Living a Life Less Ordinary

Oct 20, 2011 Lisa Marie Mercer
A Chica Americana in Uruguay

Living a life less ordinary
Photo from stock.xchng

If you tell your friends and family that you are going on vacation, or taking a year off to study overseas, they will usually support you wholeheartedly. Tell them you plan to move overseas-- well that's a different story. Despite Occupy Wall Street and everything else that's going on in this crazy, unstable country, nobody, even the most radical protester, wants to be reminded that the United States is no longer the proverbial Promised Land.

When I first thought about the idea of relocating to Uruguay, I asked for opinions on a professional writer's forum. Despite a few words of encouragement, most of the advice was of the Don't Go It's a Cookbook  variety. I decided to create my own little community on Facebook. A few of my online writing colleagues were either living overseas, planning to move overseas, or considering the idea. I created a private group that met online for moral support, and to share writing gig alerts and other types of information.

We are like a group of travelers sitting in an international lounge at an airport, heading in different directions, but sharing anecdotes as if we have known each other all of our lives. I have never met any of these people in the "real world," but I hold their opinions in the highest regard.

Tim Anderson caught the travel bug in 1999.  When his company labeled his job redundant, he packed sold his furniture, packed his bags and said "adios" to the US of A. Tim now earns his living as a a digital nomad, a new breed of location independent writers who can work anywhere in the world, while enjoying cost of living expenses equal to about one third of their costs in the United States.

Megan Eaves  is a multilingual guidebook author and travel writer. During college, she was a staff member at the American Chinese Civic Exchange. Every few years, Megan and her husband do the dance of the destinations. When I started group, they were living in the Czech Republic. She and the DH are now in London.

Miguel is an American married to a Romanian women. He lives in Romania where he works as a freelance writer and a computer techie. Catherine Capozzi is currently traveling around India, working in micro-finance. Jeff Parker has worked in 30 countries. He met his wife while teaching English in Korea. They spent four years in Prague, and currently live in Nova Scotia.

These cool kids were already in their adopted countries when the group started. The rest of us wannabes had some amazing resources.  Our mentors gave us advice about air and land travel, VPN and overseas Internet access, cost of living, renting apartments and anything you would want to know about expat living. 

Within three months of the group's debut, one member, Ana left to spend the summer as a counselor in a camp in Switzerland. She continued on to Amsterdam to study at the University. Cheryl  came next, and is leading a fascinating life in China. I left for Uruguay shortly thereafter.

None of us regret our decsions.

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Comments 2
Janeen Johnson Fri Oct 21 14:11:58 PDT 2011
Love this article. It's my dream to live overseas for a while . I want to learn a second language . I'm still trying to plan my escape.
Miguel Leiva-Gomez Fri Oct 21 01:51:37 PDT 2011
Fascinating article! We're all a bunch of souls who found each other through nothing other than our voices :)
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Today in History

December 28, 1895

First commercial movie screened

On this day in 1895, the world's first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who deceloped a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. On December 28, the entrepreneurial sibilings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

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