Resources for the International Man
are no doubt far more familiar than most people with the global
nooks and crannies of the Internet, having searched out details
on any number of possible bolt-holes,
island paradises, relocation
hot-spots, and just plain great places to live around the world.
With apologies to those readers who may already be familiar with
the resources I'm about to describe, my experience has been that
even dedicated Internet researchers often miss these three.
A basic, often
overlooked fact about the Worldwide Web is that you cannot simply
use Google or any of the other U.S.-based search engines and actually
search the whole world for relevant information.
has anywhere from a few to several dozen country-specific search
engines that offer access to uniquely in-country information that
you will never find with a Google search. While many of these search
engines operate in the language of the country, there are usually
at least a few that offer searches in English, including usually
one or two Yahoo-powered engines (that you usually can't access
as effectively with a U.S.-based Yahoo search).
that the site searchenginecolossus.com
offers by far the best collection of these country-specific engines.
For example, even Easter Island has five search engines, while countries
like India, Brazil and Russia have dozens. Popular expat destinations
like Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia
and Thailand can be explored in far greater depth using this simple
strategy than can ever be achieved by even the most sophisticated
Google or Yahoo search.
If the country
you want to search is a non-English speaking one, the English language
engines still are an excellent place to start. But don't just stick
to them. More goodies are hidden away in the native language engines,
and if you're patient, they can be very rewarding even if you don't
read the language.
To use these
engines, first run your search phrase or keywords through Google
Translate, then copy and paste the translation into the engine.
Once your search results have been returned, you can either copy
and paste the top returns back through Google Translator, or just
navigate to the sites and see if they offer an English version of
their site, as many do.
translate at least a few variations of your search terms or phrases
for best results.
Follow the Blogs
set of resources I would like to suggest is the world of expat blogs
and websites. Arguably, the best collection of expat blogs (representing
not just U.S., but also international expats blogging about their
experiences and hard-won wisdom in their country of choice) is the
As I work
on my series of eBooks, "Cultural
Dimensions of Expatriate Life" (which now covers 26 countries),
I rely heavily on contributions from bloggers in the subject country,
and maintain regular correspondence with several dozen of them around
the world. It is in the nature of bloggers to be very open and sharing
people, and anyone thinking of becoming an expat in 'their' country
will be able to establish a ready-made network of helpful friends
long before packing to leave.
print and online magazine, "Transitions Abroad", maintains what
I consider to be the best directory
of websites run by both expats and nationals in almost every
country in the world. While the purposes of these websites vary
widely (and while those operating the sites are not always as forthcoming
as bloggers), I have found many very helpful people there and encourage
you to explore this fantastic world of "boots-on-the-ground" information
The final set
of resources I suggest is focused on an issue that is crucial for
many people considering establishing a life in another country…
namely, steps to take to ensure personal and family security.
– even the most ideal – has its safety and security issues, ranging
from petty crime and scams to active terrorist groups and revolutionary
movements. Every country's police and security forces operate differently,
and most expats who are new to a country realize that after the
initial honeymoon is over, it will be time to get very practical
about such matters.
For the absolute
latest information on any country in the world, you can go to the
following web sites. (These are all extremely detailed, very useful,
and frequently updated travel and expatriate security web sites.)
you to visit each site because their emphasis differs. Americans
are probably the most security-conscious expats and travelers in
the world, and Australians are arguably the most adventurous.
If there is
a need to protect yourself in the major cities and tourist resorts
of a country, the Americans will point out the threat. Likewise,
if a threat exists in a remote area of the country where conventional
travelers are less likely to go, but where adventurous travelers
and expats are quite likely to want to explore and live, the Australians
will have gone there, experienced it all, and documented it.
Crime Threat Assessment, INTERPOL Country Profiles, World Intelligence
and Security Agencies, and NationMaster sites all
offer additional up-to-date ways to research the crime and terrorism
potential for any country you are thinking of traveling to or settling
in. I suggest a serious study of each of these before you make any
travel or expatriation decisions.
I hope these
strategies will help you in your search for a more perfect place
to live (and will allow you to find exactly what you need to know
before you go.) And once you arrive and get settled in, why not
consider doing what others have done to help those who will come
after you – start a blog or website and share your experiences with
people worldwide. And please don't forget, the new IM
Forums are a perfect place to start this exchange of knowledge
with those with whom you have the most in common, your fellow
Man Forum is designed to serve as a useful resource for those looking
for raw, uncut, on-the-ground intelligence from those living the
International Man lifestyle. To join the forum for free, click
Man with permission.
Drake lives a writer's quiet life in the Texas Hill Country. His
Dimensions Of Expatriate Life
eBook series is the embodiment of his learning and materials from
years of international traveling, training and cross-cultural coaching.
"Cultural Dimensions" guides are written in an easy-to-read casual
style, focusing on the human relationships that a new expat and
possibly their family will have to build in order to successfully
integrate into their new cultural context.
© 2012 International