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3 Reasons Why Life is Better for Americans Abroad

3 Reasons Why Life is Better for Americans Abroad

Each day, more Americans believe that life may be better abroad. With the recent presidential election, many people have stated their intention of moving to Canada as a better alternative.

What if we removed the Trump equation? Would people be so anxious to live abroad if Hillary Clinton won the election?

There are many reasons Americans decide to live abroad: 35% of American expats are looking for an adventure, while 31% simply enjoy living abroad. As an expat entrepreneur, I have lived abroad for almost 3 years in multiple countries. I enjoy the adventures and daily life.

Many Americans do not realize that they can experience a higher quality of life abroad. According to last year’s InterNations statistics,[1] 81% of American expats are generally satisfied with their expat life. Almost one-third (32%) of them stated that they would consider staying in their new country forever.

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Here are three reasons why life is better for Americans abroad.

1. Education Opportunities

The cost of higher education has continued to rise in the United States. As a result, college enrollment rates have decreased in the last four years.[2]

So, there is no doubt that rising tuition rates are keeping students away from obtaining a college degree. However, there are better alternatives abroad:

  • Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe, and offers free tuition at public universities for foreigners. There are 1,000+ college programs that are taught in English.
  • Norway is one of the Scandinavian countries where Americans can get free tuition at their state universities.
  • Czech Republic is another European country that allows anyone to study for free in Czech (their native language).

There are some other countries that offer free tuition to foreigners, including (but not limited to) Argentina, Finland, and Brazil.

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2. Healthcare Opportunities

I have been amazed at the quality of health care in so-called developing countries. In Mexico, I was able to get a dental cleaning for $26, and a full thyroid blood panel test for $50. You can get surgery, blood tests, and other health procedures done for 40-60% off prices in the United States.

But Mexico is not the only example. You can find high quality health care in other countries, including (but not limited to) Panama and South Africa.

3. Housing Opportunities

Do you prefer to live in an apartment or house? Both options are cheaper and more plentiful in most countries abroad.

In Spain, I paid 15% less than the average monthly rental price in the United States. In Mexico, bargain deals are not hard to find at all. In San Miguel De Allende, it is not uncommon to find houses to rent for $400 a month, outside of the downtown area. Most of these $400/month houses are not furnished, but I was fortunate to find a furnished one.

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These amazing deals are not limited to Mexico and Spain. You can find great deals in countries, including (but not limited to) Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, South Africa, and China.

The Final Word

You probably noticed a common thing in these three reasons. Low prices! They are significantly lower than prices in the United States.

Why pay more when you can pay less? Many American expats are retirees who find that their retirement checks buy more abroad than in America. Whether you are a retiree or not, living abroad offers a higher quality of life with a low cost of living. Many Americans aspire to be wealthy. If Americans could live a luxurious life abroad for less than $100,000 a year, I do not think most people would care about earning a six-figure salary anymore.

The expat population is growing. There are 8 million Americans abroad.[3] If the American expat population was one state, it would be America’s 13th most populous state.

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Perhaps it is time that you join the club!

Featured photo credit: Alex Mihis via pexels.com

Reference

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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