Happier than a Billionair

10 07 2012

I’m in the middle of reading this book called Happier than a Billionair. It’s about a couple that quit their jobs and moved to Costa Rica. It’s extraordinary. If you have your own expatriate dreams, especially if these dreams have anything to do with moving to Costa Rica, you want to read this book.

 

I’ll post an in-depth review of the book once I’ve completed reading it. So far, it’s fabulous! It is filled with great stories, lots of humor and adventure along with good information…

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Location, location, location–AKA–What country to call my new home

8 07 2012

Hyper-post: I’ve had many friends travel the Latin Americas. Here’s what I’ve heard. Mexico is wickedly inexpensive and wildly dangerous. Police are corrupt. Cab drivers are killers. People are wonderful. Art and food are both vibrant and delicious. Panama is fab for retirees, but a little pricey for the younger crowd. Don’t bother looking for a job unless you already have one lined up. You’d better come with cashflow planned. Brazil is all about safety. Absolutely beautiful and wonderful people with a rich culture. Be careful where you locate and always keep eyes in the back of your head. Not a place for people who wander around unaware of their surroundings. Great place to dive into a new world feet first. Costa Rica is the most popular recommendation from my friends in terms of beauty, cost of living, culture and safety. Argentina is a personal obsession, and several people have both recommended it highly as an ex pat destination as well as told me I was nuts to consider it. Belize is expensive but with the right plan, that includes working in the adventure tourism industry, it could easily be a dream come true.

If anyone has additional information, thoughts or ideas, please talk to me in the comments section. I love to interact and would really enjoy hearing from you!





NOT DOWN YET!

8 07 2012

Hey – anyone remember this blog of mine??    Hellooooooo!

I’m the Expat Wannabe. I’ve abandoned this blog and left it dormant for a while, but I have not been dormant. Not by far! I’m going to pick it back up again with a new two-year plan. My 40th birthday is my new goal date for moving abroad — to a new location on the planet. That doesn’t mean I’ll stay there forever, but at least a full year then maybe wander along to another spot. Writing all the while, of course. Here is what I’ve been up to in the meantime… check it out!

My Writing Blog Is HERE





Departure signs are taunting me… those bastards!

13 10 2011

Departure Sign

I picked a friend up from the airport today. Good to see him after all these years. His plane was delayed, though, and I had to wait for him. I usually am annoyingly patient, but something about being so close to escape yet so far away from actually leaving whilst sitting around taunted by departure signs blinking and winking at me, as they do. Well, it all started a bitter, nauseous taste brewing in my mouth.

When my friend finally showed up, I was less than warm, though not icy. He sensed my state of mind, a little on edge. Or maybe it was because I squeezed his hand so hard his eyes popped out of his head as I dragged him swiftly to grab his baggage and leapt to the garage–all within three minutes at TIA, and we sped out into the morning. He could have sensed the bruises I left on his hand when I grabbed him, too. That’s all possible. Either way, he lead me into his hotel where we both gulped up a few extra spicy bloody marys. If I were paying any attention to my actions over the last month since I’ve been fully self-employed, I might notice that my alcohol consumption has increased dramatically. I might notice it. If I were paying attention, you know.

Anyway, as usual, my head cleared as it spun around the room. We did talk about his travels, and with a little fermented concoction running through my veins, now the conversation was inspiring versus feeling the sharp pains of jealousy’s blood streaming from my eyes. If I were less intoxicated, I would have asked my friend for work, as he described several projects that I’d be a strong partner on. Alas! I was not less drunk. Maybe that conversation will come around again when I see him Sunday. Or maybe I’ll again be too distracted by some other level of consciousness that reality seems trite and uninspired.

My bill collectors don’t agree with my take on the artificial nature of time or that on a quantum level we don’t even exist but through our perception, so in fact, nothing is real, it is all imagined. Bill collectors. Strange people. What does shut them up is timely payment, which I’ve been increasingly able to meet since I got rid of that soul-sucking day job I had. Now, I actually have the opportunity to make money for a living, and so far so good. Now, about that conversation with my friend… I would really make an EXCELLENT partner on that project–my presentation design skills are second to none. It might help if I mention that to him some time soon.





