(N)Expat?

If things go south on Tuesday and Donald Trump is elected, there could be a rush of citizens seeking expat status in countries catering to Americans seeking refuge.

Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada has a website welcoming Americans running from a Trump administration. (cbiftrumpwins.com). Beautiful place, but it has that certain Children of the Corn quality that I find disturbing.

Searches on Google for those seeking refuge in Mexico and the United Kingdom have spiked. Could be tricky getting back from Mexico if that wall thing happens. And the impending Brexit could bring an imploding UK.

Celebrities, none of whom seem to be undecided, have led the way with threats of self-imposed exile.

Samuel L. Jackson told Jimmy Kimmel that he’d move his “black ass to South Africa”.

Chelsea Handler will apparently move her you-know-what to a recently purchased house in Spain.

The Reverend Al Sharpton has made public his intention to leave. I hereby volunteer to drive him to the airport.

John Stewart and Cher say they’ll be going to another planet. Cher specifically mentioned, Jupiter.

Mylie Cyrus threatens to leave but has not designated a new home country. Perhaps she doesn’t know the name of any other countries. Don’t get angry. It’s possible.

But it’s not just politics that inspires the urge to flee. (Although isn’t everything politics?)

Baby boomers are leaving the country in search of more affordable health care and cheap housing in places like Mexico, Panama and Ecuador.

Thirty-something parents move out of the United States to save themselves and their children from a stark economic future.

A multi-generational group of expats view the slow evaporation of American values as their off-ramp.

Apparently, there is enough angst to go around.

Yes….expatriation is an intriguing idea, but best to do extensive research before tipping your hat at the Statue of Liberty as you pass her on the way out.

Recently, on a trip to San Miguel de Allende, a picturesque, ancient Colonial hilltop village north of Mexico City and one of the preeminent America expat communities in the world, I learned the following:

  • Cobblestone streets are romantic but hard on the feet.
  • Don’t go with someone you’ve just married who is ten times more anxious than you to relocate.  (Awkward).
  • You’d better like Flamenco guitar music. Seriously. It’s everywhere. Maddening.
  • Don’t get sick. (I did).
  • Especially at night. (I did).
  • The closest hospital is an hour away and nobody is vouching for it. (Or knows how to get there).
  • Ask probing questions of expats living off the grid with no address. (And, as if this were possible, no cable television).
  • Be wary of a dinner invitation from a friend of a friend who tells you the gardener just got hacked to death and the police are at the house asking questions. (This really happened).

Wherever you go, you can expect the unexpected. And isn’t that what’s happening right now in a country near  you?

One of the most famous expats in the world, the French actor, Gerard Depardieu, fled France immediately after the newly elected government changed tax laws to his disadvantage. He chose Russia as his new home. What brochure did he read?

Look beneath the romantic veneer of living the expat life. It’s more than a cool road trip.

That being said….if you did decide to pack up and try it – what country would you most likely choose?

Scroll down and leave your answer in the comment section below.

 

20 thoughts on “(N)Expat?

  1. Nova Scotia, even though my husband has a brother there, seems too cold. Portugal looks nice and so does Spain. I think I would miss my country though. If things do go south, I think I’d want to be here to be part of the healing, because as you know, nothing lasts forever–not even the Orange-glo Donald. May we all be relieved and happy on Tuesday night.

  2. Elizabeth Tierney November 5, 2016 — 7:42 pm

    Ireland. I can get dual citizenship.

  3. Ireland. I’m eligible for dual citizenship.

  4. On the plus side, we have the Right of Return. On the negative, that Right comes equipped with Bibi

    >

  5. Yes. Please. Let there be relief!

  6. I could get dual citizenship in Israel. That’s not exactly fair. 🙂

  7. Barcelona, Spain with Howard and Rhoda

  8. Ha! Sounds good to me!

  9. As a Brit living in California I warn against Britain, oh we seem nice but not really I spend a lot of time defending my mild mannered American husband from snarky comments. My Mother told everyone he was French then hastily answered all questions directed in that language . He had no idea what was going on only that he shouldn’t speak. Then there’s Brexit , I can’t comment it upsets me. I was keen to go home to Scotland IF we got Independence . We didn’t . So back to looking around Canada , not Alberta , maybe Vancouver . I’ve been having panic attacks and am glued to the polls but decided to stick around and heckle until I am deported if the great pumpkin should get in.
    I wanted to go into the office and play election results in the conference room but have been dissuaded on the grounds hat my language is impolite. Well merde !!

  10. 🇨🇦 canada or bust!

  11. This is wonderful. It’s all you. It’s funny. And it’s also serious. It has a great deal of wisdom and truth. It’s also witty, and clever, and obviously timely, but also strikes a perfect note. I love, love, love it.

  12. Sad to see everyone go. I plan on going to Washington DC if he wins. Time to hit the streets.

  13. Howard – love your blog and really enjoy the perspective you bring – always with the right dose of humor! Love It! Santiago is our escape hatch should it come to that! 🙂

  14. Howard – Love It – as expected a dose of humor and a great perspective! Santiago is our escape hatch should it be needed! keep up the writing! bT

  15. Thanks, Barry. You can visit us in Barcelona. 🙂

  16. Constance Parrott November 5, 2016 — 9:46 pm

    Very entertaining, Howard, although I had to wince at your “itinerary” details of your Mexico City jaunt. My stomach has been churning all weekend as we propel towards the day of reckoning on Tuesday. I’ve even avoided my favorite snack food because I can’t bear to look at the candidate with the Cheeto dust complexion!! Sadly, hubby voted orange. Is that grounds for divorce? I refused to stand anywhere near him in the voting line two weeks ago. I never dreamed the man I married would turn into an alien. As for leaving the country, Nova Scotia sounds good. My ancestors relocated from Holland to NS. And I’m still trying to locate my 4-great grandfather’s grave there, so I’d have a purpose during the summer months. Finally, my answer to the question you posed: I’m longing for those underground bomb shelters that were so popular during the sixties. We lived in fear then, too. Why not hunker down with tins of sardines and beans and re-surface in four years or so? A sharper pain in the gut as a thought hit me. If Cheeto’s trigger-happy finger pushes the button to signal nuclear launch, you all may be banging on my bomb shelter entry hatch. Tomorrow’s Sunday. Maybe I better go pray…

  17. Your comments are hilarious. You should be doing your own blogs! Yes…it is grounds for divorce. And regarding Nova Scotia…I have been there and it is really a wonderful place. As for the bomb shelters, we need to immediately start a business. Oh wait…aren’t we forgetting that no bomb shelter is going to survive a nuclear holocaust!

  18. If I had to go anywhere, I’d go to Alberta, Saskatchewan or eastern BC. They still speak English.
    Years ago, I knew a guy who was planning to retire to Costa Rica with his family. He was looking for a good, used truck that ran on diesel. According to him, some of the places in Costa Rica had a problem with defining “gasoline.” Gas was “gasolina.” Jet fuel was “gasolina.” Kerosene was “gasolina.” But, diesel was……”diesel.”

  19. We’re ready to pay for one way tickets for all the celebs. Then we’ll stay here now that they will have left.

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