Blog on Becoming an Expat & successfully working remotely

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June 2017

Find the Best Country for your Budget

in Moving Abroad by

If you’re looking to become an expat and live a relaxed life, moving somewhere inexpensive is a necessity. I was able to quit my job and become an expat so that I can travel the world.  I am living the life of my dreams, and I’m here to advise future expats on where to move in order to live a good life that’s also light on the wallet.

I have laid out a list of beautiful, interesting, welcoming and adventure-rich places that are single-friendly and really affordable.  As you all know, I’m a living witness about how amazing and inexpensive it can be as a resident of #2 on the list.

street scene in Carvoeiro, Portugal

1. Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

  • Beautiful views from the rocky coast
  • Constant sunshine
  • Perfect weather year round
  • Great food and wine and lots of history
  • Great place for single women to start a business and a life

Total monthly budget: $1,150 per person  

Rent: $727

Transportation: $42

Gas: 0

Electricity: $100

Water: 0

Telephone/Internet/Cable TV: $78

Entertainment: $108

Groceries: $140

2. El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

  • Great exchange rate between USD and COP
  • Great tourism and investment opportunities
  • Well dress, well mannered and welcoming people
  • Comfortable, tranquil and Idyllic way of life for a super affordable price

 

Total monthly budget: $1,650 per person  

Rent: $993

Transportation: $50

Gas: $99

Electricity: 0

Water: 0

Telephone/Internet/Cable TV: $99

Entertainment: $136

Groceries: $199

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

3. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

  • Established community of French expats
  • Improving infrastructure
  • Establishing residency is easy
  • Cost of living is a huge bargain
  • Very strong economy
  • Crime is falling

 

Total monthly budget: $1,250 per person  

Rent: $770

Transportation: $14.50

Gas: $7.40

Electricity: $58

Water: $4.85

Telephone/Internet/Cable TV: $47

Entertainment: $142

Groceries: $190

Cayo, Belize

4.  Santa Familia, Cayo, Belize

  • Wide-open spaces
  • Fresh air
  • Warm weather
  • Fertile land
  • World’s best place to disconnect and unplug
  • Small town atmosphere

 

Total monthly budget: $1,200 per person 

Rent: $600

Transportation: $95

Gas: $12.50

Electricity: $88

Water: $6.25

Telephone: $50

Internet: $50

Cable TV: $23

Entertainment: $88

Groceries: $100

A quiet street in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Schaffer/Flickr)

5. Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Super low cost of living
  • Great weather
  • Rich history
  • Distinct culture
  • Mega-malls
  • Huge multi-national grocery & departments stores

 

Total monthly budget: $1,000 per person  

Rent: $736

Transportation: $12

Gas: $9

Electricity: $60

Water: $6

Telephone: $18

Internet: $30

Cable TV: $32

Entertainment: $38

Groceries: $133

6. Barcelona, Spain

  • Vibrant, colorful, proud city
  • Strong energy
  • Very affordable to live
  • Compact & well laid out
  • Opportunities for diversion, entertainment and discovery
  • City of galleries, museums, monuments, theaters, restaurants and shopping

Total monthly budget: $1,600 per person  

Rent: $1,000

Transportation: $45

Gas: $90

Electricity: $67

Water: $23

Telephone: $50

Internet: 0

Cable TV: $23

Entertainment: $171

Groceries: $224

7. Granada, Nicaragua

  • Cost of living and real estate is really cheap
  • Busy and lively city
  • Attracts record numbers of tourists and expats
  • City is like a fairytale

 

Total monthly budget: $1,225 per person  

Rent: $762

Transportation: $17

Gas: $10

Electricity: $118

Water: $9.50

Telephone: $5

Internet/Cable TV: $33

Entertainment: $82

Groceries: $163

8. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

  • Laid-back & quiet
  • Low cost of living
  • High standard and low cost of health care
  • Life revolves around water and outdoors
  • Emerging expat community
  • Mix of adventure and exotic
  • Serene, close to nature lifestyle
  • Global bargain

 

Total monthly budget: $850 per person  

Rent: $583

Transportation: $23

Gas: $7

Electricity: $47

Water: $5

Telephone: $12

Internet: MYR60

Cable TV: $16

Entertainment: $59

Groceries: $128

The Expat in YOU!

in About Us by
  • IMG_1589.jpg

ABOUT

My name is NikkiFaye, and I’m the power behind Become An Expat.

I’m an American who has lived in many countries around the world, and I can attest to the fact that this journey is the best journey you will ever make.

I currently live in Colombia, and I have a lot of experience working remotely and finding ways to make an income to sustain my lifestyle and still be able to travel.

My background

I studied Business & Law in the U.S. earning my JD/MBA.  I went on to work in the corporate world, where I ended up staying for 11 years working for some of the top entertainment companies in the world including Disney, NBC & Dreamworks. Working in the areas of law, television development, licensing, marketing and brand management.  I learned a lot, but I was desperate for something else. I wanted to follow my passion.  My love for travel began to consume me so I used every possible holiday and vacation day to explore the world until one day I decided to spend three months out of the country.  This experience changed my life, and I knew that I could never turn back. I could never go on another vacation where I saw the main tourist sites and took some great photos.  I needed to spend some time exploring the country and its culture.  I needed to feel what life was like living and working in these various countries.  I could no longer see travel the same so I decided to make travel my lifestyle and why not?  Others were doing it and thriving.  Why not me?  And if not now, when?

A new opportunity

Walking away from the corporate world wasn’t easy.  The idea of knowing that your paycheck would arrive every two weeks and having some sort of stability regarding your career future brings great comfort, but knowing that you are about embark on a journey to follow your life long dream brings great happiness.  There’s something about making a decision that starts to draw everything that you need across your path.  Once I decided that this would be my lifelong journey as opposed to my retirement plan, job opportunities started to come my way, people started to reach out about featuring me and my travel journey in magazines and on TV, and people who had already started the expat journey were gravitating towards me so I could learn from their experiences.

