Moving to Latin America – Preparing Yourself for the Big Move.
Moving to Latin America isn’t the typical path that most people take in life and on paper, there’s good reason not to do so. Lower salaries, less safety, poorer career opportunities and the distance from the rest of the world don’t make Latin America the top destination for people to emigrate to. But contrary to popular belief, moving to Latin America might just be the right decision for you.
You don’t move out here to have better dental care or to live in a house with a white picket fence – you do so because you’re fed up of the predictability and cushiness of living in the West and want something radically different. You feel suffocated by all the rules and regulations and sick and tired of the negative outlook that many people have on life. You’re confused as to why people seem to take life so seriously and feel like there’s a severe lack of human connection.
Now, Latin America is by no means a utopic place with zero problems but if you’re feeling any of the above, then moving here might just be the solution for you. That being said, it’s not as simple as just turning up and getting a permanent visa, never having to worry about money again and making hundreds of friends within your first week. By following a few simple steps as preparation, moving to Latin America can become a reality:
Step 1 – Preparing Yourself Mentally
The first step to successfully moving to Latin America is preparing yourself mentally for what is essentially a leap into the unknown. Whilst achieving your dream lifestyle is totally possible, moving out here is a gamble in many ways and you requires you to play your cards right.
First things first, it’s worth having a clear vision of exactly what your looking to get out of moving out here – mainly when it comes to your work, lifestyle, social & dating life. Having this clear in your mind will not only make things easier once you hit the ground, but will help cultivate a sense of purpose and allow you to push through any negative resistance that you’ll experience from friends, family and society (likely). As cliché as it sounds, being passionate about your move here and choosing to carve a different path in life against society’s conditioning will make the preparation and move here all the easier. Moving to South America is undoubtedly an emotional rollercoaster and you will certainly experience doubt, fear and anxiety during the process. However, the pleasure, excitement, sense of freedom and accomplishment completely overshadow any negative emotions that you’ll experience.
Step 2 – Choosing the Right Location
I’ll always remember the story of an American i met in Buenos Aires who turned up in the middle of winter with just beach shorts and a vest thinking that he was getting off the plane to some jungle paradise surrounded by tribesman. Whilst you’re likely not that stupid, you probably know much less about Latin American countries than you think you do, and despite the many similarities between the countries in the region, you’ll find that there are also several differences.
After having lived and travelled all over the region, i’d say that are three main different cultural spheres – Hispanic America North of the Tropic of Capricorn, Brazil (almost its own continent in itself, and the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.) You could add the Andean nations of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia into a another category, but you’ll find many similarities with their northern neighbours (although Bolivia is a world apart from what i’ve heard.) If you can’t be bothered to spend all night researching about the best places to live in South America on google then my city guides could be a good start:
Moving to Brazil
If you’re still totally unsure of the best places to live in Latin america after reading these posts, then drop me and email and i’ll see how i can be of service.
Step 3 – Finance
It will come as no surprise to hear that you’ll need some funds when moving to Latin America to get yourself up and running here. Obviously, the more money the better, but i’d say you could come here with around $10,000 and have enough money to cover yourself for a good 6-9 months in most parts of the region. The beauty of moving to South America is that you can survive on $1,000 a month in most places and live very comfortably for $1,500 – $2,000. Having around $10k is a sweet spot in the sense that it will be enough to take the stress and anxiety of finding work straight away, without making you complacent and preventing you from getting your act together when it comes to making a living.
As well as the money itself, it’s important to create a system that allows you to control your spending and not end up blowing everything in your first month. Whilst there are many costs that you truly can’t measure before coming, it’s worth having a rough idea how much you want to be spending on things like rent, food and your social life.
A good quote to motivate you to carry out these tedious but necessary tasks like creating a budget is “Discipline equals Freedom”, and you’ll find that having a budget will allow you to control your spending and realize your dream of thriving out here without running the risk of getting the plane back home 3 months later.
Part 2 – Coming Soon