Hi, I am a recent visitor to your blog. I have been researching a bug
out location (I'm in the US, formerly in Los Angeles, but relocated to
Montana for obvious reasons). I have seen many like Doug Casey touting
Argentina, and others touting other places in South America/Panama. I
have been skeptical, which is what brought me to your website. I was
very interested to know that you picked Ireland. I am of Irish decent,
and have considered Ireland, except that they are notoriously
socialistic. I would really be interested to read more about your
decision to move there, all the criteria you considered before making
the move, and all the pros and cons you have discovered since moving
there. Also keeping us updated on Ireland as you learn more over time
would be great. If you would do this I would be eternally grateful,
Thanks a ton! -Jim-
If socialism isn’t what you want, then South America in general is a bad idea. You have strong authoritarian socialism, leaning towards tinpot dictatorship in many cases. Argentina was already a bad choice 12 months ago, today only a fool would voluntarily move there. With a Chavez-like authoritarian government, you might as well go to Venezuela and get over it. Extreme corruption, restriction on transferring funds, a ban on foreign currencies and a rip off “official” exchange rate (about 40% less than the real USD to Peso rate) that makes it very expensive for foreigners. The latest news is official government indoctrination in schools and preschools! How about what I wrote in a recent article, about the government recruiting from within prisons themselves and assassins, murderers and rapists getting an out of jail pass not a year after their conviction? The president´s words? “Its for purposes of social reinsertion”…
Our close friends and family tell us two things very often. The first one is “Don’t come back”, the second one is “you left just in time”.
About my relocation criteria, I’ve written and made videos about it before but here’s the general idea:
1)Your relocation and especially your international bug out location (fancy word for relocating in a hurry!) should be a country in which you can hold a legal status as a resident. Some people take this for granted or underestimate it, but unless you’re pretty wealthy you may only be welcomed as a tourist for a short period of time. With money you can claim to have the funds to start a company of some sort which most countries will welcome. In certain countries retired people are welcomed as well if they show sufficient income. Either this or you get a job visa, which of course would be hard to do in short notice. Family or good friends in the country of destination may help though.
Another option is going to a place where you hold second citizenship. Thanks to having dual citizenship, I could choose from any Mercosur South American country or anywhere within the European Union, so that narrowed down my criteria for a place to move to when needing to do so in a hurry. For many years I had been trying to move to USA instead, but with the tough immigration laws and us having to leave fast after seeing the rapid deterioration after Kirchners reelection we had to go with plan B.
2)First world life and stability. I had enough of 3rd world life experience. Maybe to some it sounds exotic and exciting, to me it brings memories of corruption, poverty, decadence and foul smells on the streets. If at all possible, I want to live in a first world country.
3)Climate. Not too cold, not too warm and with a good supply of water. Extreme temps cost money during good times and can cost your life during SHTF events, and water isnt that far behind in importance. This basically means to avoid deserted locations, the northwest of Argentina is a good example of a place to avoid due to desert climate alone. Many parts of Australia being desert have this same problem. It would seem that simply living close to a river takes care of this aspect, but in a desert climate rivers may run low or even dry up entirely. On the other hand, if you need water in Ireland you just pull a cup through the window and wait for a minute or two… The negative side here is that the general cloudy and rainy climate may be too much for some, especially those easily depressed.
4)Safety. A place where people walk around without being worried about kidnappings and armed robberies 24/7. Having that safety means the world of a difference to us, and we see that people used to living safe just take it for granted. While crime can be found everywhere not all places are the same. In some places you live caged up, I lived that way most of my life, so much that a window without burglar bars seems ridiculously unsafe to me, I’m still getting used to the idea. While theres places of the world where most homes will have them, there’s others that no matter how much you drive around there’s none to be seen. Northern Ireland would be such a place. Its safer than England, even Scotland.
5)Cost of living. You may like a place a lot but maybe cant afford to life there. The cost of living was an important factor as well, but we had made up our minds about paying more if we had to just to live better. If I wanted to save money I would have just stayed in Buenos Aires in some gated community. I could have moved to an Argentine province and live a more opulent lifestyle. Having lived in the province of Cordoba for two years before, you could say I’ve already been there and done that. I much rather live a normal middle class life in a first world country than live in a 3rd world one surrounded my poverty while I sip wine and feel good about myself. Different people want different things I guess. But to me the freedom of living in a truly safe part of the world is just priceless, and only those that are ignorant regarding how bad it is when you don’t have such freedom can take it for granted. A good guideline to go by is looking at the medium income per household for the country that gives you a basic idea of the cost of living. There’s people making less or more but at least you know you can live there. The medium income also has to be taken into account with the general status of the country itself. The medium income of Bolivia, Paraguay or Argentina for that matter will not get you a middle class quality of living by first world standards. In developing nations the society is usually very polarized, with a majority of poor, a small rich elite and a relatively small number of middle class society.
6)Economic Stability. Already looking towards Europe I wanted as stable an economy as possible. While Ireland appealed to me in many ways, its recent economic crisis was hitting to close to home. Then I started looking toward Northern Ireland, which while still Ireland Island its part of UK, therefore has a different economy, even a different currency (British pounds instead of Euros)
7)Culture and language. We wanted to be in a place where we knew the language. Huge Point: Moving somewhere where you cant speak the local language is a bad idea, makes everything 10 times worse. In Europe, Spain would be the only country where they speak Spanish but first its limited to most of the country but not all of it. They speak other dialects in some of Spain´s biggest cities. Besides that, Spain has been going through a big crisis for the last few years and the situation isn’t getting any better. That left us with UK and Ireland. For anyone making any plans of possible relocation, its important to know a second language, hopefully of the country you consider bugging out to. For Americans, I’d say that Spanish is a smart choice as a second language.
8)Narrow it down. After looking for a specific place I had a certain criteria that I’ve mentioned before. I wanted a safe middle class town, with good hospitals, schools etc. While not within a mayor city I did want to be close enough in case I need to go there, maybe start going often. The specific town you end up in is as much of a call as it is choosing the country itself. Moving in to one place or another may make a world of a difference so choose wisely.