We learnt about this small central american country living in Kenya, east africa 4 years ago. At this time we had lived in east africa for about two years. It was through this time that we realised we wanted to live a decentralised life. Its all well and good wanting but where does one even begin?
Move outside your home country, but where? Creating a checklist might help.
Alright….so since we are all about decentralised life, moving about the globe and having several places to call home is a bit of a no brainer.
But how do you go about figuring out exactly where in the world could possibly be a good fit for you? Officially there are something like 195 countries in the world…..(who made them the law on this “elite club membership” is another topic entirely,)
Realistically there’s many more countries if self declared nations, breakaway nations and autonomous regions are accounted for.
That’s a lot of choices, it would take years or even decades to travel to and study all of them to determine the best candidates to call home.
However one good place to start is sitting right at home wherever you are now, and start thinking about what makes any place somewhere you’d want to consider.
Write down 10 or more key points that your looking for in a desirable destination, this should make the list of options much easier to navigate.
For myself and my family we decided to make a checklist to rate each country that we’d visited so far, we also realised using this checklist would enable us to have a pretty good idea of where we should travel next.
The point of the checklist for us was to “rate” each place we’ve been according to what we find important.
To do this we created a 0-10 rating system, the higher the score the higher the rating for the location.
So how do you rate a country?
Well…..that all depends on what your looking for and where you find yourself in life. What is important for you at this stage in your life? What are your long term goals?
What that means is; a single young person will have different ideals than a family with small children, a family with older children or a more elderly person will have again different ideals, someone looking for a place to retire might be considering what health care options are available and at what cost. If we’re elderly and living in the USA I would certainly be looking for a better cheaper health care system, (according to statistics health care is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the USA)
you’ll have to create your own system of bullet points.
For my family some key points on our check are the following…..
1-Warm weather year round,
While we appreciate all nature has to offer and find beauty in even the coldest places, the cold weather itself is not something we want to experience every year or greet us when we open the door outside.
2- Personal safety
There are many ways in which to view what defines personal safety, but all should include physical safety, financial safety, and right of privacy, it’s harder than we might think to really find a place that checks all 3 of these safety boxes.
3- The people
Our preference is a population diverse in colour, culture, religion and pretty much everything else. The more mixed the people the more accepting they might be to others (including us) and the less likely they will be to extremist actions, (again a subject for another post).
4- Cost of living v/s Quality of life
A high quality of life may be available in your home country, but most likely it’s price tag is what keeps you one paycheck away from being broke and may well be one of the reasons your looking to try finding a home someplace else.
its surprising sometimes to see how much further your money will go elsewhere.
5- Less government interventions
Admittedly every government has some good attributes, for us personally the least government interference the better, but that’s a story for a whole new post.
We have many more points on our list including things like “lack of mosquitos” “child friendly community” and “coffee” but the point being to serve as a few examples of what we find to be “make or break” attributes for a better life.
You the reader will have to find the things that are the most important to you, the best place to start is to make a list, you can always go back and edit it later as time goes on. After all life evolves, as we should too, over time and priorities change. So to review the list regularly is definitely something you want to do.
One of the greatest advantages in choosing a new place to call home is not being confined to compromise on key elements that contribute to your happiness.
For ourselves we recognise it’s practically impossible to find a place thats absolutely perfect, but we have been able to find many countries that score higher on our checklist than the country that was our home by default. The idea is to find a place that helps your journey in this world, not to be stuck in the rat race.
So we find ourselves in Belize now, a small and quaint little country in central america. Buying a piece of land to build live a off grid & sustainable life. Belize was one of the countries that scored high on our priorities list. The time it takes to make the list to come to life, is a topic for another time.
Until next time,
Peace and blessings,
From me and mine to you and yours.