All you need to know about Iberian America

Mature Enough to Live in Latin America?

Published August 20, 2020 in Personal Stories & Opinions - 0 Comments

For those who haven’t caught on yet after reading some of my articles…

I was relatively young when I first started traveling around Latin America…

Very early 20s and all of that.

Even when I moved down here officially….

To Mexico City…

In the grand scheme of things, still pretty damn young…

In my 20s still and all…

And let’s be honest…

Someone in their 20s obviously doesn’t have too much life experience…

And I am sure when I am 50, I will be reading that sentence and having a good laugh to that one over a drink of some brandy…

Truth is, to move abroad at around that age…

Somewhere in the 20s, let’s say…

Is pretty fucking young.

To move to a completely different country that you are not from…

A country with higher crime rate than where you were born…

To have to learn a foreign language…

To deal with the loneliness of living abroad…

And all the other issues that come with living abroad…

It’s not something that I think every 20 some year old can pull off.

Not that it makes you special for doing it…

But just that not only do you have to deal with the obstacles of moving abroad…

But you also need the maturity and dedication to pull it off…

What do I mean by that?

Maturity in Your 20s?

I remember my dad telling me years ago…

“You know, what you are doing is only what people in retirement do….”

“You ain’t retired, fool.”

Well, got to give him credit on that one – still got another 40 years or so until I will probably ever reach the “retirement” age – whatever the retirement age will be by then…

But, as you could argue, I didn’t really have the maturity to begin moving abroad at the age I did…

As you can read about here

I spent my first year in Mexico fucking every chick I could and drinking myself silly and never working..

And even after that, I didn’t just immediately grow the maturity needed…

Though I managed to work my ass off because I had to eat and managed to get income streams going good enough to make the money needed to live down here…

Though to be honest, I ended up spending a few months after that only working like a week a month to cover my living costs…

It took about 2 or 3 months of doing that until I realized “oh hey wait a second, I can’t just work enough to cover my living costs because I won’t get anywhere….”

And that becomes even more obvious and apparent especially as you get older…

Especially as you get closer or into your 30s…

When all of a sudden money means a whole lot fucking more to you than when you are in your 20s…

So suffice to say, I didn’t really have the maturity to really make it down here initially…

That maturity came pretty fucking quick though when I was running out of money and especially as I got closer to 30…

But then the question begs – is it better to move abroad to Latin America when you already have that maturity?

Maybe…

But I’m not sure…

Move Abroad at a Later Stage?

About a year ago or so…

I was talking with this dude named Greg if I remember right his name…

Someone I only knew for a brief period down here…

Another American who had a few more years on me and a little more perspective on this issue…

“Truthfully, I don’t think most people would make the move past the age 30 if they haven’t already” he said.

“How come?” I thought..

And, of course, it makes sense that someone could by that age or older – they’d have more money and discipline hopefully…

“Well, the issue is that the older you get, the more responsibilities you have in life. Mortgage payments, a wife, kids, car payments, etc…”

Essentially, once you get to a certain point in your life, you simply take on so many responsibilities that “tie you down” so to speak to your home country…

Where you obviously can’t just dump and leave your house, car payments, wife and kids over night to go live in Latin America…

And because of those responsibilities…

You end up basically staying up there in the US or wherever…

And never making the move..

That is why, according to his perspective, most folks don’t make the move until they are either in their 20s or early 30s with no real responsibilities…

Or they wait until they are in their retirement age…

As I write this, I remember a moment back when I was in Bolivia…

In Cochabamba, Bolivia

Back then, I was working for this NGO in this area of Latin America…

As you can read more about here..

And this NGO had various other Americans and foreigners working for it…

Either way, I got talking with this older lady who was in her 60s…

And she herself was explaining as we sat around in a group with other foreigners..

Explaining how she got down to Bolivia…

And now that the kids are out of the house…

And life is a little bit easier now…

Done with a divorce she got through and all…

That she can take the time to live abroad.

Being as arrogant as I can be sometimes, I asked “how come you couldn’t have done that before?”

Bear with me, I was probably 23 or something at the time.

Obviously without kids and no mortgage and no sense of what these deeper responsibilities are in your life..

And she shook her head, a little chuckle, and said “it would have been difficult.”

To be fair, she was nice despite the ignorance in that question…

Either way, all of this does make me think again about this question that we have been driving in circles around…

But need to address…

What is the Typical Age Range of People Living in Latin America?

Honestly, I am a little bit doubtful about the whole “you either make it here by your 20s or early 30s or you don’t show up at all until your retirement age.”

I have met other folks down here in their later 30s, 40s and 50s as well living down here…

But, thinking about it, most of the folks I know down here are in their 20s or 30s…

Which makes sense given that is the age range closest to me and the type of people I would most likely hang out…

And of the folks older than me, it has been more common for them to be in their 60s or so than 40s or 50s…

But someone in their 40s or 50s down here isn’t unique either.

So, suffice to say, I think there is an element of truth to that statement that Greg put out there…

That a lot of folks do end up down here in their earlier years or later years..

But it doesn’t describe everyone by far and it isn’t too unusual to see someone who is somewhere in between age wise living down here…

Reflections

Finally, going back full circle to the main issue at hand…

Is it too young to be moving down here in your 20s?

Honestly, I’d say yes and no.

If you have the maturity and dedication to do it..

And assuming you have a legit plan on how to make it work out financially…

And you know what you want about what you want down here and are not naïve about it….

Then it can work for sure.

And honestly, I don’t think I’d want to wait until my 60s to move down here.

Especially with some of the benefits that it brings.

Because by that point, you got maybe 10 to 30 years left before you are dead…

And 30 is being optimistic…

And even if it doesn’t work out when you try living down here in your 20s…

Like, who gives a shit?

You are so young at that point in your life that you can afford to make some mistakes, in my opinion.

And you can learn from those mistakes and try to take a second shot at living abroad again in the future when you are more ready to do so.

And be a 30 to 50 year old trying to make it while living down here.

And when you are that young in your 20s, you have more energy to truly enjoy life abroad a little bit more than if you were 50 in my opinion.

All around, it can be a very fun experience regardless of how it plays out.

As long as you are smart about it..

And assuming you are smart about it…

Considering the things I recommend you think about as I mentioned above about thinking about how to make it down here..

Then your fun might never end and you could possibly live down here for a much longer time…

And actually make it..

But again, that comes with maturity and dedication.

Either way, it’s a topic that serves as food for thought.

Got any comments of your own? Leave them below in the comment section.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Matt

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