When first given the opportunity to live and work overseas I was rather reluctant. After receiving an offer of a paid three-month visiting position at Imperial College I thought of dozens of reasons why this absurd idea would never work. (These fears and doubts are described in “My London Epiphany.”) Fortunately, my wife Ruth is far more willing to consider new things and was able to convince me to give it a try. (I think her exact words were “Dammit, this will be fun. Let’s do it!) She was right, very right, and for the past 30 years we have lived all over the world happily letting others pick up the tab!
One of the goals of this blog is to play a role for you similar to the one my wife played for me–refuter of those “ready-made” arguments against the adventure of a lifetime; debunker of the beliefs that convinced you that living and working overseas is something only “others” do, not you or your family. So, for those of you reading my posts but certain that I am not talking to you, please read on:
Argument #1) Michael, you are a college professor, someone of high intellectual achievement. I don’t have either the resume or reputation to do what you did.
Argument #2) Michael, I am far too busy at work to think about taking a month or two away from my desk. No can do.
Argument #3) What would I ever do with our house while living overseas for a few months?
Argument #4) OK, but even if I do rent out my home, how will I ever find a place to live overseas?
Response: “It Really Wasn’t All That Difficult”
Argument #5) I don’t know anyone over there.
Response: “Making Friends, Meeting Locals.”
Argument #6) Mike, I am really worried about what to do my wife or one of my kids got sick while we were living overseas.
Response: “Staying Healthy, Staying Solvent”
Argument #7) Excuse me, Michael, I have young kids at home. What would you propose I do with them!
Response: “Do It For the Kids”
Now I am sure you can come up with additional excuses I have not anticipated and not yet written about, especially if your goal is avoiding an exotic, no cost, overseas adventure with your family. However, since you are reading my blog I can only assume that this is not what you want, and that you, like me, will eventually heed my wife’s sage advice given to me all those many years ago: “Dammit, it was fun. Go do it!”