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It's a Wonderful Life Abroad


Is this new strand of COVID interfering with your holiday rituals?

Growing up, I watched the black and white version of the classic movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," with my sisters on Christmas Eve. The film did not resonate with me, but it was the only show on tv, and we couldn't sleep in anticipation of presents on Christmas day.

Fast forward my life some thirty or more years later, and I have dropped the ritual of staying up late to watch Christmas films. Sure, I am guilty of watching another classic movie, Home Alone, during this season every year, but it usually happens during the day. Yesterday, I went to bed slightly after putting the kids to sleep and wrapping a few modest gifts.

It's been a little over four years since my family decided to move abroad. Although we have had our ups and downs, I do not see returning to live in the US as part of our immediate future. If my family becomes seriously ill or something similar happens, then we will consider moving back, but as of this post, Antigua is home.

As we near the end of another year, do you have any regrets? There is no doubt that 2020 is one year that most would like to forget. From the coronavirus to political events, we have endured plenty over the last 359 days.

I planned to visit my parents in LA and spend their 45th wedding anniversary with them in August. Yup, that trip didn’t happen. COVID ensured that we stayed put.

In part to missing the family trip, my wife and I paid off one of our credit cards. The money reserved for travel went towards a Visa maxed out during our transition abroad. Yes, it sucks not to have the time with family, but eliminating debt feels good also!

What about you? Did 2020's lockdown of stores, restaurants, and travel destinations help you save money or pay down credit card balances?

We must do our best to maintain or begin to create financial discipline in 2021. Pay more than the minimum balance on your credit card and create investing goals for the new year. Making wise money choices benefits you and your family.

Besides playing too much Roblox this week, my children have watched old episodes of our family’s vlog. Seeing the videos, we created to document our experiences abroad and inspire other families to follow our footsteps, more like airplane guides, to a life by design, forces me into states of nostalgia and gratitude.

Leaving family, friends, and opportunities in the US was not easy.

We lost a home to foreclosure in this process of moving our lives to foreign shores. Our limited income in Mexico put us in a difficult position. I had severe bouts with failure and identity due to my inability to make the consistent money necessary to provide for a family.

Despite the challenges, I can say that it’s a wonderful life abroad. Sure, we don't have limitless access to comfort things that often come with life in the US, but I am grateful for this experience. Since moving, I've finished two books, and another one, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity, is scheduled for release in 2021.

The decision to move from Chicago has brought our family closer together and stimulated growth in the physical, mental, and spiritual domains of our lives.

Today's vlog episode illustrates through video captures why my family appreciates our lives abroad. Take a look after reading one more sentence. Subscribe and share this post with one person in the spirit of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, or the annual celebration of your choice.


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