Repurposing our American Dream

the american dream

Lyndsey I get asked often by strangers why we are selling everything off and moving abroad. The closer our departure date comes and the more stuff we rid ourselves of has made our decision a reality not only to us but to some of the skeptics around us. Over the years I have had conversations with different ex-pats and have come to the conclusion that each person or family has their own reasons for leaving the US to live abroad.

Some people leave one country for another for work. Their company or business transfers them to another country so that they can perform their duties abroad.  This is not our case as we can perform the same duties in the US that we will be performing in Central America.

Other ex-pats are fed up with the current politics and policies at hand in this country and think that leaving is a great solution. This does not necessarily reflect how Lyndsey and I feel, that is not to say that we do not agree with some of the current policies at hand but we are open minded enough to understand that every nation has its own share of lobbyists and politicians who have their own agenda that does not necessarily reflect the will of the people. 

Others leave for retirement or because the cost of living is much cheaper abroad. This is understandable as well and my hat is off these individuals who want to live the rest of their days at a slower pace. Our family on the other hand is young, and I am many years from retiring. We will be working just as hard, if not harder abroad making everything work.

Lyndsey ran across a blog the other day, A Kings Life, about another family, much like ours, that is re-defining their American dream. Reading about their decisions and experiences helped Lyndsey and I define to ourselves, what it is we are really looking for. In one of their posts they talk about their experience and why they made the decision that they did.  Below is snippets of the their article Re-defining the American Dream with a few changes that make it personal to our family:

No longer did we want to be the stereotypical people from the US working to pay off more debt, to fund a larger home and a fancier car. To most today the American Dream has come to mean, owning a lot of stuff.  Consumerism has become the economic basis in the United States and we decided that we had the ability to opt-out of the cycle if we wanted to.

We feel more like the immigrants who founded and built the United States turning it into the nation that it became. They left their country of origin and traveled to the US to start a new life for their families. These people left an extended family and support system back home for the possibility to better their lives spiritually and economically. They didn’t know the language, nor did they have any guarantee. There was doubt, but there was a stronger will to make it work. That was their American Dream, and we feel that we are doing the same, just a bit differently.

Our American Dream, like others, extends beyond the US. The world today is different than it was when the nation was formed, and so is the desire of this nation. The world has transformed into a rich, global, multifaceted and easily accessible place. Our dream is to give ourselves and our children the opportunity to be globally educated, an in return giving us all the opportunity grow from a different experience. We understand that different doesn’t always mean better, but it does mean different.

We want to travel to immerse ourselves in culture, language and food. We want our children to understand more things than just consumerism. We feel that the diversity we will face on a day to day level will be something that our children would not be able to learn in traditional schools.  These experiences are going to shape and mold us into who we are to become as a family.

There are many ideals that we are not willing to sacrifice to achieve this dream. The first immigrants to the US sacrificed time to make money. We leveraged our time to make money. They sacrificed new experiences because of fear, whereas we calculate our risks and and face our fears.

There are a few ideals that are very important to achieving our interpretation of the American Dream:

  • Time Over Money
  • Children Over Business
  • Adventure Over Fear-based Stagnation
  • Experience Over Excuses
  • People Over Stereotypes

We will never be perfect at achieving these all of the time. We will try to give it our best effort, just like the immigrants who founded the nation that we were blessed enough to be born into.  We are forever indebted to these individuals that gave us all the opportunity to grow and think independently. We are very thankful for our US Passports because right now these are the keys to our American Dream.

Much of the quoted source from this post can be found originally at A Kings Life


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