Teach English Abroad: Enjoy Traveling and Seeing the World!
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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:


Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

What possessions should I sell or store when heading overseas?

If you think you are only going overseas for one year, I'd suggest keeping and storing almost everything you own.  Though even after one year, you'll be surprised how little some things mean that were so important to you before you left.

Going for many years?

If you are thinking of spending a long time overseas - sell everything except those of the most sentimental value.  About five years into my TEFL career, I went through the boxes I had stored at my mom's house - and got rid of 90% of the stuff.  Not only did I no longer value what was there, but before I looked in the boxes I couldn't even recall what was in them. 

So much for all the "stuff" we value so much!

Even after many years overseas

At one time the author's wife had about 26 boxes(!) of stuff stored at her sister's house and I had NO IDEA what all that stuff was!  She had a list  and some of the stuff is junk we bought the first few years we were overseas, but I didn't even recall what that stuff was.  And how in the world could we fit 26 boxes of stuff into our house here?!

You WILL accumulate things while you are overseas too!

Upate - a couple years later: The 26 boxes mentioned above turned into four boxes worth shipping here to Thailand.  I loved that cool leather jacket I bought in Korea and wore while riding my motorcycle there.  But, what would I do with a leather jacket here in Thailand?

It's not as if we abandon our old habits of acquiring "stuff" - it is a habit you will continue.  I still like to buy things when traveling to new countries - souvenirs, I guess you would call them.

A valuable tip while traveling and living overseas

When you travel, if you want to acquire a memento of your visit to a special country or place, buy just one thing.  About twelve years ago I quit buying junk and decided to just buy one thing in each country, whether it cost a lot or a little.  Usually a lot.  But now, I have a good collection of quality art, fabrics, carpets, and other very special things, from many countries.  Not just a collection of trinkets, knick knacks and dust collectors.  Mostly I picked up things that would furnish my house.  Great art - fine carpets - tapestries - etc.

It's always fun to give a tour of the house - this carpet from Nepal, this tapestry from Rajasthan, that painting from Beijing, this beadwork from Tanzania and on and on.

 

 

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