The author currently lives in Chile and admins the group Run Like Hell on Facebook.
My first trip to a really foreign country was in 1993 to the Bahamas. When I arrived my hosts drove to a store, bought a case of beer, opened it up, and started drinking while driving the van. They assured me it was ok, and we drove to a nearby town where we parked in front of a hardware store. When I asked them what I should do with my beer, they just said to bring it in, along with my lit cigarette. So I did. And when we walked in there was a line of people waiting at the counter, all drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. That was when I knew that the US had been like that, once upon a time, and that I liked it better that way.
Why should you consider traveling? The standard fool’s response to anyone who questions anything they don’t like about the US is “You should just move to Somalia!” or North Korea, or somewhere equally bad. You’ll never hear anyone one say “If you don’t like it here, move to Monaco!” or “If you don’t like it here, move to Malta!” Do they secretly suspect the truth, that maybe you ARE more free in other countries?
It’s quite possible (I would say certain) that you CAN be more free elsewhere. It depends on what more freedom means to you. No place is perfect, as far as I can tell. However, many places are less regulated, so effectively the Powers That Be will not really be paying attention to you. Other countries can’t afford to spy on you 24/7. Other countries (most) don’t shoot people who live there, or their dogs and cats either. If you make your living online already, you already have the skills you need to live tax free in many jurisdictions, as some countries don’t consider income earned online work.
If you can afford to purchase a house, in many locations you’ll be eligible for residency, which isn’t citizenship but close enough so you can come and go as you please. If you have a home, you have a base of operations to make a living. That goes for a rental place, too!
It might surprise you to learn that even among countries that have a property tax (most every country does) the rates are fairly low. Among others, there’s a large exemption before you would owe anything at all (not all countries tax income, either).
I’d like to suggest that you make plans to travel right now. Not to make a permanent move, but just to see what’s out there. I suggest you try Malta, Costa Rica, or Chile, but that’s just a suggestion. What places sound good to you, and why? Take a look online, there are plenty of websites about the advantages of each. If you don’t have a passport, you should get one right now! They aren’t getting any easier to obtain. Make sure you get the 10 year option.
In a follow up article, I’ll talk about working and living in a foreign country and what you can expect, and how to live offshore indefinitely without applying for residency.