pay her a massive hiring bonus for moving, couldn't even really organize the time to have her meet everybody. She discovered that her pay package was much more diminished by taxes than she'd been led to believe, and the cost of living in Brisbane would have meant a massive real-wages paycut. And, Jack would have had to find something to do and Jill's company figured that was Jill's problem. More than that, they spent some time in Australia in general and decided that Brisbane was one of their least favorite places.
However, Jack and Jill had a marvelous time and started thinking more about places they could go, things they could do, and what their future together looked like. That was 2007 or so, they've been married since 2009, have two adorable kids and live in Pennsylvania now.
You'll note they didn't get as far as looking at visas - they just checked it out and noped the fuck out after having an awesome time. They ended up doing something different because of what they learned. And they did noting irrevocable or life-changing, other than committing to sharing a hotel room for a week.
You're happily married. Your wife is your biggest fan. Spend some time over beer or wine with an atlas or something and come up with a list of ten places you might conceivably want to live. Look into the visa requirements for each one and see which ones are viable. Then arrange to visit your top choice for a week and see what you think.
You're out a vacation, which you need one of anyway.
Maybe you go somewhere awesome and decide to get gung-ho about it. Now you're going into it with eyes open. Maybe the first place doesn't work so you try the 2nd choice and spend the rest of your life thanking your lucky stars you didn't move to Brisbane. Maybe you visit your top 5 and decide you really like travel, but you also really like the great US of A. And by the way, since most of your flights are out of Dallas and since you actually really enjoyed your layover there, you decide to relocate to Texas. Hey, stranger things have happened.
My big note of advice is that when you look at a momentous decision and try and figure out which way to go, you'll vaporlock and miss all the easy stuff. If, on the other hand, you investigate what you can get solved for free and little time, the whole mountain gets shorter. It's also fun. I mean, even looking up the visa requirements made the 2nd term of GWB sting less.
Good luck and have fun.