I’ve been reading online, on a daily basis, that so many Americans, especially Black Americans, currently want to move out of the U.S. In many cases, they say it’s due to racial inequality or the political situation back home. Although this may seem like a 2020 phenomenon, there has been an American diaspora (Americans living overseas) for many years. In 2016, the U.S. State Department estimated that more than 9 million Americans were living abroad. It’s very difficult to get exact figures because the U.S. does not keep track of emigration; therefore, counts of Americans abroad are only available courtesy of statistics kept by the destination countries.
Americans immigrate to foreign lands for many reasons. Retirement drives many older Americans abroad as they want to stretch their Social Security income and savings because many foreign countries offer a much cheaper lifestyle (i.e., housing, food, healthcare) along with moderate climates. Younger folks also decide to move because of economic reasons. These days, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home, and some have seen this as an opportunity to become a digital nomad who works overseas. All that is needed is a computer and good internet service. Just how many of you would love to work 5 or 6 hours a day and chill on the beach the remainder of the day?
With the ongoing problems with the American economy, an increase in economic opportunities for skilled workers in emerging markets also increasingly drives migration abroad. I often hear about many Americans teaching English in foreign countries. If this interests you, make sure to look into TEFL certification, which is a great way to get started.
Black Americans who want to leave the U.S. because of political and racial reasons might want to check out a couple of very popular Facebook groups. These recently established groups provide a forum for Black Americans wanting to leave the U.S. One is called Blaxit Tribe, with more than 11,000 members since its inception in May 2020, and the other is Blaxit Global. Another smaller group, which I belong to and is run by a friend of mine, is called Black Expats in Costa Rica. A new app just recently hit the market called The Xpat App and is growing fast.
A final word of advice: No matter why you are considering leaving the U.S., and I’m sure there are many more reasons than I could post here, embrace your new culture whole-heartedly, live among the locals, learn the language, leave the attitude at home, and don’t be that “ugly American.