How much is enough? AKA: There’s no such thing as security, but drinking helps.

11 10 2011

THE BIG MOVE… How can I decide when it’s time?The truth is, there is no perfect time to move. Slowly, I’m beginning to pull fuzzy rabbits out of my hat again, and for me, this is the definition of success. Money is beginning to be defined as something I can create again versus something that depends upon a job to acquire. What do I mean? Marketability versus traditional security.

My Mini Bottles on a Plane

I have several talents/skills that can generate income for me: 1) writing; 2) singing; 3) cooking; 4) acting; 5) communications and business development; 6) public speaking… these are marketable anywhere. The trick is to make sure each of these talents/skills are polished and at the ready to be marketed and delivered with exceptional quality. This level of marketability is far more secure than a job. I can’t get fired, I can mold the skills to fit within any changing market, and I take it with me wherever I go.

For me, I find that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol at strategic periods of time helps hone these skills. You know–focus.

Where to move? Look I only speak American English. So I’m honestly not concerned about the language barrier–I’m an alien anywhere. Argentina and Brazil look very promising, but I’m not ruling out Costa Rica or Panama. Belize has some fine attributes also.

When to move…? Again that pesky question. I think I’ll get drunk (or even high for the first time in my life) wind up on a plane, and there I will be.

More to come…





Developing business needed for Latin America launch–a little disappointment

13 10 2010

Freelance Writing!

Worked like crazy to develop a new blog for my freelance writing and communications consulting business. It’s only been one day, but I am disappointed by the response so far. It seems that thee’s much more interested in living a dream and fleeing the country than there is in communications and marketing practices. I’m not surprised–I think living dreams, planning for adventures and exploring new lands is far more exciting to read about than business strategy, too. But I have no idea how to make a living as an explorer–I do know about writing and communications.

I’m far from feeling defeated. I just expected a much more enthusiastic response on the reorganization. Anyway, if you have any interest in learning more about my professional life, please feel free to visit my other blog: http://daphnestreet.wordpress.com/ and please, please promote it if you feel the spirit move you to do so.

Anyway, things are still progressing on this end. I’ll keep trying different strategies in hopes of stirring greater buzz. More later.

Happy trails  –Daphne





Pains of jumpstarting freelance writing biz while working fulltime

9 10 2010

Okay. First realization. This isn’t easy. My fulltime job takes a minimum of 60 hours a week, on salary, as a writer for a large nonprofit. Plus, the job market is fantastically weak, so to be competitive, I’m having to offer huge discounts, calling them “introduction rates,” making sure to document all discounts within every bid and invoice.

Meanwhile, I have one steady freelance gig that pays weekly, with some eventual room for additional special projects. However, it is most definitely location-dependant, which is the type of job I don’t want as I am trying to move abroad. That’s okay. It’s steady income into the freelance business, so that’s positive any way I look at it, for now.

Fulltime gig is getting more and more tedious. With no support staff in various departments, I’m being required to take on more data entry work for other departments and not doing as much writing as I would like. This just adds stress to an already overworked schedule. But, that’s just business life these days. No one can afford much support staff. Hopefully it’s at least appreciated and/or helpful, but that’s wishful thinking. It’s really just expected and demanded.

The agony is that if I left my fulltime job, I do have ample work to make more money with the freelance work than I’m making through the fulltime job. The fulltime job is getting in the way of me making more money. It’s taking up so much time, including time that I’m not actually compensated for as I’m salaried, that I could use through billable hours in my freelance work. I could also spend the additional time marketing the freelance biz and taking on more higher-paying, large-scale jobs that I don’t have time to take on right now, thanks to working fulltime.

But, is it time to quit yet? How about now? Now? What about now? Grrrrrrrrrr….. 

Insurance, paid vacations, steady pay, blah, blah, blah…. barriers I’m not sure I can abandon right now. Plans are for another six months to a year. I wonder if I should change my plans and speed things up?