If you didn’t start at the beginning of this series, you can read the first part here: Where Should We Go? Part 1
Deciding where to go seems like a real exercise in priorities. What we might rank as a con for one place, leads us to finding that “missing thing” in the next place and ranking it as a pro. But the new place comes with a whole list of its own pros and cons. As with anything there are going to be ups and downs no matter where we choose.
So what’s most important for our family? Assessing our personal priorities is going to be key in finding the right place.
1) Cost of Living. This is probably the highest ranking priority. Romeo is starting a new business and being self-employed comes with its own set of risks. The longer we can live off of what we have, the larger the runway for business-building mode. Romeo has a whole folder full of spreadsheets with projections and lots of boring stuff. Suffice it to say that cost is the highest priority and a place that isn’t going to eat up our whole bank account is going to rise to the top. (Ahem, that means you are out of the running, America.)
2.) Safety. While safety falls high on the list of priorities, consider that everyone’s version of “safe” is probably different. Romeo spent summers in the Dominican Republic roaming the streets, playing with local kids and getting a cookie from everyone in the neighborhood. Our culture has a paralyzing and unsubstantiated fear surrounding the issue of safety. Just look at the case against the Maryland family who let their kids walk home from the park alone. But a good dose of common sense can go a long way. Our definition of safe means that MamaSita and the kids can go about town with a feeling of security, confidence and their own common sense protecting them.
3) Family Friendly. This partially goes hand in hand with the safety issue. The kids need to be able to play outside and have plenty to do. Between worldschooling, working and writing, we plan to try to experience the local culture and activities. With a family, that means we care about the aquariums and parks, not the bars.
4) Internet. This is probably pretty self-explanatory. Romeo has to have the internet to work. He’s going to be communicating with his partner back in the states, managing contractors and coding. This is one of his only must-haves for work (besides his computer and his brain). MamaSita needs the internet to connect to the rest of the world and the family and friends back home.
5) Food. How did food make it onto the list of priorities? Romeo is a foodie and over the years he has slowly turned us all. How can you experience another culture without the food? Food is such an integral part of people, their traditions, culture and life. For us, that means experiencing all the local cuisine and eating the way the locals eat. (Pictured: a few of our recent home-cooked meals, courtesy of Romeo)
6) Ease of communication (English or Spanish). While we would consider this something that makes it ON to the priority list, it isn’t ranked very high compared to what else is important to us. We figure we will just get by with hand signals if we need to.
Now that we have narrowed our priorities, its time to decide what fits the bill the best…
3 thoughts on “Where Should We Go? Part 5”
I would add rules and regulations. Sounds boring, I know, but it’s something to keep in mind. Like the Schengen rule of 90 days stay. You have school-going children, in some countries this means they MUST go to school. And home-schooling, common in USA, is not an option in most other countries.
That’s a good point. For the most part however, that’s only an issue if you try to get some sort of residency visa, not as much of an issue if you’re on a tourist visa. I know some of the European countries it could be a big issue, as they don’t recognize home schooling at all.
Honestly if we ended up long-term(a year or two) in a place like Spain, we’d probably send the littles to a local school and be happy about it. Not sure what we would do for Goose.
That’s what I mean about regulations. In Spain it’s plain illegal not to send your child to school. Not relevant in your case as you mention, but when you come from a place used to things like home schooling being generally accepted, you might be nastily surprised when summoned in front of a court. But you seem aware of the issues and I’m sure you would do your research.