Hello Expat browser,
Most of our Paros Paradise web site is about Paros and our life on a Greek island. This page is intended to have more information and links about living away from your home country, where ever that may be.
If you want to read more about our particular story, start here. If you want to read an article about how we came to choose to be expatriates, find it here. Our first several years we published a newsletter every few months with highlights of our island lifestyle. Find the archives, here. Currently we are posting occasionally to a blog. Check it out if you are interested in any Greek island or Greece in general.
Some expat friends on New Year's Day
Expats, global nomads and long term travelers are always looking for more convenient and cheaper ways to get funds from their home country to their residence country. Now electronics have come to the rescue with a new company backed by Richard Branson and others. I have used them and been quite satisfied. My local bank charges 1% and takes 28 to 30 days to process a draft on my USA account (wire transfers cost much more); TransferWise charges the same 1% but takes only 5 to 7 days. Please use this link to check them out. The first transfer is free.
At various times for various purposes I have written articles about specific aspects of earning a living in a foreign country. Some of these are found on this page:
Moving-Overseas-Guide - Here is an informative and friendly site from a couple of Brits who are making it work in Turkey. This site has a ton of information; most applicable to all Greece.
Of the many foreigners who have relocated to Greece a few have written books about their experiences. We highly recommend anyone considering any foreign country should read a few personal accounts before taking the plunge. In both Ireland and Greece we enjoyed reading others accounts and then seeking out the locations that they described.
The first book below we read our initial year on the island and then later met Fionnuala and her husband Rory who maintain a house here but now live in Ireland. The main value of this delightful story is a record of a time that is long gone on tourism dominated islands.
The second book by John Mole we recently read and enjoyed although it too is now a tale 30 years old. Still we felt the author did an excellent job of developing the background behind many of the character traits of the Greek personality. Although the story is about rebuilding a ruined farmhouse on the large island of Evia we recognized many of our neighbours in his characterizations.
I have not read the third book but Athens News recommends it. The Amazon synopsis is:
An introduction to the Greek way of life, which is aimed specifically at those intending living or working in the country and which provides practical information and advice on travel, accommodation, health, work, starting a business, education and recreation, with a glossary of Greek terms and useful addresses.
Panigyri is written and illustrated by Paros residents. I have yet to see a review of it. If you have read it, please let me know what you think.
If anyone can recommend other books or more recent accounts of expatriate life, please email us. Or you can write a short review for publication here.
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Buying Vacation Property Overseas
For those of us that have been lucky enough to travel abroad, we have seen some of the most beautiful land on Earth. The people, the sights and especially the food make international travel one of the most exotic and special things you can do. But what about making that trip to a foreign country permanent? If you can afford a second home and the thought of spending your summers in country isn’t doing it for you, what about buying a little place in Greece or Ireland? Here are some tips on making your dream a reality.
First off, rest assured that you’re not the first person to do this. It’s estimated for instance that about four million US citizens live abroad right now. The first thing you should do is check the local country’s property rights. There are websites run by the International Real Estate Association that can tell you if it’s even legal for non-residents of a country to own land there. You should also check with your embassy about the stability of a particular region. Remember, if you vacationed somewhere nice, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe once you leave the resort.
The next step would be to seek out a real estate broker in that particular country for help. This is when a possible language barrier could be a problem. Luckily, there are websites available that will have links to international brokers who do speak English. A broker who is familiar with the local laws and customs of the region you’re looking to move to will be able to help you find out how the local laws work when it comes to real estate.
Another good tip is that you should expect to pay cash. Most countries don’t have the sophisticated systems for loans and mortgages that you are used to. If they do, the required paperwork and legal technicalities are horrendous. So you are looking at either paying cash or where you might be able to get a loan, a down payment of almost 50 percent wouldn’t be unusual. However, the harshness of this is usually lessened by lower prices than you are used to at home.
Being able to retire in that pretty Tuscan villa overlooking the vineyards or the bungalow on the beach in Thailand is a dream millions of people have, and while it may only become a reality for a select few, you CAN make it happen with proper planning, a helpful heaping of common sense and a few tips to help you on your way.
We recently discovered a new site that has a great many personal interviews from expats all over the world. Expat Interviews - Very interesting! Start with this one about us then search for what suits you.
Here are other sites that contain a great deal of current information about living and working in a foreign country.
- InterNations- Global Expat Network - Full of useful information and social contacts. I have especially enjoyed their activity groups. If you join, look me up!
- Catch the wave to offshore living - Offshorewave.com - Offshore Real Estate, moving overseas, embassies and consulates worldwide, international dialling codes, currency converter, offshore living.
- International Living - This was one of our first resources eons ago. Inspiring. Identify the best places to retire, buy real estate, and to live. Articles about savvy travel, message boards and home swapping.
- Escape From America - New owners; new focus but still a good source for restarting your life overseas. aka EscapeArtist.com
Home-Sweet-Mexico.com - Is a particularly good site that includes a discussion of cultural differences. It is full of inside information for those who want to Work, Live, or Retire in Mexico.
- Expats Reunite - an international site for anyone looking to make friends or find lost friends or contacts anywhere in the world.
- Expats Abroad.com - A message centre for expats worldwide as well as anyone considering travelling or living abroad, whether looking for new friends or trying to locate old ones.
- International Relocation
Help for expatriates on overseas moving and relocation abroad (Paris, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Montreal, New York, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Brussels, Geneva): accommodation, jobs, international schools, health.
- International Health Insurance - HealthCare International provides international health insurance for expatriates and travelers. Free online quotations.
- Links - More than you can shake a stick at, some of which are repeated below.
- Global Exchange - A site from Australia that is useful for everyone.
- Expatica.com - Information for the expat on Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Done in a breezy, magazine style. More countries coming soon!
- Native Spain - an on-line community covering all aspects of moving to Spain to live and how to get the most from life when you are there.
- American Citizens Abroad - A non-profit association dedicated to serving and defending the interests of individual US citizens living worldwide.
- Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO) - a not-for-profit, non-partisan, public service organization representing United States citizens living abroad.
Canuck Abroad - Resources for Canadian Expats and Travellers Abroad
- American Goodies - a personal shopper to satisfy those un-international cravings.
- Expat Expert - Robin Pascoe's web site for expatriates, and the home of Expatriate Press
- Expat Focus - Expat links, currency converter and discussion forums.
- Expat Today - The online magazine giving information to expatriates and francophones since 1996. A club for those who live internationally.
Corfu - Bob and Tricia Giles are having fun.
Paros Life is the local expat newsletter with a wealth of factual information and features of interest to the longer term resident.
- Italian Property - Search for property throughout Italy. Find estate agents in any region and research the big leap.
- Offshore Companies - Panama's largest Offshore Corporation & Private Foundation service providers.
- Algarve Removals - The Portugal specialists for storage and removals; family owned.
Or search elsewhere with this Google link.
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