Author’s Note: The book is in the final stages of the editing and will be released in thenear future, yet the book is part of a bigger project. More below.
A few weeks back, there was a discussion going around among expatriates in the social network about the benefits and drawbacks of living abroad, with one of the questions striking me at first as absurd but it later made sense: What would be the reasons for you to return to your home country? In the 15+ years of living here in Germany, despite having most of my family living in the US and my passion for historic bridges and sports, there has not been a single reason that would convince me to return to my home state of Minnesota, let alone the family that I have as well. In fact, if I was to list the benefits between here and the US, there would be a list a mile longer convincing me to stay here in the Bundesrepublik. But that theme will be discussed later.
Yet there are many people who, after many years abroad, feel that they feel that the time is ripe for a change, hence deciding between moving back to their home country or even starting an adventure in another place. In a book entitled Moving Abroad, written by A. Rafael Dos Santos, and scheduled to be released later this year, the author looks at the benefits and drawbacks of living in a foreign country, answering the questions of: 1. Why expatriates want to return to their home countries after living abroad, and 2. How to get adjusted to life in a foreign country and overcome the feeling of homesickness. Dos Santos is no stranger to these questions, for the expatriate originating from Brazil has lived in London for 14+ years and is an entrepreneuer himself. His book is part of a larger project designed to encourage people to live and start a new business abroad. More information can be found online at: rafaeldossantos.com
The author of the Files had a chance to conduct an interview with Dos Santos via facebook about the book and how people have had similar experiences- both good and bad- living in a foreign country. Here are some facts that will encourage you to think about spending time away from home.
FlFi: Speaking from your experience living abroad and encountering other expatriates from other countries, in your opinion, why do so many people choose to live abroad?
Dos Santos: There are 8 main reasons why people change: (to search for)love, broken heart, studies, change of environment and scenery, explore the world, self-development, to ‘make it’ (in the world), to work (in a different environment). Most people just want a change. They want to be free to do whatever they want without being judged.
FlFi: And why do they decide to return to their home countries?
Dos Santos: There is a lot involved but the main reasons are: – they have a bad lifestyle – they are illegal – they have fallen out of love with the country
FlFi: Your book Moving Abroad talks about the benefits and challenges of living abroad. Can you tell us what you want to achieve with this book?
Dos Santos: The goal of this book is to help people understand the challenges of living abroad, to share stories and advice, and most importantly, to help people understand that moving is not just physical but an emotional and social one, too.
FlFi: What points do you want to cover that are in association with the topic of relocation and living abroad?
Dos Santos: The main thing is to find out why (people go abroad), share stories people have, provide tips and find out what makes relocation successful, in their opinion.
FlFi: You are working on a campaign to encourage people to live abroad, right?
Dos Santos: Yes, I have started a campaign with the UK government that will promote success stories of entrepreneurs in London.I am reaching out to make you aware and invite you to take part.Please visit the campaign page and if this is something that you’d like to take part (as a successful entrepreneur) email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you full details.Campaign link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/this-foreigner-can/x/3152462
FlFi: And why in the UK?
Dos Santos: I plan to roll out in the whole of London and then to the rest of the UK. I want to create the Immigrant Day and celebrate the success of immigrants in the UK and once this is successful we will celebrate around other European Countries. It’s a big project but I am determined to make it happen.
To provide a better insight in the project, here’s a youtube clip on the project:
Please refer to Dos Santos’ website for more updates on how you can help regarding the campaign, contribute your stories about living abroad, and follow-up on the book that is set to be released, which the Files has profiled as genre of the week. The Files wishes Dos Santos nothing but success in the book and project and may the campaign become successful in the UK and beyond. 🙂
As far as stories and questions about living abroad are concerned, there is one rather unique story behind a group of people from a small community who decided to live abroad, plus some questions about the reasons behind living abroad. More on that to come very soon.