An American passport can get you into 174 countries around the world. In many of those countries it’s possible to become a legal resident—or just keep renewing a tourist visa.
There’s no rule saying you have to stay in the country of your birth year after year.
Imagine you woke up after a multi-year slumber and turned on CNN during the U.S. primary season of mid-2016. You might not find it surprising that an ignorant bigot and a right-wing gun-loving Bible thumper are the leading candidates for president of the United States on the conservative side of the eventual ballot.
Then imagine you woke up after the election. You probably would be surprised to find the clown you saw on stage pulled off the win. You probably would find it hard to believe that the guy who has gotten the most primary delegate votes overall The guy who got the most electoral college votes (but somehow won without getting the popular vote) seems like a joke. He has spray-on-tan skin, an orange dyed comb-over, has been through multiple divorces, and has filed for bankruptcy six times. That’s before we even get to the complete lack of knowledge about what goes on outside our borders and an open support of torture techniques prohibited by international law. We could talk about him for days, or if you’re an American 24-hour news network, for at least a year non-stop.
Now that we’re seven months in an even his business community advisors have given up on him, what does this say about the volume of dense people that didn’t see this disaster coming when they voted? Who knew there were that many hiding under the rocks, with such a poor sense of character judgment? It’s like Idiocracy come to life, 10 years after its release. Instead of a pro wrestler, they voted for a reality TV star.
Who knows how much worse things will get, but I’m not too worried because I have a passport.
I can go to Mexico for six months just on a tourist visa, then move on to somewhere else and do it again, or come back there for another six months. I could go spend a year in India, or Peru, or Cambodia, or Albania. With a few visa runs I could do that in dozens of other countries or just keep moving.
The last big expatriate exodus was when Bush Jr. got reelected—I sure did meet a lot of those escapees in my travels. Some came back when the tides turned and the economy improved under a new leader. Others like the slower pace and better spending power on the other side and made it permanent.
Will we see a replay?
But if you’re having thoughts of escape, I’ve got a book for you. And some coaching if you’d like. After all, if you’re going to escape from a scary situation, why not turn it to your advantage as well? Go to one of the cheapest countries to live in and you’ve suddenly got…A Better Life for Half the Price.
When you get there, turn off the TV, mix a cocktail with fresh-squeezed juice, and take a nap in a hammock. Then take a nice walk and do it again the next day.
Soon you might forget that you were once stressing about this and you’ll react as an anchor on CNBC said this week when asked about “Trump risk” in the market. “Wall Street has written off our president as a non-factor. They will forge on assuming he won’t get anything done.”
Anywhere you go they’ll be laughing now when anyone says the orange one’s name, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay on and be part of the joke.
[Editor’s note: This post originally ran in a slightly different form during the Republican primaries. It has since been amended to reflect the final election results. Thus some of the comments precede the new publication date.]