If you’ve ever sat there during the last few days of your Florida vacation, gazing at the clear blue waters of your own private swimming pool at your rented Florida villa, wondering how you could possibly live a life like this permanently, then please read on. What we’re about to tell you is a history of our personal journey from dream to realization of what it takes to move and live in Florida as an immigrant.
We probably started out like thousands of other immigrants to Florida; came here frequently on vacation and enjoyed it immensely. We loved the space, the laid back attitude, the wonderful weather (except for the hurricane bit!), the friendly people and the cost of living. Our home country currency was always strong against the Dollar so everything we spent our money on was effectively half the price of back home. The way we saw it, people’s quality of life in every aspect was so much better in Florida than where we came from.
The more we visited, the more we fell in love with the way of life and the location. After many trips and fantasizing about living full time in Florida we decided we wanted to make our future there. We just didn’t know how or legal aspects of such a move. That was the pivotal moment when we both agreed that on returning home we would put all our efforts into finding out as much information as possible about the correct way to emigrate to Florida.
The one piece of key advice we would offer to anyone thinking about emigrating anywhere is do your homework and do it thoroughly! Knowledge is power! It’s one thing to dream about moving to an exotic location and changing your life for the better but sometimes not everything is as it seems. Immigration rules and local laws can be very detailed and difficult to navigate without prior knowledge of the system or expert help.
Cultural divides can be much bigger than you first imagined. Staying somewhere for a short time as a visiting tourist versus immigrant status, living a normal 9-5 life, is massively different. The other thing to consider is not everyone along the way may be looking out for your best interests. Thousands of people arrive in Florida every year looking to start a new life. This large wave of ‘fresh’ residents can sometimes prove rich pickings for more unscrupulous people. However if you know your facts before you start the process, then becoming a potential victim of these types of people can be reduced to a minimum.
In the next installment, we’ll tell you how we went from half-baked daydreams to our first startling discovery of how difficult it was going to be to realize our goal.