Become a "Bush" Expat- for Patient

<p>Why(some of these reflect a reality of my immediate pre-expat posting in Texas):
The income tax deduction for moneys earned overseas(to a ceiling) remains intact.
Your children can go to school where "all children get ahead".
Even though there is disagreement with and dislike of "America", in many places, people seem to still like Americans.
You may not be bombarded with inane TV in a language you understand, only in language you barely understand- which makes it much more tolerable.
You will actually appreciate JFK and LAX after you have seen...
Depending on your locale, yours will be a much less "material world."
Your children will grow up reading the International Herald Tribune and the Economist and will write interesting essays for college applications as a result of this, and other aspects of their lives.
Your children will be grateful for their lives and will never need reminders of their good fortune or of why so much is expected of them.
Your children never ask, why do I need to learn another language, they only ask which one to learn next!
You will be gradually unencumbered by the idea that all aspects of life are within your control or even always understandable.
Your children will be blind to race, religion, country of origin or a variety of other superficialities about others.
You can worship or not, in the way that is most genuine to you.
You may never have more meaningful, sustained or subtantial friendships than those you make in expat communites.
You can take home leave, and then leave again.
Travel budgets.
A more remote relationship with the impact of the current administration in the US.
Your family can travel in tiny boats, rain forests and monsoons and still have fun with one another.
You learn how to make your own fun.
No Chuck-E-Cheese birthday parties. </p>

<p>How:
Hook up with a large multinational and say yes.
Take a sabbatical- warning, you may not want to go back!
Work your way into the International School web of schools-which can take you everywhere.
Get a TOEFL certificate and teach English somewhere.
Find an NGO that suits and get on board.
Get a degree in Public Health.
Become a missionary.
Become a development economist- the best in International job security..
Go for 2 years, stay for 12.
Be a trailing spouse to someone who does one of the above!</p>

<p>What you might miss:
Sisters and others whom you love.
Red Sox games.
Regular celebratory events with family and dear friends.
Over the counter medications for so many needs.
Consistent quality of medical care.
The optimistic generosity characteristic of so many Americans. </p>

<p>What I haven't missed:
Competitive wrestling for 1st graders.
Cut throat admissions to preschools.
Keeping up with the Joneses.
Shopping in the same stores everywhere in America.
Laci Peterson and all the other "pseudonews" which seems to fill so many broadcasts and magazines.
Reality TV.
High schools with 4000 students.
Beltway traffic (though we certainly have our own).
Home ownership.
Ads on TV and in magazines for Ritalin, Prozac and incontinence products. </p>

<p>Well,there is just a start, Patient.</p>

<p>Wow...all that effort....thanks, Roby (I think?). Having lived abroad before, and having a mom who was raised in Europe by artist parents before coming to the U.S. during World War 2 (fleeing Nazi Europe, in fact, with her father who was Jewish), much of the above resonates with me on both sides. </p>

<p>I have to say that I dearly love California...more than just about any other place. Despite all the drawbacks you so accurately post above. It just feels right now that everyone in the rest of the U.S. hates us, despises us, disdains us. (Which is very interesting since we produce much of their food, their entertainment, their medicines, their technology, their wealth.) I can tell you that it is a very sad, very uncomfortable feeling.</p>

<p>Patient,
It is always healthful to make a list about what makes you happy- so not really too much of an effort!</p>

<p>We too loved California in our 3 years there and were it not for east coast family, would probably go back at some point. </p>

<p>My H's father came to the US from Egypt(he is Greek) to attend university and never went back. I think my husband, and our children have seafaring blood, and I am just along for the happy ride!</p>

<p>Robyrm...it all sounds wonderful! I don't have a clear idea of where you are and am not asking as you may not want to disclose it, but truly it is wonderful to be a citizen of the world. So glad you are all having a good and adventurous life.</p>

<p>Patient,
The fact that I am in Jakarta is probably pertinent. When we were living in California 19 years ago my husband did not take a job with one company, because the next logical stop after Santa Rosa would have been Jakarta! So ironic that we have been so happy here. We have stayed this long for 3 reasons: the incomparable school, the unbeatable friends and the challenging work for both of us. The travel, the adventure have been a huge perk, but without the others would not have sustained us. It has not been an easy posting the last 6 years in particular, and we have had to make some significant compromises because of security issues. There have been moments of tremendous sadness . Our community has tremendous resilience and generosity, however, and we try very hard to take care of each other! I can't imagine a better life experience. </p>

