On a similar note to my previous post (about financially supporting creators), I also wanted to touch on a similar issue. And that is – should you pay for advice? And at what point are people willing to pay for advice?
When I first moved to Germany, I spent many hours poring through German bureaucracy – one page after the other trying to reach the right form to fill in, translations of various forms to fill in, also questioning my dubious translations of such paperwork. The final straw came when I spent almost 2 hours on a form, and decided to go ahead and hire a translator specializing in such forms. It turns out that most of it needed to be redone anyway and I was glad that I did. If I ever was in a similar situation, I would definitely not hesitate to hire a translator.
The same goes with advice. Nowadays there are many advice blogs and articles, including my own, as well as online communities. However, your mileage may change. There may be changes to legislations. Your situation will certainly be unique. You may find yourself in a hostile online community, even. Compound with the fact that the visa process can get expensive and risky for people and that official sources (ie embassies) are busy enough with other priorities then many people are left and stuck in some limbo. Hence, free advice that you read online has some caveats in that it’s usually based on someone’s own lived experience rather than advice molded to your own situation. One of the main lessons I learnt while living in Germany was that I had a lack of preparation and research on some basic things that would have made life considerably easier for me. So prior to the move to France, I’ll be collating some resources on what will help me. Of course, I will probably share it here also depending on how helpful those resources are, and again those mileage will vary. If you want customized advice and you’re not willing to take in the time and effort to look for it, then you may want to think about hiring an expat consultant to do the research for you.
I am still more than happy to write posts in this blog. Maybe one of my posts may help someone’s burning question, or it may give someone an idea. But keep in mind, once again, to do your own research. Always follow the official sources online. But please, do not ask me for official visa questions. Period. There are actual recognized entities and individuals that do this. When I write my posts in this blog, I’m writing it based on my own experience. And it may not be relevant to you. Which is why you need to spend some time going through all other sources and cross reference what one person is saying versus what another is writing. Take what you read with a grain of salt. But keep in mind though – all this stuff about visas and digital nomadism, and what-have-you, it’s all risky business. When I first wanted to dip my toes into doing expat consultancy type of services, I realize that essentially
Now another item that I also wanted to touch on is around free advice in general. Not just stuff like How is Lisbon like in May? What’s the best Internet service provider in Hungary? How long would I last with 10K in eastern Europe? Where can I get serviced apartments within the nearest vicinity of vegan restaurants in Bangkok? And so on. You can get these questions answered for free online. And, when I get bored or when I feel like contributing (outside of my own blog), I do contribute to answering these questions and further discussions. And then there are the deep questions that someone asks. Should I be a digital nomad? Should I quit my job? Should I move overseas? These types of things require far more introspection from the originator. And, if you are asking yourself these types of questions in the first place then I would say that you probably need more time and thought in this process. The person that is asking “Should I be a digital nomad?” is a long way away from someone asking “Should I live in this arrondissement instead?”. There are some philosophical, life questions that strangers just seriously cannot answer for you.