whitecollarvagabonds

Expat Interviews : The White Collar Vagabonds

This week we meet Jennifer and Konrad, a young couple who have decided to leave the rat race far behind them and live out an expat lifestyle while running their business remotely. Keen to ensure that they choose the very best expatriate destination to settle down in, Jennifer and Konrad will be exploring several different countries over the next two years, hoping to find the perfect place to call home. The motivation behind their decision to relocate was expat retirees, as Konrad describes: “We’ve been following expat retirees and thought that there is no reason why the younger generation cannot embark on this lifestyle.”

If you’re tempted to throw caution to the wind and start somewhere from fresh then this interview will be a really inspiring read.

Where are you currently living?
Guanajuato, Mexico, relocating to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala in 2 weeks for 4 months. Then Nicaragua, and Europe next year.

Where in the world were you born?
I am from Wroclaw, Poland and my wife Jennifer is from Minnesota in the USA

Why did you move overseas and why did you choose your host
country?
I’ve lived in Poland, grew up in Germany and went to school and worked in the United States before embarking on this adventure. My wife and I love the latin culture, food, history, and people. We are currently on a 3 year
exploratory trip all across Latin America, Europe and Asia to find out “Under The Tuscan Sun”. I particularly like colonial cities with nice architecture. Then cost of living, climate and enough to do is very high on our list. We’re excited to be in Guanajuato, MX and then to explore Granada, Nicaragua, Antigua, Guatemala, Colombian cities, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

How long have you been living in your host country?

1 Month in Mexico, then we’ll be 4 months in Guatemala

Who did you relocate with?
We are a married couple.

Was it hard to get a visa for your host country that was appropriate to your circumstances?
No.

What is the medical care like in your host country? Do you need medical insurance and, if so, how much is it?
We chose catastrophic high deductible coverage in the United States and pay as we go while in our host countries.

How do you make your living in your host country?

We actively run an internet marketing firm and are also exploring other web ecommerce ventures.

Do you speak the local language and do you think it’s important to speak the local language?
It is very important, we are enrolling in Spanish classes once we get to Guatemala.

Are there any local customs, laws or traditions that it is important for potential expatriates to be aware of and adhere to?

Most cultures are a lot more formal than our culture in the United States. Manners are very important and a casual approach may be interpreted as rude. Always greet everyone, respect the elderly.

Do you ever get homesick?
We live in a very connected world and social media sometimes makes us feel like we’ve never left until we walk out of our B&B and see a beautiful baroque church.

How long do you plan to remain in your host country?
We plan to be on the road 3 years with stays of around 3-6 months in each country. Then we hope to pick a host country or 2 for permanent residences.

Have you purchased a property in your host country or do you rent? 
We do long term B&B rentals, we negotiate rates.

What is the cost of housing like in your host country? 
We pick places with favorable rental costs and don’t want to exceed $1200/month

What is the cost of living like in your host country?
Mexico I would say is 50% cheaper than the USA, Ecuador was 60-70% cheaper.

What do you think about the locals? 
We enjoy the best parts of each culture, you have to try to understand where everyone comes from to truly feel comfortable. You can’t judge using rules you grew up with. We find that once you peel back the onion everyone is very similar, raising a family, spending time together, enjoying cultural events, just in a different setting.

What are the three things you like the most about your host country? 
1. Culture/History
2. New Culinary Experiences
3. Climate
4. Cost of Living

What are the three things you like the least?
1. Dog friendly parks/not enough greenery in our historic center
2. Our own Spanish skills

Do you have any tips for our readers about living in your host country?
Yes, just prepare and do it. You can always adapt, don’t over plan, go with the flow. Every issue is solvable.

If you would like to learn more about Konrad and Jennifer, check out their website: White Collar Vagabond or follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whitecollarvagabond

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