<p>"Tales of a Female Nomad" is an interesting book about a woman who uproots her life and hits the road- hers is not my life, and I would not have made many of her choices- but the idea that some specific event sends you on this path is valid. I wonder how many will find a path outside the US over the next 4 years!</p>

<p>Wow, Robyrm, wonderful post. I am going to show this to my son. He is talking of leaving after he completes college - but that will take 4 years! </p>

<p>But Roby, isn't it hard to get into the International schools you are talking about? My friend living in Singapore (totally different from Indonesia) was saying she had quite a struggle putting her kids into International school.</p>

<p>You should also add in 'what we haven't missed'
- Ugly shopping malls with endless stretches of parking lots always full of cars. The ugliest sight I have ever seen!</p>

<p>Achat,
There are uglier shopping malls here, if you can imagine.And they are filled to the brim with stores selling items that only 1% of the population can buy...</p>

<p>There can be long waiting lists at some of the international schools depending on the size of the expat community at any given time. When we first moved here, unless you were employed by particular companies or embassies, you would be put on a waiting list. Nowadays, there are fewer western expats in most locations- because of cost and security- so it is a bit easier. But, I have been looking at Singapore schools and there are indeed some grade levels that are challenging to get into at some of the schools. And then, there is the cost...But, the experience can be superb. Also, some of the schools restrict admissions for children with learning differences, which can be a challenge as well.....</p>

<p>If your son has the "bug" I would encourage him to go- whenever it works for him. I think it is eye opening at any stage in your life...and cheaper when you are younger!</p>

<p>Thanks, Robyrm. My son definitely has a bug. And the election results have been depressing for my family.</p>

<p>Achat, so true...a symbol of Americans having lost what is important in life and finding comfort in endless consumerism. And 99% of it pure junk. I do like my Starbucks though :). </p>

<p><strong><em>Brilliant idea</em></strong>....we form a CC disappointedwhiningliberal roving expat community circulating among the homes of our CC friends (for a fee of course). Don't worry Roby, just kidding.....</p>

<p>Other good things about being here, meaning here in California: lack of established social conventions, such as dress (I am a jeans/flip flops person even at my advanced age).</p>

<p>Social fluidity--you are not born into one social group and consigned forever to it.</p>

<p>We here are particularly touched by the loss as many of us are one degree of separation from Kerry- since his sister taught at our school for many, many years. Beyond that, in the network of NGOs and USAID contracts the Bush years have brought many unwelcome changes in program emphasis and funding priorities. I am not sure any US government will ever be popular here, however.</p>

<p>As for the rovingcrew...always easy for me to welcome people as I have a spare room (another beginning August), staff to help with your every need (forgot to mention that before) and State Department warnings galore which seem to discourage many- 6 visitors in 12 years!!! </p>

<p>I'm a teva girl myself...</p>

<p>Roby, we too have one of those "spares" (the college son's room) so you are welcome here too!!! </p>

<p>Grim but LOL about the security issues. One of my best friends is married to a (now retired) ambassador who was the ambassador from his country (not the U.S.) to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. She kept urging us to come visit as a family while they were there. I said, NO, too unsafe (thinking of my little children). Her answer, "No, it is not unsafe at all! It is very safe--we have two bodyguards" !!!!! Husband went to visit and had a fabulous time, risk-averse mom stayed home with children.....</p>

<p>More later, off to run now (not in flip flops :) )</p>

<p>I think that idea is great - the roving Bush expat community. And our entire house is empty!</p>

<p>Oh, thank you so much for referring me to this thread! I certainly am another disappointedwhiningliberal and you are all welcome to add my home to the rovingcrew list. The fact that I live in one of the Washington D.C. suburbs wouldn't discourage any of you from coming here, would it??</p>

<p>Not at all, two of my good friends are there right now rocking from side to side in a catatonic state, I'll enjoy visiting them. Thanks! We're in the Bay Area, quite lovely here today, you just need a light jacket at night....I'm leaving for Jakarta in the morning :)</p>