How Moving Abroad Can Save Your Life

Starving family

Father-of-two Colin Timpson, 50, has seen his monthly income plummet from a salary of £4,000 per month to just £900 in benefits since he became unemployed after his contract ended three years ago. He has applied for 700 jobs but secured only 20 interviews and gained just two weeks of temporary work since he became unemployed. He is a qualified accountant with decades of experience who is surviving on one meal a day to properly feed his children after applying for more than 700 jobs over three years without success. He is the average, ordinary, middle class, a casualty of the stagnation in the United Kingdom and other Western countries.

Meanwhile, in the same article we see others suffering the same fate. Richard Shakespeare, of Sinfin, Derbyshire applied for 1,923 jobs after becoming redundant in 2009. He stopped job hunting to become a self-employed consultant advising businesses on disability issues 12 months later. Former mechanical engineer Andrew Allerton, of North Shields, Newcastle-upon-Tyne applied for 1,000 jobs over four years. Former administrative worker Leslie Friend, of Epsom, Surrey applied for 600 jobs after he became unemployed in 2008. And if you think it’s bad in the United Kingdom, take a look at the United States, where the situation is even more dire and university students are giving up on hope entirely.

All of these people share a similar problem: a lack of work in their local environment. No jobs, redundancy, lowered wages, higher costs of living, more taxes to continue wars that the vast majority of people don’t support in the first place, staggering inflation, corporate lies and bailouts and a general elimination of the middle class has left the vast majority of people like Colin Timpson stranded in the prime of their lives, skewered by the very same system they had been taught since birth to rely on.

Thankfully, there is a very simple solution to their problems: stop focusing on local opportunities (which are nonexistent) and instead look abroad for work in other parts of the world where the economies are thriving. Such as Brazil, where lawyers make 21% more than they do in the United States and the economy just passed up Britain in 2012 to land on the number 6 position for most economically sound. Or countries like Chile, where Google is presently setting up a hub in Santiago to take advantage of the massive boom that most South American countries are currently going through.

Of course, moving abroad to take advantage of job opportunities means learning a new language, relocating the family and basically starting life over, but when you are faced with sink-or-swim options the vast majority of sane, intelligent individuals will choose to swim and fight against the odds no matter what, especially when their are children on the line.

I’m a freelance writer first and foremost and I can tell you this: the current trends playing out in the United States and the United Kingdom are mirrored in the online arena. Jobs in the English language are so over-saturated that the supply-and-demand realities are driving all of the content generation to India, Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries where qualified English workers can supply the lowest bid. The English language market had a 20 year headstart on the other languages as the Internet boom of the 90s was predominantly enjoyed by the U.K. and U.S. before anyone else. And now that the supply has caught up with the demand there is a backlash where those who were previously at the top of the totem pole are suddenly toppled from their lofty heights.

But if you start looking outwards rather than inwards there are countries and markets which are booming with work for qualified professionals. You just have to be willing to take a global outlook on life. Learn another language. Or two, or three. Be willing to look for work in another country, either in the online arena or take your skills to a country such as Brazil, China, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and beyond where the markets are booming and there is a need for educated, qualified professionals with the relevant skills.

The Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, French and German markets are flush with work, especially in the online arenas as these other primary languages begin their own rush to fill the online marketplace with language-specific content. Digital entrepreneurs are flourishing in the current era…but only because they have chosen to go global. The new era is all about the entire planet being our Singular Home, which means the new local includes any corner of the planet. Which means anywhere there is an Internet connection and connectivity there are jobs and economies thriving as other countries around the world have their time to shine.

Haven’t learned how to make money online yet? Find a mentor. Take a course. Dedicate a few months of your time to learn how to feed your family in a way that is currently seeing massive growth and economic security. Haven’t learned Spanish or Mandarin or Hindu yet? You are only shooting yourself in the foot by not learning another major language, or more than one. Tired of spending tens of thousands per year on inflation and a cost of living that is oppressive? Find a country like Mexico or Bulgaria or Brazil or Chile where the standards of living are high, the cost of living is practically nothing for someone living on the euro or the dollar, and where you can afford for your family to live like kings rather than paupers.

“But my extended family/friends/community/things I’m familiar with are all here!”, you cry. “This is my home!”

Wrong. Planet Earth is your home. The entire population is your community. The sense of nationalist pride that governments instill into the minds of their people is nothing more than a form of cultural brainwashing, a way of motivating people to fight in wars and follow orders and “believe in something greater than yourself”, when in reality that just means following someone else’s version of what the future should look like. True freedom, the human right that we all have, isn’t something that is allowed or given as a gift just because you happen to have accidentally been born in a specific place on the planet.

Skype and other video calls have made instant video communication around the world instantaneous. Planes cover the globe every second of the day. A four hour drive to visit your family on the holidays is no different than a four hour plane flight. You can talk with your family and friends anywhere in the world for free with voice and video chat. There are absolutely no reasons why you cannot live in India just as easily as you can in Hawaii or Germany or Bulgaria or Argentina. There are only the excuses that years of fear and brainwashing (the world beyond the borders of your home country is dangerous/evil/inferior/filled with terrorists/Great White Demons/communists/capitalists/terrorists/morally evil/etc.) have bred into you.

