On September 3, 1838 Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey sat in a train car heading north out of Baltimore.
Frederick would later recount how his heart pounded as he waited for the conductor to check his papers. As a black man in a southern slave state, Frederick had to prove he was legally allowed to travel north to the free states.
But Frederick didn’t have “free papers” because he was still enslaved. Instead, he disguised himself as a sailor, and borrowed a “sailor protection pass” from an acquaintance.
The pass included a description of the sailor, and Frederick knew it would not hold up to close scrutiny because they didn’t look all that alike.
Perhaps distracted by the authoritative eagle seal, the conductor readily accepted the document, collected the fare, and moved on.
After almost being spotted by a ship captain he knew, and interrogated by another acquaintance aboard a ferry, Frederick arrived safely in New York.
With the help of abolitionists, he settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
And to further conceal his identity and evade capture as a fugitive slave, he changed his name to Frederick Douglass, and began his life as a free man.
Douglass was continuing the age-old tradition of migrating to find freedom– in the most literal sense of the word.
A few decades later, the confederate states would lose the Civil War.
Much of the south had been devastated by the war. Many farms had been scorched, and entire towns razed to the ground. Economic prospects in the south seemed bleak, so many southerners started looking abroad for better opportunities.
Brazil was still a very young nation at the time, and quite keen to attract talented foreigners who could help develop its vast agricultural potential.
So the Brazilian government offered direct subsidies and tax breaks to attract talented farmers who knew how to grow cotton. Roughly 10,000 “Confederados” picked up and moved to Brazil.
From 17th century French Huguenots settling in South Africa for religious freedom, to Europeans fleeing World War II for South America, there are countless examples of people throughout history uprooting, and starting anew.
All moved in search of a better life. Some desired freedom, some just wanted to be left alone, and others sought economic opportunities. All of these are very common themes throughout history.
Today is really no different.
All over the world people are rethinking where they live.
Some are experiencing looting and rioting, and others want to escape extreme government lockdowns. Others are now working from home, and see no reason to stay in an expensive city with an insane tax burden.
Some people just want to be left alone, and live far from the Bolshevik mob-rule in their home countries right now.
These are all still totally valid reasons to emigrate today, just as they were in the past.
Hundreds of years ago this was super risky. Many would-be migrants had to travel by rickety boats and be tossed around by the ocean, cramped in close quarters that were teeming with disease and vermin.
Today it’s extremely easy to move abroad, and even easier to go to a new city or state.
The world is a big place and even if you don’t want to move right now, it makes sense to think through your options.
Know your limit for how much you are willing to take, and decide now at what point enough will be enough.
You don’t want to be thinking through where to go while you’re packing your bags after an emergency strikes close to home.
Start by looking at one easy option: legal residency in a foreign country. Residency alone is a huge benefit. Even now with lockdowns and travel restrictions all over the world, countries still allow legal residents to enter.
Panama is a great example because it has about 50 ways to gain residency.
Residency already gives you a significant expansion of options for where to live, work, and invest.
But having multiple citizenships is an even higher level of protection. You can even hand down your citizenship to your children, and future generations.
We often talk about the four main ways to acquire a second citizenship: ancestry, residency, investment, and flexibility– such as through marriage, adoptions, or religion.
First, you should check your ancestry. The “lucky bloodline club” has the easiest and cheapest path to citizenship if you can show your ancestors came from places like Italy, Ireland, and about a dozen other countries.
You can also obtain a second passport by becoming a legal resident of a foreign country, and then eventually going through a naturalization process.
For example, Portugal offers a Retirement and Online Worker Visa. And after five years, you’ll be eligible to apply for full citizenship. A Portuguese passport has the added benefit of allowing you to live, work and travel freely in all 27 member-states of the EU.
When it comes to citizenship by investment, Caribbean countries are the cheapest options.
Their economies depend heavily on tourism, which has ground to a halt since the coronavirus prompted world wide lockdowns and travel restrictions.
In response, we have already seen Caribbean countries drop their prices to attract economic citizens. Caribbean passports have gone on Covid sale.
A single individual could even buy a St. Lucian passport for as little as the $37,500 filing fee, if you are willing to risk $250,000 in a no-interest five year government bond.
At the end of day it’s all about building a better life, wherever that takes you.
This has been common for thousands of years of human civilization.
It’s no different today– except for the fact that it’s a lot easier to do.
If you want to learn more, we recently updated our free, in-depth article about the eight easiest citizenships & passports to acquire worldwide.