I recently read an article on CNN.com regarding the potential Vice Presidential candidates who may be asked to run on a Trump ticket. Most don’t want it. Some have even responded with a “Hahahahahahaha!”. Now that Ted Cruz and John Kasich have both dropped out, it looks like it’ll be The Donald vs Hillary. And if a third-party candidate enters the race, this could be the start of a long national nightmare.
In mid-2012, the company I was working for started the nightmarish process of sinking like the Titanic and I began the process of making plans to evacuate that sinking ship. Making the decision to leave wasn’t easy and making it work took some creative planning. And about six months later, I was on a flight to Asia.
So, NOW is the time to make your action plan to evacuate the US in the event of an actual emergency – President Donald Trump.
Escaping to Canada is an obvious choice. They’re geographically close, speak English, and have an amazing new Prime Minister – the opposite of The Donald. But here are a few other options:
Belize – My friend Brandy moved to Belize and opened a beach bar, The Loca Luna. Belize is an English-speaking country and, according to Brandy, is very welcoming to expats. If you’ve got skills that will allow you to work remotely, working from a beachside cafe in Belize would be an amazing option. Imagine yourself swinging in a hammock, sipping a cold beverage, doing some work from your laptop. The Donald is but a distant memory.
Retire overseas – If you’re close to retirement but haven’t saved quite enough money to retire comfortably in the US, consider Panama, Ecuador, or Costa Rica, recently named among the top places for expats by International Living Magazine. This online magazine provides complete information on cost of living, health care, and real estate…and almost anything else you may need to know regarding retiring overseas. Check it out and start planning!
Teaching English in Asia (or wherever) – When I first made the decision to evacuate the sinking ship and flee the country, I had no intention of teaching English. My initial goal was to work for a humanitarian relief organization. But without a degree in Public Health or International Development, the job opportunities were few.
The only valuable skill I have is my ability to speak English, so I had to use it. I began by volunteering in Vietnam, teaching English at Hanoi High School for 3 months. During my time in Vietnam, I also took an online TEFL course to become certified to teach which is a requirement in many countries. Start now and you can be qualified to teach almost anywhere in the world before President Trump takes the oath!
Move somewhere cheaper – my suggestion would be Chiang Mai, Thailand. This city was my second choice when I was trying to decide where to settle in Asia, and I may eventually become a part-time Chiang Mai resident. It’s full of expats enjoying a relaxed life in this budget-friendly city with great atmosphere, amazing food, beautiful temples, and tons of things to do. There are also plenty of job opportunities teaching English, and if you’re over 55 it’s fairly easy to qualify for a retirement visa.
Peace Corps Volunteer – In the words of John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” A few months after he spoke those famous words, he created the Peace Corps and part of its mission: “helping people outside the United States to understand American culture”.
Many of my Taiwanese students ask me this question: “Donald Trump for President? Seriously? Why?” They don’t understand it and I have no words to explain it. People from other countries will be baffled if The Donald becomes President, so the US needs Peace Corps volunteers who are able to represent the US overseas with dignity in order to restore the reputation of America.
Not all Peace Corp volunteer positions require a 2-year commitment. There are also 3 – 12 month assignments geared toward experienced professionals, allowing you to get a taste of Peace Corp life before fully diving in.
Imagine working in a remote village in eastern Niger, where there is no CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. Your focus will be on helping villagers build that much-needed well and not on the latest Trump insults or what the Kardashians wore last night. How refreshing!
United Nations Volunteer Program– I filled out an application for any volunteer openings in aviation and was offered a position shortly before I left for Vietnam. My aviation background would have been a valuable asset in a very dangerous and remote part of Africa. Sounded exciting, and a little terrifying, but Vietnam plans had already been made. Whatever skills you have, there may be opportunities through the United Nations Volunteer Program. The program covers your travel expenses and also offers a monthly living allowance and medical insurance. Maybe not in a location as exciting as Ghana or the Sudan, but still far removed from The Donald!
International Match.com – Dating someone from another country? Consider moving there. Match.com is a popular dating site in the US, and there is also an international version. I’m not suggesting shopping for an international spouse online, but if you’re already dating someone from another country, why not consider moving there? There’s a good chance Trump has already offended the leader of your new home country and won’t be invited for a visit, so you’re safe.
Fleeing the US is not for everyone. As Garrison Keillor, a famous Minnesota author, once observed; “there are 2 kinds of people in this world – those that crave routine and sameness and live under a comfortable bubble and others that live on the edge, always looking for adventure and new challenges”. Living near the edge works for me but is not for everyone. One “bubble-dweller” I met recently tried living on the edge in Taiwan and was miserable for eight months before returning to the safety of her life in the US. That just works better for her.
Is the threat of a President Trump enough incentive for you to break out of your routine and create a “new normal”? Maybe it’s time to do something you’ve always dreamed of? Start planning now!