By Cathy McKay
Some expats choose to stay in one place. Other want the freedom to travel around the world. But no decision is necessarily irreversible.
Having lived in Cuenca for over a year now, I have had the opportunity to meet and befriend many expats. They have landed here from many U.S. states and other countries.
Their stories are fascinating! Their reasons for making the move may show some similarities, but the more I learn about each person’s/couple’s situation, the more I realize there is a myriad of other factors that brought them to this location.
A Life Experience
I’ve come to my own conclusion regarding moving abroad. It is not a pass/fail, or a win/lose proposition. It is a life experience and although it is a major one, it is not irreversible.
Statistics are difficult to come by in this arena, but there is an estimate used by those who have been here for some time: 50% of the people that move here leave within the first two years. This is because most people aren’t willing to discuss their personal reasons for making that decision, so it becomes very difficult to quantify.
It appears that many expats move back home mostly, I think because they miss their families or have medical needs that cannot be met here. This is not a good location for people with disabilities. The streets and sidewalks are old and very irregular and there are very few handicapped accessible locations. But there appears to be some capability to care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Some Choose to Globetrot
Some people seem to have difficulty adapting to life in an entirely different culture. Then there are those who decide that having the freedom retirement gives them to pick up and go whenever, wherever they want is just too tempting. They become globetrotters.
The rule of thumb seems to be that if you last here for five years you have a good chance of becoming a lifer. The point of this blog is that whatever category you end up with you will be a changed person.
As I often say, I would not have missed this opportunity for anything. My perspective has broadened in ways I never thought possible.
Please leave me your comments… and Bienvenidos!
Editor’s Note: – TCI is a full-service provider of expat education and transition services. Our private platform allows our global expat community and our Expat Alliance of in-country expats and experts to interact so that all can successfully embrace the expat experience. Learn More…