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Vagabonding: It's not always a fairy tale

Whether vagabonding or simply trying to make a go of it abroad, living outside one's native borders isn't always pleasant, and it's not for everyone.

Stacy DeLano, who was 60 when she moved from Virginia to Chile to teach English to business professionals, said she had a few meltdowns trying to navigate Santiago grocery stores. It took effort to reach out and meet people, and it was exhausting to start over each time her expat friends would leave.

Many of her peers who grew disillusioned living abroad made the mistake of having high expectations.

"They think that every day is going to be an 'Under the Tuscan Sun' kind of experience, but in reality, you have to go to the grocery store, you have to do your laundry, you have to deal with the bureaucracy," said DeLano, 63. "They come with high expectations and a low level of tolerance for foreign things."

Still, DeLano loved her 2-1/2 years in Chile, as she proved to herself that she can still evolve and be independent and happy. She is now seeking another adventure, perhaps teaching English in South Korea, though that itself involves a complicated application process.

Getting work abroad isn't always easy, but for those with an open mind — and a sense of humor — there are opportunities.

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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