Our Migration: It’s A Push-Pull

Travel Hippi, travel, long-term travelMove abroad - It's a Push-Pull situationOur decision to move abroad is not due to a single local factor. Instead, it is a complex mixture of local factors pushing us away, and foreign factors pulling us out of the country. A typical push-pull effect – let me explain.

Classic push-pull

Migration is a classic push-pull
Image courtesy Flying Bulls

A push-pull aircraft is probably the easiest way to explain how two seemingly opposite forces work together to achieve the same outcome. This superb image of the Cessna Skymaster shows how the forward-mounted propeller pulls and the backward-mounted propeller pushes the aircraft.

Emigration or just long-term travel?

I suppose the intent to settle elsewhere is, by definition, emigration. But we have never made a conscious decision to emigrate, we have simply decided to travel, and keep on travelling as long as we can. We have some idea of where we would like to settle, but we intuitively know that the right thing (place) will happen at the right time.

Pushing us away

We are often questioned about our reasons, and judging by the body language of some of the questioners, a rant about all things improper is expected. Well this is not a soapbox, so I will just share a couple of thoughts:

  • Political atmosphere: we can no longer stomach the state of affairs and will take our responsible citizenship elsewhere.
  • Economic reality: economic hardship is one thing but economic uncertainty is intolerable. Measured in terms of hard currency our personal situation has consistently deteriorated, so it’s time to switch.

Pulling us away

If I have to assign a single word to represent the pull factors, it would be “curiosity”.

  • Quality of life: although it is a subjective measurement, we believe that a better quality of life is possible given our particular preferences and way of life.

    Mnajdra Temple, Qrendi, Malta
    Mnajdra Temple, Qrendi, Malta. Founded c.3400 BC
  • The old: we are fascinated by history, and when it presents itself in the form of a 5200-year-old limestone structure, the fascination turns into surreal enchantment.
  • Different cultures: the opportunity to experience and learn. One of Ernst Hemingway’s quotes comes to mind: “To write about life, first you must live it.”

After the logic and reasoned explanations are exhausted, the pushing and pulling come together in two words: “Why not?”

“Let us depart! The universal sun confines not to one land his blessed beams; Nor is man rooted, like a tree, whose seed, the winds on some ungenial soil have cast there, where it cannot prosper.” – Robert Southey

What was or would be your main reason for emigration? I would love to have your thoughts.

Sold everything, became minimalist. Retired early, in Hispanic America. Helping others do the same. This free guide will help you plan your relocation. Do you have a question?


  1. I could not agree more with your reasons. My wife and I have made a similar decision and am currently in the process of selling off my business, cleaning up our lives so we can get on a plane and live life to its fullest!

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