Back when I first started traveling to Latin America, I didn’t really care that much about the region if I’m being honest.
I mostly wanted to just leave home first and foremost.
While also asking myself one question – “if I could only do one thing in my 20s, what would it be?”
And, for some random reason, I shrugged my shoulders and thought “fuck it, why not travel?”
Of course, I’m well into my 20s and would like to do more than just travel obviously.
And those two motivations above obviously work together.
Anyway, I sat down and began thinking of how I can achieve those goals.
Ultimately, traveling to Latin America proved to be the path of least resistance.
Simply because I found opportunities in the US to help fund my travels and those travel opportunities happened to be for folks who want to go to Latin America.
So given that I couldn’t find as many opportunities for other regions of the world…
As I said, Latin America was simply the path of least resistance because there was a very clear avenue I could take to travel by going there.
So I zeroed in on those travel opportunities like a motherfucker and made it my life goal to exploit them as well I could.
In the end, I ended up being very successful at that and getting lots of funding to travel down here.
Over time, Latin America grew on me and I’ve been here ever since.
With everyone back home wondering what the flipping fuck am I doing down here still….
But that’s another topic I wrote in this article here!
Like I said, there wasn’t any specific country in Latin America that I was just dying to see.
And because of those initial travel opportunities, I was able to get a broad exposure to the region by running around the place to most countries in the area.
Consequently, I believe that helped me pick what country to settle down in for the time being.
But I understand that not everyone is going to find an abundance of travel grants and similar opportunities to travel abroad like that.
Making it more difficult to pick the right country to move to.
Because of that, I wrote this article here that you are reading now to do some brainstorming.
Thinking logically about one particular question….
“If I had to start my journey to Latin America all over again, how would I go about picking the right country to move to?”
Here are the steps I would take if I was you.
Step 1: Why?
First ask why you want to move abroad.
What are your motivations for doing so?
It first might be the case that your desire to move abroad is not logical.
Maybe you can achieve what you want easier back home.
But also asking yourself this question will give you a better idea as to what you are looking for.
Because now you can take what your primary motivations are in finding a new home abroad and researching the different Latin American countries that exist to find out which ones best fit your desired outcome.
There is also another thing to consider also…
Step 2: Limits
What are your limits?
What will you not tolerate in your new home country?
Let’s take budget for example.
Perhaps you are only going to have 1,200 USD a month in social security to fund your time down here…
Well, that’s the budget then!
I guess Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile are out of the question.
Panama City might prove to be quite challenging also.
But there are plenty of places where a 1,200 USD a month budget would work.
In fact, I’d argue most of Latin America will work well enough with that budget.
As I wrote here, I once even lived on just 300 bucks a month in Mexico.
But your budget obviously is one point of concern as to what your limits might be.
Another limit could be safety obviously.
Some countries like Venezuela might make you uncomfortable.
While others, like Uruguay, are going to be safe enough that the local crime of the day might involve some hooligans knocking over an orange stand.
OK, OK, I’m sure they have worse crime than that in Uruguay…
But you get the idea.
Also the local language is important too.
You don’t actually need to learn it to live down here.
I recommend you do but it’s technically not necessary.
Plenty of areas where English is common enough.
Especially in tourist zones.
So those are just some examples anyway of whatever limits you might have…
But once you know your desired outcomes and your limits…
Now we need to do some research.
Step 3: Research
Obviously, you might not have the fortune to use travel grants and all to get a small taste of each Latin country ahead of time.
So we are going to need to use the resources we have.
Thankfully we have the internet.
First, I recommend checking out this article here on another website that recommends 100 different blogs by people who live in Latin America.
Check that out so you can get personal experiences of people who actually live down here.
Obviously check out any of my hundreds of articles on this website also as I have written quite a bit on my own experience in Latin America.
Another thing also is you can check out videos on Youtube.
Plenty of folks post videos on the internet that do “walking tours” of random Latin American cities.
That would be recommended to do if you want to get a small taste of what some of the cities you are thinking about actually look like.
Just type into Youtube something like “walking tour of x Latin city.”
Next thing you can do is join Facebook expat groups for different parts of Latin America.
For example, I’m part of a Facebook group called “Foreigners in Mexico City.”
Just join some of those groups for whatever areas of Latin America that interest you and check out what people post on there.
You can ask questions too obviously.
Also, sometimes these groups have separate Whatsapp or Telegram groups for foreigners living down here.
They sometimes advertise them so make sure to check that out also.
Could be another good way to get access to folks who actually live down here.
Step 4: Travel Down
If you are still not entirely sure of where you want to go…
Hopefully at the very least the previous steps have helped you narrow down your list of places that you want to visit.
After all, Latin America is quite a big place.
With that said, you should by now be narrowing it down to a select few cities.
But hopefully cities.
Since even each country down here like Brazil or Mexico can be quite huge.
I would visit whatever areas you are thinking of a few times before actually relocating long term.
Just to make sure it is right for you.
Because what you read on the internet might be overhyped bullshit meant to sell you a dream.
That’s a side tip anyway for those doing their research – be careful with the content you consume.
You got some gringos who talk a good deal about how everything is perfect down here and never mention the faults.
On the other hand, you got gringos who constantly talk about the negative and seemingly hate the community they are in.
Seemingly jaded actually.
Anyway, just make sure your research came from more nuanced sources.
Ideally from those who actually want to give out good info and not just sell you an affiliate program or whatever to make money from you.
Keep an eye out for all of that.
And, like I said, once you have a few places picked out, visit them before relocating.
Step 5: Tying Up Loose Ends
Finally, it’s time to tie up loose ends.
Handle anything you need to back home.
Maybe learn a little bit of Spanish before your trip.
Or make friends with people online who happen to live in whatever community you decided on.
Address the financial aspect of it all in terms of how you are going to support yourself.
As that is the harder part behind all of this in my opinion or one of the harder obstacles.
Just in general, make sure you tie up any loose ends on logistics and getting prepared for your trip.
And, above all else, enjoy yourself.
Don’t feel either like you have to live down here forever.
You might relocate away forever to your new country.
Or it might be a phase in your life that you can enjoy.
Whatever the case, enjoy the moments as they come as you finally relocate abroad to whatever country you choose.
And that’s all I got to say on the matter that comes to mind.
If you have any specific questions that you have as you are doing your research about specific parts of Latin America…
Just ask me anything below in the comment section.
I’ll be more than happy to help out answering whatever I am knowledgeable about.
Or at least try to point you in the right direction if I happen to not know the answer to something.
At any rate, enjoy your trip.
And thanks for reading.
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