Break the chains that bind you. Do you want to live and thrive and see your significant other and children go on to have fruitful lives, or do you want to starve yourself and them as you pinch pennies and live on noodles and water and shop at 3rd generation thrift stores to clothe your family? Do you want to continue beating your head against the never-ending chain of English-language candidates who are applying to jobs, unable to stand out amongst the million other grains of sand, or do you want to live in a place where your skills are not only desired but welcomed?

The opportunities are there….they just exist in other countries, in other languages, as the market continually shifts. The only way to take advantage of that is by being willing to consider the entire planet as your home, rather than one tiny dot on the map. You can choose to go from making 4k a month to living on noodles and watching your children’s future disappear…or you can choose a life of prosperity and wealth in a country of your choosing.

Don’t know where to start? There’s hundreds of people out there just like me who have developed websites and platforms that can help you get started. The Other Resources tab at the top of the page has links to some of my favorite fellow bloggers and international citizens, all of whom are living in other countries, traveling for a living and most of whom are making a healthy 50-60k+ a year while living in countries where their cost of living is almost nill. Our StumbleUpon profile also has links to some of my favorite travel-and-money-making writers and websites and videos.

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About T.W. Anderson

T.W. Anderson is the founder of the Marginal Boundaries brand. He is the writer, editor, videographer, photographer, and social media guru alongside Cristina Barrios, the other half of the brand. In his spare time, he is the creative director of the Saga of Lucimia, a forthcoming MMORPG from Stormhaven Studios, LLC.


  • Hey, Will.

    The lion analogy is fairly apt; it goes where the food is, and as human beings we are no different in that we need to have the flexibility to go where the work is.

    I can’t imagine someone sending that many job applications out and still trying to maintain the illusion that “everything is OK, the system will save me!” For me…it’s a simple choice. Evolve. Adapt. Survive. Thrive. And that means going wherever I need to, just like the lion.

    Best of luck in your continued evolution :) And no…that’s one thing to keep in mind…there is no such thing as job security in a continually evolving market unless you yourself evolve with the needs of the times.

  • Will says:

    The secular bear market in the western world has been and is in full swing for while now. Trying to become a digital nomad myself I haven’t really thought of ever applying for a job so it’s crazy that someone can apply to 600 or 700 and not get one!

    And how can these western workers compete with the rest of the world these days? People living overseas with thriving economies getting paid a fraction of westerners. It just shows you that there has and will never be a “safe” and steady job. Has the lion ever had a steady supply of food? No, it has to go hunt for food daily. What happens when the food runs out or moves away? The hunter must adapt and move on. Why shouldn’t humans do the same?

  • Awesome comment, Travel’n.

    In regards to the last bit on the whole Western upbringing….that’s something which is hard to hide, and it’s true that those of us who grew up in the U.S. had/have a certain edge/advantage over, say, those who grew up in the slave camps of South Africa just a few short decades ago. It’s a sad fact that human rights on a global level still don’t exist, but that’s part of why I do what I do, to hopefully open up the eyes of as many people as possible and make the world a better place.

    Everyone has the opportunity these days. The Internet didn’t exist 20 years ago as a global phenomenon, but now everyone, in any country, has the opportunity to learn, develop an online career/income, and move themselves out whatever their situation is to find freedom somewhere else. It might be more difficult than others, but it’s possible through initiatives such as what exist here in Yucatan region of Mexico for the indigenous people. There are classes being taught in renovated school buses which give them Internet training courses and teach them how to use the necessary skills to meld into the modern era.

    We still have a long way to go to make the world a better place, but it’s always possible one step at a time.

  • TravelnLass says:

    Powerful stuff. And though personally I’m well past needing the “30 Ways in 30 Days” (I already sold everything and bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam nearly a year ago), I only wish everyone could wake up and realize that “Planet Earth is your home. The entire population is your community.”

    Furthermore, I can whole-hardheartedly endorse the notion of “breaking the chains” and thinking far “outside the box” of your (“accidental”, indeed) native country.

    And I especially applaud your blurb about:
    “The sense of nationalist pride that governments instill into the minds of their people is nothing more than a form of cultural brainwashing, a way of motivating people to fight in wars and follow orders and “believe in something greater than yourself”, when in reality that just means following someone else’s version of what the future should look like.”

    Indeed. No doubt teetering on the border of patriotic blasphemy, but nonetheless – oh so true.

    Only point of contention I might suggest is that next line:
    “True freedom, the human right that we all have, isn’t something that is allowed or given as a gift just because you happen to have accidentally been born in a specific place on the planet.”

    Uh, spoken like a true Westerner, who – though he might well be grateful for the sheer accidental location of his birth – nonetheless would seem oblivious to the simple fact that alas, such “human right that we all have”, is uh, a little perk that we “all” sadly, DON’T have.

    IOW, it is precisely BECAUSE folks like you and I who accidentally emerged from wombs in the U.S., the U.K. [insert your favorite flavor of developed world here] – that we can choose to move ourselves and our families lock, stock ‘n barrel to live/work among – precisely those who DON’T have the simple “human right” of “True freedom”.

    Just sayin’…

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