There’s Never Been a Better Time to Move Overseas
Haven’t you always wanted to be one of those wankers who can boast of a spell living abroad? To emulate the aunty who recalls her time in Paris with veganesque regularity, pulling you aside at boozy family functions to tell you about “the size of their cocks, darling, European men have the biggest”, or uncle Joe who has that CV gap in the 80s that, when combined with his endless rotation of floral shirts and blank stare, just screams cartel middleman. Look at the way they gaze into their rosé and rum punch, respectively; don’t you want to be that person? Forever living somewhere else and sometime past and never ever again truly appreciating the here and now?
Well good, because here and now is the place and time to leave. With the world the way it is, read: fucked, all bets are off. The lunatics are running rampant and fucking everything and one as they do so. The future is bleak, the present is frustrating, the stupid are becoming intolerable, and besides, you’ve always wanted to live overseas, so do it now!
A year ago I did it and I’ve never looked back, and now I’m so happy and successful in my new country that you could do far worse than listen to my advice and follow it to the letter. So look here: here are a few things you should consider while you’re throwing away your things (selling them is uncouth and pathetic, if you can’t take it or gift it, chuck it. Do you really want to deal with the type of person who will buy a $100 couch? Me neither!), packing your wheelie case (no backpacks! Fuck!), and telling the lovely lady at check-in that no indeed, you do not need a return ticket to wherever it is you’ve decided to go.
- Fuck it. All of it. Everything that you’ve been raised to be worried about no longer matters. Your degree, your profession, your possessions — fuck ’em. Knowledge is advancing at a rate that everyday makes yours obsolete, robots are coming to steal your jobs, and the proletariat is one overpriced Sydney rental away from an uprising. Maybe, I mean, that might not happen too, but the end of civilisation is more likely now than it was a year ago, so do you want to risk erring on the side of caution and putting all of your eggs in the same old basket that worked for your parents? And if the shit doesn’t hit the proverbial, then come home and have another swing — if we dodge the apocalypse then modern and future medicine will allow you enough extra years to account for your time abroad. In these uncertain times the only things that should concern you are your health, sanity and happiness, and staying put doing things the way they were supposed to be done ain’t doing anybody any favours in those departments.
- Your family and friends don’t matter. Sure, you’ll miss them, but they’ll always be there when you come back, and you being somewhere else gives them the impetus to swap Fiji for wherever you are this year. Also, when you’re away, all of your disappointments go with you, and your parents can proudly tell their friends that you’re working in a restaurant in Paris, while the same job at Rooty Hill RSL would net you triple the cheddar, but zero the kudos. The thing is, the more time you spend around people who care about you, the more chance you have of upsetting them, letting them down, fucking up, stealing from them, etc. Get out of there before they discover the real you.
- Dunno where to go? Go anywhere! If you’re reading this there’s a 99%+ chance that you’re not on the illegal immigration watch list, unless your wandering heart is thinking USA or UK (you waste of a passport!). Go where you want and pick up work illegally, overstay your tourist visa, and when you get pulled up just say, “I’m from this rich place, why the fuck would I want to live and work illegally in your shit place?” At worst, you’ll be deported and banned, but if you didn’t want that, then why are you leaving at all?
I like places where I don’t speak the language, because I can’t be infuriated by their stupidity. It’s like being a fucking idiot at home: you can just wander around surrounded by a wilfully ignorant haze, convincing yourself that everything is a-okay. Chances are that wherever you move to is falling victim to the same global pressures as your home country, but you’ll never know about it. You’ll never scream at the television like you do during Q&A because, while you get the gist, you don’t get the frustrating nuances. The other advantage of not speaking the language is that it makes the most mundane chores feel like epic adventures — buying brown rice for your spinach and feta pie makes you feel like Marco Goddamn Polo, and that thrill alone makes up for being an unemployable illegal immigrant without any recourse to public services or welfare.
That’s not all of it – that’s just a little bit. If you want I can give you more great advice, like on how travel insurance is gambling for wimps, and the benefits of racking up a fantastic debt before you leave. Fuck it! There’s no time like now, and you’d hate to be shivering in a fallout shelter, having spoon fights to the death over the remaining Spam rations, rueing your inability to not fuck your life up earlier, in the most enjoyable way.
Cover by Andrey Larin
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Ex-editor of Australia’s Surfing Life, current producer and host of 50 Fiestas, Barcelona resident and drinker of all the wine, every last drop of it.