Considering the increase in Black travel and expat groups in the last few years, as well as having to deal with immense stressors due to the pandemic and seemingly never-ending social injustices, it’s no surprise that Black women are showing great interest in the idea of leaving the United States. If you are considering it, watching from the sidelines as others manage to quit their J.O.B.s and travel the world, wondering how they are able to afford it, it’s time to stop dreaming and start planning.
ExodUS Summit can help. It’s the premiere virtual conference for Black women planning a sabbatical, expat move, or nomadic life abroad. With “career break expert” Roshida Dowe of Shida’s on the Loose, and year-round house sitter Stephanie Perry of Vaycarious at the helm, ExodUS Summit has helped thousands of Black women leave toxic jobs, sell their homes, wave goodbye to naysaying family and friends, and book one-way tickets out of the States.
“It’s a thing that ExodUS Summit does for Black women. It takes an idea, a dream, a hope, a wish, or future plan and makes it immediate, realistic, and possible,” Perry says with justifiable confidence. ExodUS Summit alumni, ranging in age from their early twenties to late seventies, are now living their best lives all over the world, including in Portugal, Panama, Ghana, Colombia, and Mexico.
The first summit debuted in 2020, during the country’s cycle of lockdown, layoffs, and racial reckoning. It was also a time when Black women were beginning to take emotional inventory, reevaluating our lives, and rejecting the idea that life in the U.S. is as good as we can get.
“Women in our community [feel] like outsiders or weirdos because they want something different from the American Dream [we] are told to pursue,” says Perry. “We don’t have to throw our whole lives into the struggle of being Black women in this country and then keep our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to move abroad after we’re retirement age. The ExodUS Summit group is where women like us go to thrive. Today.”
By highlighting women who proved becoming an expat, full-time or sabbatical world traveler and nomadic entrepreneur was possible, that first summit expanded the minds of its participants. In 2021, alumni from the previous year returned to teach attendees how they made their life abroad leap in just one year. This time around, for the third year, the co-creators have chosen “Move Abroad Money” as the summit theme because, as Perry points out, “Yes, we want Black women to live their dreams. But we can’t pretend that dreams don’t cost money.”
“I’m a different person now that I make Move Abroad Money,” she says. “I’m free to be wherever in the world I want to be, for as long as my tourist visa lets me stay. I’m full of joy and clarity. And I embrace ease in all parts of my life. I want this for all Black women.”
To improve attendees’ odds of obtaining this life, the duo has assembled a group of experts to share how they mine sustainable incomes. Throughout this weekend event, participants will be given practical guidance on everything from short-term renting on Airbnb and filing taxes as an expat, to out-of-the-box ideas like, get this…selling feet photos online for unimaginable amounts of money per year.
If that’s a little too outside of your comfort zone, there are workshops that provide you with options. Are you a beast in the kitchen or know how to sew? “The Teach Something You Love” online session is perfect for women looking to turn a hobby into a new income stream. Possess the tech skills currently in high demand? “Position Yourself to Break into Tech” has you covered. With other sessions including “Starting a Business in a New Country,” “Finding Remote Work,” and How to Get Clients from YouTube, participants are guaranteed to leave with at least one new money-making idea to fund the life of their dreams.
“We are not bringing in people to teach you how to make five dollars,” Dowe says. “We are bringing in people who are going to show you how to do the thing.”
So if money is the reason you haven’t made your move abroad, block off October 8-10, get your notebook out, and purchase your Exodus Summit ticket. Weekend passes start at $67, which gives access to the live Make Money Abroad sessions and the ExodUS Summit Facebook group. Participants who purchase the all-access pass are given that, plus bonus sessions such as how to get residency in Mexico and Portugal.
“It’s worth it,” says alumni Sonja Stelly. “Last year’s summit changed my life.” Before the summit, Stelly rarely traveled internationally. Since then, she has quit her financial analyst job, gone on a five-month sabbatical to Playa Del Carmen, taken her first hot air balloon ride, snorkeled with sea turtles, and launched her YouTube channel, Sonja Unapologetic.
Stelly credits the summit and her ExodUS accountability squad for showing her that this was all within her reach. “The information and encouragement I received from ExodUS Summit is priceless,” she says. “It shifted my mindset. I now understand that I deserve a life of peace and freedom.”
Dowe says that hearing stories like Stelly’s is what fuels them to continue their work and mission.
“It feels surreal. When someone reaches out to tell us we changed their lives, it makes what we do so much more tangible,” she says. “So I keep doing this for the ones like me. The ones who were burned out, stressed, and unhappy, with no relief in sight. I want them to know that if chasing the American dream feels like a race they’ll never win, there are other options for them, and whenever they’re ready, we’ll be here.”
Visit https://exodus-summit-2022.heysummit.com for more information.