Life

Moving Overseas In Mid-Life

The Irish Times publishd an interesting but troubling article titled, Misery Of The Returned Emigrant

(2014-08 update: article is behind a paywall.) It was written by Dublin-born freelance writer and journalist, Brendan Landers, who emigrated to Canada in 1984 and then returned to Ireland in 2000.

2020-5 update: article now available, probably because of online media’s response to COVID-19 ‘lockdowon’ scenario in Ireland.)

Brendan’s article paints a somewhat despairing view of a prosperity and wealth bonanza that had all the trappings of success but few of the foundations for sustaining it.

The rise of the Celtic Tiger’s economy has been well documented but now there are ominous signs that something’s seriously wrong with the growth engine that all has been staked on.

The outcome of which might once again be mass emigration by the best and the brightest.

But where will they go?

And what will they do?

For young, bright and adventurous souls it might prove to be the adventure of a lifetime (assuming the choice destination countries don’t succumb to financial convulsions of their own and put up protectionist barriers.)

But for those in their 40s and 50s, what choices do they have?

When I made my move to Japan in 1994, I was in my early 30s, just married but with no children. It was kind of fun, in a way.

However, my friend and occasional mentor, Charles Burke, moved from the US to Japan when he was in his early 40s. And without a college degree to boot.

Charles figured out how to live and thrive in Japan for many years until deciding to relocate to Thailand last year. He’s doing fine there too.