For me the defining moment was that look on my bosses face when I put my notice in. It pretty much took his breath away, and he couldn’t respond. And I heard from co-workers that all he could talk about was the fact that I’d be in Mexico. I offered to provide transition and support remotely from Mexico, and he couldn’t get around the fact that I wouldn’t be working from Florida but instead I’d be in Cancun(even though I explained 3 times it was 3 hours away.
I don’t think my friends really believed me. I don’t think they believed me when I showed them my tickets, nor did they believe me when they saw us with passports, they probably started to have an inkling when I sold off the Toyota. I don’t think they really believed until about a week before we left.
The general consensus at work was I had balls of steel and they couldn’t get over the idea that I could just up and move to another country. I’ll tell you that 9 of 10 people were almost shocked that we were moving. It was so out of the realm of possibilities for many of them. They couldn’t see how we could do such a thing. It’s one thing to go for a week long trip, quite another to uproot your whole family, sell all your belongings and move to a different country.
Why? Why are people so rooted in their location? Many people never live more than 50 miles from the place they were born. But in today’s day and age with the advent of cell phones, skype, whatsapp, email and high speed internet everywhere do we really have to live locally? The work that I do can be done remotely anywhere in the world. While admitedly it would be easier in a central location, it could quite easily be done in Mexico, Australia, Belarus or Malaysia. We want to immerse ourselves in another culture, take ourselves out of our comfort zone and grow.
So maybe I do have balls of steel, my belief is that I’m just slightly ahed of the time. I think in another generation our children and grandchildren won’t be bound by geographic boundaries, but will experience the open borders that today usually only members of the EU enjoy. I feel shaped by my experiences with a completely different culture, and abject poverty in the Dominican Republic. Aren’t I making my children better global citizens by letting them experience another culture first hand?