February 2, 2022
Earlier this month, I ended the newsletter with a request. I wrote:
“If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, hit the reply button and let me know what’s your favorite part of the newsletter, or the topic you’d like to see more information about. It will help me get over this “should I do this or that” waffling I’ve been lost in and help me provide the information and help you’re looking for.”
I received only a handful of responses, but interestingly, the majority said things like:
I appreciate discussion of real life psychological challenges of working independently and/or living outside comfortable institutions, e.g., outside USA or initiating a new enterprise. The real life feelings and burdens are seldom acknowledged elsewhere.
It started me thinking about the real-life feelings I was writing 10 years ago, as we were preparing to move offshore for the first time, and then experiencing life in another country. Things like this post, written shortly after I headed off to Panama on my own to find a place to live.
When last seen, Future Expat was grumpy. Tired of living in a hotel and having to go out for every meal, tired of not having a place to call her own. . . just tired.
There were even a few tearful phones calls with my husband back home, running along the lines of, “I don’t think I can do this.”
Fortunately, I’m happy — no, ecstatic — to report that I’ve found a home!
Or this one, written when we were in the throes of our financial smackdown in 2010. . .
A lot of blogs featured “things I feel thankful for” types of posts just before Thanksgiving, which was yesterday here in the US. I didn’t join them because, frankly, I haven’t been feeling I had much to be thankful for recently.
There’s a lot to be said for real-life feelings and unvarnished truth. . . .So here’s my unvarnished truth, not from my past but right now.
I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Among other things, we’ve just moved my 96-year-old father-in-law from his home in the Atlanta area to an assisted living facility near us. It all happened very quickly. We knew for a while that he needed more care than he was able to get at home, so my husband and his sister persuaded him that this would be a smart move with both of them nearby.
Once he agreed, they started looking for a good facility for him. They found a fantastic place, and the move happened in less than a month.
That’s fast! I mean, I don’t know if I’d be able to make such a huge change that fast, and I’m nearly 30 years younger than he is. . .
But it means a lot of changes to our lives, of course. So for right now, I need to take a step back from some things, including this newsletter.
I hope you understand.
I’m going to try to keep sending out interesting information, tools and tips via Twitter, so please follow me there if you’re not already.
Here’s my Twitter link – https://twitter.com/TheAnywhereist.
Tips & Tools
Want to know what it would cost to live there instead of here? Numbeo recently released their annual cost of living rankings. They organize them by country, by region, and you can even drill down to the city.
The three cheapest countries right now? Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. Not too enticing. . . but the fourth cheapest is actually pretty attractive.
The most expensive? Not the US, which is #26 (out of 116), but Bermuda.
Check out: Cost of Living Index by Country 2022
If you’re interested in finding a place to live that will help you achieve better health, here’s another interesting listing.
Read: The 7 Healthiest Places To Retire Overseas In 2022
This article was written a year ago, and it really resonated with me. I didn’t understand why I was having a hard time making decisions, since I’ve always considered myself a fairly decisive person. I just reread it, and it’s as true today (maybe even more true!) than it was a year into the pandemic. . .
Read: How the pandemic may be affecting your ability to make simple decisions
Productivity & Habits
Do you have trouble setting realistic deadlines?
If so, you’re definitely not alone. Estimating the amount of time it will take to complete a task is something almost all of us fail miserably at. The team at Doist.com breaks down why we’re so bad at it, and suggests four steps to get better at it.
Read: The Planning Fallacy
It seems like everyone has advice about the best way to be more productive. If increasing your productivity is your goal (and I’m not saying it should be, but that’s a subject for another day), the first thing to understand is there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Productivity is an individual as we are.
With that in mind, Trello presents seven distinct approaches to productivity. One of them might be just the one for you. (For myself, I use a combination of #1, #3, #4, and #6.)
Read: 7 Productivity Methods: Which One’s Just Right for You?
Here are four free tools to improve your working-from-home experience, starting with a handy app that makes Zoom calls less stressful. (Yes!)
Read: 4 free apps that make working from home way better
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. That means, if you click and purchase, you pay exactly the same amount and I’ll earn a small commission. These fees help me to keep the free information flowing.
In Case You Missed It. . .
How I Survived the 2019 Polar Vortex
I looked up this article recently, trying to take my mind of the below-freezing temperatures that suddenly took over our part of Florida. Brr. . .
While friends and family were in the grip of record-breaking winter cold during the 2019 polar votex, I was basking in the sun and sea breezes on Panama’s Azuero peninsula.
(That’s a picture of the beach – crowded because it was a Sunday! – where I stayed.)
If you listened to the latest Anywhereist Podcast (and if you haven’t, why not???), you heard my concerns about the difficulties of getting from Panama City to where I planned to stay.
You see, I arrived in Panama in the midst of the World Youth Conference, an event that drew hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world.
Finding a hotel room for my arrival night was a big challenge, and because the Pope was also attending this event, there were plenty of forces at work to disrupt a non-involved traveler like myself.
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