I landed a job!

11 Aug

I’ve been interviewing around for ages and I finally got a job as a computer tech for a school system! I’m really excited about it. It’s full time and I’ll be making more money than any other point in my life, which will really help me save up for moving out of the US. It feels amazing to actually have a job again, and a full time “real job” at that! Previously every dollar I spent while unemployed was a step away from my dreams, now I’ll be able to start moving towards them again! My self imposed deadline has always been Christmas, but I’m not sure if I’m going to go then, or stay on for an entire year. It depends on how much I have saved up and how bad things are getting in the country. My goal is $7,000, but $10,000 might be better. I also need to set up a small emergency reserve that would cover the cost of a plane ticket back to the states should anything happen to my family.

I was actually planning on leaving tomorrow to go on a spur of the moment adventure to Alaska, but then they called and asked that I be in on Monday. Oh well. At least I’ll be making money for a bigger, life changing trip.

One of the hardest things I’ve been having to deal with is combating the urge to buy all of my travel gear. I’ve been making lists, researching every item, comparing, trying things out in backpacking stores, etc, but I don’t want to buy everything now, only for it to sit in my closet for several months to a year. Plus, the price will probably drop over that time and something better might come along. Still, it’s so tempting!

Right now I think I’ve decided on a backpack I’d like to get: The Osprey Atmos 50.


I’ve been looking at a lot of packs and it was a close run off between this and the Osprey Exos. The Exos is like the Atmos, but slightly lighter and less comfortable. I figure that if I’m going to have something on my back I’d like the straps to be a bit beefier. When looking at packs I’ve been trying to find something with a hip belt and pockets (so I can keep my valuables right up front), something with a LOT of breathability, and few to no zippers in the back to help keep it secure. I think the atmos fits all of these, but I must resist buying it right now in case the price drops or something better is made between now and when I’m about to leave.

I keep thinking about that day, trying to imagine it, trying to imagine the week leading up to my departure. I don’t know what it will feel like. I imagine as the plane lifts off I’ll simultaneously feel an amazing level of relief, like I’m being let out of prison, that my life is finally and truly starting. I imagine the week leading up to it will be extremely exciting as I lay out my gear, pack everything, go down the list to make sure all is in order. I’ll be setting out on a grand adventure like explorers of old. I can’t wait!

5 Responses to “I landed a job!”

  1. slrman August 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Good for you. I recommend you get at least the $10,000. Keep it in a US bank (at least at first) and have a Debit card that doubles as a Visa Card. That will work in teller machines almost anywhere. Travel light, travel fast. Guard all your stuff carefully and never carry a lot of cash or flash expensive items.

    I’d try for a used, slightly worn backpack. Don;t loo too prosperous with expensive shoes and clothes. Better to be left alone as “Slim PIckins” than worry about being relieved of your stuff.

    You might be able to pick up some cash on your way be being willing to do menial jobs for low pay. Especially if you happen upon a place with a lot of ex-pats from any country.

    AS we say here, Boa Sorte

    • godlesspaladin August 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      I’ve been thinking about getting something like an account with Ally or another internet bank if they’re more international. I’ve also heard that a lot of credit card machines work differently in other parts of the world. Europe uses a pin system instead of signing the receipt. I still have to figure out the finances part of everything. As for not flashing expensive items, completely understand that. I’m also going to carry a dummy wallet with me with fake cards and like $20 USD, just something to give a mugger should I get stopped. I’ll keep my real money somewhere hidden.

      I’ve always wondered about menial jobs. How does that work? Do you just walk up to a restaurant or a business and ask if they have anything you can do for them? I’ve seen it mentioned but nobody ever expands upon it.

      • slrman August 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

        Of course, I haven’t been everywhere, but any place they have teller machines I’ve been able to use my Debit/Visa card to get local cash. From the Virgin Islands, to Hong Kong, all over Europe, Mexico, all over Brazil, parts of Central and South America, a card like that has always worked. What was useless was a Diner’s Club in Holland and the Amex card is taken so few places outside the USA, that it’s mostly worthless.

        Technically, you cannot earn any money here unless you have a permit or a Permanent Resident’s Card (like a Green Card). In real life, if you connect to an ex-pat community and have some salable skills, you can make some cash. I presume you have some better than average computer skills so that will do for you. Most local businesses won’t hire you because the penalties can be pretty stiff. You need to look for casual things.

        One thing I recommend, scan your passport main page and any pages you have the country you’re in entry stamp and/or Visa, if required. Then, if your passport is lost or stolen, those things can easily be replaced at minimal or no cost. I would rarely carry my passport but a print-out of the scan. That’s normally good enough unless you’re crossing borders. For wandering around in the local area, you’ll rarely be asked for it anyway.

  2. Michael August 12, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Good luck on your decision to leave this country. Wish I had done the same when I was much younger. The older one gets, the more crap one aquires and the harder it becomes. Don’t forget, as a US citizen, you can never truly escape the “Hotel USA” as the IRS wants its cut no matter where you live. I seem to remember reading that only two coutries treat expats such…USA and Iran. Nice company, huh? Even if your income falls below the exemption threshold, I think you still have to file. Untill you renounce citizenship, you can check out, but you can never leave.

    • slrman August 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      I left the USA permanently when I was 60, although I had traveled and lived elsewhere before that, so it’s never too late.

      Good news about taxes, too. If your taxable income is below the threshold, you do not have to file. I last had to file for the year 2002. Here in Brazil, I do file a short report each year stating I had no earnings, or, if any, how much. It takes me about 5 minutes on line to do this.

      In many cases, you can also have dual citizenship. I’ll be eligible here next year and check that out then. As I have a permanent residence card (like a green card) the only advantage I can see is that I’ll be eligible to vote here. If it’s much trouble or expense, I doubt I’ll bother.

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