Working as an Expatriate – My Experience
One good way to travel the world without depleting your finances is to work as an expatriate. Most job boards these days have links to jobs all over the world and with the world getting smaller and smaller because of technology it is very easy to land a job abroad. Many employers are willing to interview you over the telephone or Skype and if they are really interested they will make travel arrangements if a site visit is necessary.
I have worked as an expatriate in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and Dominica but there are opportunities all over the world. In all of these cases, the salaries were tax-free and benefits were excellent. Most companies have a relocation package but beware that some are not so good. The best ones will provide return air fare for you and family as well as shipment of your belongings. Another common practice by some companies is to provide incentives for completing a contract period and this can be in the form of a percentage of your salary. Whatever you do, read the fine print on your contract to see what is covered from what isn’t. Most companies will also provide temporary accommodation while you search for your new apartment. The best deal I have seen is a company that provided temporary accommodation for 2 months but some provide just 7 days to find your new apartment.
As exciting as this experience is, it can be quite a shock to you depending on where you are coming from. Read up about the country you are going to so that you get an idea of what to expect. Although the actual experience might be quite different from what you read; it is best to be prepared mentally for the challenges that you might face. If there are certain things that you cannot live without and those are not available readily in the host country, then take them with you.
Be aware though that not everyone in the host country will like the idea that you are there. Keep your eyes open because some persons are out for blood just because you “took” their jobs. For some reason some persons believe that you are a part of the conspiracy to take away local jobs. You have to try not to get involved in the politics because this can cause you to be on the next flight home. If the problem child is at the head of the department you are in, then you might be in for a real fight.
Avoid any company that is asking you to pay for a ticket for a site visit and pay your relocation expenses because that might spell trouble. If they are having a problem buying a plane ticket you might have a problem getting paid.
Here are a few sites to get you started:
If you have questions about the expat experience please send me an email with the subject line EXPAT to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mardene R. Carr is a tech-savvy Librarian with over 15 years of experience in Jamaica, USA, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Dominica. For more on her work please visit