October 20

Safety First – Good Ideas for Expats

Gentle readers, I am lucky to have found a place with a relatively low crime rate. Part of that is due to the choices I made, and part of it is due to the cultural environment of Valencia, Spain. Don’t assume that I am some sort of starry-eyed hippie, because I certainly understand where the edges of the dark underbelly of society can be found. It’s just that I avoid those places like the plague.

Sometimes, though, trouble can find you at your own doorstep, and this post is a set of tips that can make living in a new country a little safer.

  1. Know your numbers. I keep something called the “List of 10” on my computer and periodically update it. The list contains contact information for the 10 people who need to know if something catastrophic happens to me, with directions to call everyone on the list if something happens. Once I update the list, I send it everyone on the list. Here are some of the things on my list:
    – Parents, siblings, children, friends, executors of my will
    – Insurance information
    – Banking information (accounts, etc.)
    – Local contacts who have agreed to be on the list.
  2.  Have a will. Really. This is so easy, it’s laughable that so many people do not think about what would happen in the case of death or a vegetative state. Get a will made, people.
  3. Powers of Attorney. This is important if you still have banking accounts (retirement accounts, savings accounts, a jar of cash buried in your back yard, among other things) in your home country. You need to ensure that someone can reach your funds in case you cannot obtain money yourself.
  4. Identify yourself. I have been a big fan of RoadID for several years. This is an identification bracelet, specifically designed for athletes, but with lots of different applications. There is a replaceable metal plate that displays all of your important information and numbers, and you can even get one that is a link to a website with all the information you would want to give out if you were having a medical crisis. Go to RoadID for more information. I wear my RoadID bracelet all the time, and even ordered new plates with numbers of friends here in Spain (who are on my List of 10, of course)
  5. Know whom to call. In your new country, make quick work to get the local emergency numbers and post them on your refrigerator or front door. If you live in a major city, here’s a good place to start:

Do you have any tips or tricks to share to help stay safe in a new country or city? Let me know, and maybe I will include your ideas in a future post!

P.S. By the way, if you are new here, feel free to subscribe. I don’t send spam, sell, or otherwise besmirch your good name. If you subscribe, you will be privy to some amazingly interesting posts, though!


emergency, list of 10, RoadID, safety

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  1. Hey Chris!

    I am catching up on some of your posts. I LOVE hearing about your life over there!! And I’m so glad to hear that you are happy and healthy and enjoying all that Spain has to offer. We miss you lots over here though! Thanks again for being so good about letting us know you’re doing great over there, and for letting us share in your adventures! XXXOOO Kris

    1. Hi, Kris! I definitely miss the States, but being here is still a whole lot of fun. I hope I can come home to visit before too long… I miss you guys, too, and hope I get to see you before too long! xxoo

  2. Hi Chris,
    Enjoy reading your posts! Loved the one about the wedding you sent out awhile back. Glad you are enjoying your awesome expat adventure!!!!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I hope you and Doug are doing well, too… I have been thinking of y’all lately!

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