 

Exciting new beginning

As I started to prepare for my journey, I decided that I needed to document this so it could be helpful to expats who were coming behind me.  I wanted to make all the answers to the questions that I had available to everyone.  I started to video library of myself discussing the various milestones that I was meeting along my journey.

Become An Expat

This vision was birthed based on my need for information as I was starting to plan my journey.  I have always been a connector of people and have always been excited by helping others to meet their goals.  I focused on working with people who aspired to move to Colombia, but I decided that most of the information I provided was universal.  It applied to anyone who wanted to live abroad, away from their home countries and…

  • who had had to give up their careers and were interested in remote jobs as a way to travel and still generate income
  • who wanted to just volunteer all over the world and still be able to finance their lives
  • who wanted to have a business that fit in with their new expat lifestyle
  • who wanted to invest in property abroad

And this is the work  that I am passionate about.

I love to see when people commit to living the life of their dreams, connections people are making with each other, helping each other out and sharing their experiences, wins and challenges.  This isn’t just a move, it’s a life change.  I want to help you to adjust to this new world that you have set out to experience.

For the love of travel…

We have made sacrifices our entire lives for education, for love, for a job.  Now it’s time for you to make the sacrifice to do what truly makes you happy.  If there seems to be something missing in your life, something that makes you really feel that you are following your heart.  Stop saying you’ll do it one day, and may one day right now.

This journey will provide personal development, you will learn more about yourself, have the ability going inwards and live the life that makes you happy, and find out what makes you tick deep down in your essence.

In the past 6 months I’ve been investing in my own happiness.  I now feel excited, rejuvenated, happy, and optimistic about what the future holds.  Join me and get the sparkle back in your life.

I’m using my sparkle to help you, and I’m loving it.

If you’d like to know more, come and join my expat tribe.

We welcome you with open arms!

Becoming an Expat to Colombia

in About Us/My Expat Story by
  • Medellin-photo.jpg

The decision to leave your entire life, family and friends in the only country you have ever known is a very substantial one, but it is a decision people have been making since the world began.  Since there is still no manual for it, I am using my life as a blueprint for you to follow.  I’ll start by telling you my expat story.

Around January, I visited Colombia for the second time.  Although my first trip was AMAZING and awe inspiring, it never occurred to me that one day this would be the country that I would call home some day.  When I arrived for second time, I again felt this nostalgia, but I was in a different space mentally this time.  I had come to the realization that material things no longer mattered to me, the U.S. wasn’t the only place that could provide a good life for me, and I didn’t need to be in corporate America to take care of myself.  Moreover, corporate America was only covering my bills and a few extracurricular activities on the side so it wasn’t creating a windfall of cash that could secure my future.  Quite frankly, I was concerned about life after retirement because I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to afford the enormous expense of a California lifestyle on social security, if that’s even still available when I retire, and on what little I managed to stow away in my 401K.

My decision was two-fold based on whether I’d be able to generate enough income for myself outside of a typical 9-5, and when would I be able to live the life of travel that I desired if I did things the way that the American way was designed.  From an American perspective, I’d retire at age 66, and then I would be free to travel freely. Well, who knows what tomorrow may bring.  My Mother had passed away only a month before I decided to take this voyage at the age of 57 so who’s to say I’d even live that long.  On top of that, I’d be 66 years old so I wouldn’t have the physical flexibility that I once had in my youth.   With these facts in hand and having met many expats while I was visiting Colombia who were already living this lifestyle, I decided that the time was now, and I could no longer put off my happiness for a date to be determined.

So I decided.  I decided that the time is now.  The time is now for me to live the life of my dreams.  Now is the time to explore the world.  Now is the time to follow my heart.  In March, I decided that it was time to plan my exodus.  When people in Colombia asked if I was coming back, I of course I told them I’d be returning, but they all followed up with the question, “when”?  I’d always be thinking to myself, “well, I just decided I was moving, give me some time.”  As I was on the plane in April I even questioned myself.  So when are you going to do it?  Then I remembered that for any other goal I had set for myself, when a deadline was attached, it typically wouldn’t happen.  I guess the expats already in Colombia had already known this and were just checking the thermometer of my sincerity.  So right then and there, I decided that I would return in six months.  For some reason, when I did the math in my head, that got me to September when it really should have been October 1st, but by then I had decided, and it was final.

I WAS BECOMING AN EXPAT TO COLOMBIA!!!!!  This was the day a became free.  Free of the weight of the world, free of the chains around my neck from corporate America, free from the chain of earning my American dream. I was just free to be whoever I wanted to be.  It was my choice.  I no longer operated under the confines of love and marriage, employee and employer, lender and borrower.  Now, all I had to do was figure out how to pay for it all which was no small fete.

Well, once I got off the plane, I immediately went into life change planning mode.  I needed to wrap up my life in the U.S. and being to plan for a life abroad.  Here’s where it gets complicated, and for you, this is where I come in. I can help you go from deciding to planning.  This process can seem a bit overwhelming, but I can help you plan, get organized and execute.  What I’m offering is something I desperately needed when I was planning my new life.  I will help you feel more confident about your decision, give you insight into how your story matches up with other expats, work efficiently and systematically on the planning process so you still have time to enjoy your life, juggle your current lifestyle with the new lifestyle you are planning while getting everything done that’s important for your big move.

I would like to say CONGRATULATIONS on making this huge life change.  I’m here to support you in whatever way you may need.  Thank you for trusting me with something so precious to you, your happiness.

NikkiFaye

 

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