The ExPat Experience: The Reason I Left

Share why you became an expat. What made you chose a particular place or the travelling lifestyle? Has it been what you expected? What did you consider/wish you had considered before you moved? End with three tips that may help people figure out if a big move is for them.

I’ve sort of explained before in this series why I became an expat, but I didn’t go into much detail. so this is my story.

After my fiancé didn’t come home one Christmas my plans to move to Mexico to live with him, and indeed any other plans, were shot to pieces. I was living alone, unable to work ‘properly’ due to mental health problems (I was managing some voluntary work to slowly try and beat my anxiety), and on benefits. I had no income at all outside of my benefits.

Then came the letter, I had to attend a fitness for work assessment. Pretty much everyone was being passed as fit for work, it didn’t matter what your GP said, it made no difference if you had psychiatrists saying you couldn’t work, the only thing that mattered was a couple of questions about whether you could lift your arms or dress yourself. I’m sure the government would argue that the test has been designed to truly assess the capabilities of the person being assessed, it hasn’t, it has been designed to pass people as fit for work no matter what their situation.

Anyway, I digress. I went along to my appointment, I made an effort to make myself look nice as I always do when going out, and I answered their questions. Unsurprisingly, I was judged fit for work, and so my benefits were stopped.

With little in the way of savings and, as I mentioned, no income, I gradually got further and further into debt and the stress of my situation set my recovery back a huge amount.

Eventually I had to call my parents to ask for money, but rather than throw money at an impossible situation they decided to bring me across to France (having retired there themselves) to live with them. And so my step-dad drove over, packed up all my bits and off I went to my new life.

Because of my situation I’m not really the right person to answer the questions posed by Molly at the The Move To America but I wanted to take part again because I love this link up.

My three tips to help you figure out if a big move is for you are;

  1. Think about the long term; it might seem fun and exciting initially but the reality can be hard.
  2. Talk to other expats, especially those living your planned lifestyle.
  3. Don’t do it on a whim; you might be the spontaneous type, but big moves are a lot of work and expensive!

The Move to America

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