Hello to you all, past, present, and future expats!
I’m Cathy Brown, and I am so proud and excited to reconnect with Escape From America, this time as the new Senior Editor. A few years ago I was a contributing writer here, and also was a guest editor for Escape Artist. Some of you may remember me from my days when I started Expat Daily News South America and Central America, which have since been combined to form Expat Daily News Latin America.
It’s been a big couple of years for me on the expat front. I went from minivan-driving soccer mom of three in conservative, suburban Michigan, to living with the gauchos in Mendoza and the Mapuche Indians in the Andes of Patagonia. I also went from being married to currently maneuvering my way through a divorce and a tricky international custody situation (let’s look at the bright side – lots of wisdom from what I have learned coming your way in the next few issues. May no expat ever have to make the same mistakes that I did!). But throughout the ups and the downs, I have finally arrived at a point where I have been able to get on my own two feet and make a living off of travel-related activities, which had been a dream of mine for my entire life. Funny thing was, it wasn’t nearly as complicated or difficult as I had always made it out to be in my head! I dove into the travel writing field, and have done guidebooks for Fodor’s, including one coming out next month or so on the Wine Regions of Argentina (tough job, eh?). I also have stayed busy doing high-end hotel and tour reviews throughout Chile, Uruguay and Argentina for Luxury Latin America (again, tough job but someone has to do it). I also began my own expedition company, www.antuylucero.com, where I offer private guide services into the Argentine Andes, and I take people fly fishing, trekking, backcountry skiing, and horseback riding in some of the most remote, stunning places in Argentina.
As much as I love getting paid to lounge around luxury hotels, drink wine, and trek for a living, I missed you guys. I’m serious. I miss the connection that I felt with people all over the globe when I was working with Escape from America in the past. I have met some of the most courageous, talented, inspiring people I know through the EFAM world. EFAM has always made me feel like the world is so small, so completely accessible, and absolutely filled to the brim with unlimited opportunity. I get to surround myself with people who are not afraid to trade in a comfortable life for the amazing mind and heart-expanding life of their dreams, and hopefully I get the chance to inspire some of you to make that leap yourself.
Some things to look forward to in upcoming issues of EFAM are interviews with incredible people who have dared to think so far outside of the box that I am pretty sure they can’t even remember what the box looks like or where they left it. Their stories will make you question any doubts you have about what may or may not be possible for yourself, and they will make any excuse you may have for not going out and creating the life of your dreams seem absolutely lame.
I also want to reach out far and wide to showcase some little-known lands that happen to be wonderful places for expats, to open your eyes up the abundance of possibilities there really are in this world. When moving or retiring abroad, the first place that may naturally come to mind is Mexico or Brazil, maybe Australia or Panama. Each of those places has so much to offer, but what about the people who chose to live abroad in Chiloe, a little island off the coast of the Chilean Patagonia? Or the Balkans? French Guyana? How about Tasmania? While popular expat hot-spots are absolutely ideal for some, I want to help you see that the world is full of potential, and that getting off the beaten track may be what it takes to lead some of you to your unique version of heaven. My hope is to create an even larger, stronger and more diverse web of expats than what we currently have, connecting with all the amazing little nooks and crannies of the planet and the people who thought big enough thoughts to move there.
I invite you to please reach out to me if you have stories to share, questions to ask, or a service, product, or investment to promote. I also hope to see ALL of you on our exciting new webinars which will be held once a month, the last week of the month.
In closing, I wish for each and every one of you the clarity to look at your life and ask yourself if it is everything that you had ever dreamed of, and then the courage to go out and improve it if it is not… As in, starting NOW. I wish for you the self-love to never tolerate mediocrity in any form – you deserve way better. I will constantly remind you that you deserve better, until you begin to truly believe it for yourself. Know that you have a huge network of support here at EFAM, with people who want nothing more than for you to realize that limits are just your self-made illusions, and can be destroyed with a simple thought or a word of encouragement.
Any way that I can help, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can find me on quite chatty on Twitter at @LatinAmerExpats. (Make sure you are also following @efamagazine while you are at it) I also have a Facebook page called Latin America Expats, and I would love it if you would come join our community over there. Big hugs to you all, thanks for reading and being a part of this EFAM family! It really is so good to be back here with you!