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If you like to have your cake and eat it too, splitting your time between two countries probably sounds right up your alley! The good news? It’s not a crazy pipe dream.
How I made it happen
It wasn’t always my plan to one day call both the United States and Brazil home. In fact, I didn’t have a plan at all. Even as I kept earning more degrees (hello student loans!), I never felt “right” about where my life was headed.
One day, a friend of a friend asked if I would edit his dissertation. While I was always the go-to editor and writer for friends and family, it never occurred to me people would pay me for this skill. I had no idea what , so I nervously said $20 an hour. He agreed, and became my first editing client!
Around the same time, I was . Although my Brazilian boyfriend (now husband) and I had talked about spending time in his home country so I could learn Portuguese and get to know his family, we were not proactively making it happen.
But my gut was telling me my ho-hum feeling job wouldn’t get me the life I wanted: A life of , culture and control over my time.
One day, after a particularly stressful day at work, I decided I would move to Brazil with or without my boyfriend. (Yes, I’m a bit impulsive!) He decided to join me. Within six months, we sold almost everything we owned. With five overstuffed suitcases and our cat Rupert, we boarded a flight to Brazil!
Our plan was to stay for six months. If we didn’t like it, we’d move back and continue on with our “normal” lives. If we loved it, we would complete the necessary paperwork to
In between trips to the beach, I took courses in Portuguese and continued editing for my first client and others. While I wasn’t making a ton of money, I was able to pay my student loans. My husband was working too, which helped keep us afloat financially.
While we loved living in Brazil, we started missing our U.S. life. So what did we do? We decided to have our cake and eat it too! We’re back in the states now, and I officially launched my full-time writing and editing business less than a year ago!
We plan to buy a condo in the U.S. within the next six months so we won’t have to sell everything every time we move. Then, we plan to spend three to five months each year in Brazil.
We don’t have all the answers. But we know anything is possible when we do the work and remain dedicated to our core values and goals.
How YOU can make it happen too
If you want to travel extensively or split your time between two countries, it is possible! ( to tweet this bit of inspiration.) Here are my best tips to make it happen:
- Start building an : This is the most important part of living wherever you want. While figuring this out can be hard and overwhelming, trial and error is your best friend here. Take action, get up your website and start offering your services.
- Always remember your why: Working for yourself can get tough. In those moments, you must come back to your values and goals. For me, this is having control over my schedule and my lifestyle, being a and giving my future children the opportunity to grow up in both of their cultural backgrounds.
- Know yourself: To be successful and not go insane, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses and use them in your business. For example, while most of my work is based from my home office, I make it a priority to work with one or two in-person clients wherever we’re living. This ensures I get out of the house regularly and see people face-to-face. Plus, getting dressed up is nice, too.
- Know (and follow) visa regulations and laws: Get used to government paperwork being part of your life! Don’t overstay your visas or violate conditions of your stay. These mistakes could not only affect your legal status abroad, but also be costly to correct.
- Have fun! At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy and enjoy life. Find out what that exactly means for you, and make it happen!
Where would you love to split your time each year? What’s one step you can take today to make it happen? Share in the comments.
is a writer, editor, and communication pro who helps businesses and individuals connect with their unique audiences. She loves being around internationally minded thinkers, splits her time between the U.S. and Brazil, and firmly believes we are all connected and must learn to cherish and appreciate our differences.