AFTER MORE THAN A DOZEN YEARS of living and working abroad, we’ve learned a lot of lessons about expat life. And we’ve heard many, many stories from people who have learned their own lessons from hard-won experiences.
Hindsight is always 20/20, of course; it’s easy to see the missteps and wrong assumptions and miscalculations after you’ve made them. But that doesn’t make those insights any less valuable—especially to those who have yet to make a move overseas. Learning from experience and passing on that knowledge is what this book is about.
So we’ll wrap things up with some of those insights. After all, when we get together with fellow expats, one of our favorite games is, “If I knew then what I know now,” and it can be very instructive.
So, let’s play. If we had known then what we know now . . .
WE’D HAVE PROFILED OURSELVES A BIT MORE RUTHLESSLY
So many things fall under this heading. In the excitement of researching exotic locations and dreaming about new lifestyles, it’s easy to overlook some seemingly small things that take on huge significance later on.
For example, you may have always dreamed of living in the tropics. We certainly did. But before you make the move, ask yourself how much you like heat and humidity. Really, really like it. Because that’s exactly what you’ll get in most tropical locations, all day, every day, all year round . . . until rainy season, when it gets even hotter and more humid. If we’d been more honest ...