Mayan Ruins, “Bring a Friend” to the Philippines, and Olympic Update

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on February 02, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.

January went by quickly! As we enter February, we can look forward to the upcoming Super Bowl (for American football fans) and the Winter Olympics, where countries around the globe will be tuning in and rooting for their nation’s top athletes.

In this week’s round-up, find out what the newest archaeological discovery was in Guatemala, learn why you can’t get a work visa in Oman, how you can win a prize for visiting the Philippines, and more!

If you’re curious how the North Koreans are settling into South Korea after the controversial decision to join the games, we have that too!


Hidden Mayan Ruins Discovered Within Jungle

Mayan ruins allow people like us to walk where a fascinating ancient civilization established its roots, laying the foundation for culture, art, science and more. If you are an avid Mayan ruin traveler, you may be interested to hear that more were just discovered! Unfortunately, what was discovered is hidden beneath dense Guatemalan forest.

Researchers have discovered 60,000 hidden Mayan ruins in a jungle in Guatemala through laser technology. This is huge! Digital surveying was used to find houses, palaces, elevated highways, and defensive fortifications just under the forest canopy. Most of the structures are believed to be stone platforms what would have supported a pole-and-thatch Mayan household.

Lidar, revolutionary technology using light detection and ranging, has discovered that the Mayan civilization may have been more sophisticated, like ancient Greek or Chinese civilizations, than we thought.

The landscape was near an already known Mayan city. It is thought to be home to millions more Mayans than what was previously believed.


No More Expat Visas in Oman?

If you were hoping to land a job in the expat-heavy country of Oman, you may want to look elsewhere. After steady growth in the expat workforce, the country has decided to take a break from issuing new work visas.

A six-month ban on work visas for expats in ten different sectors has been issued in order to encourage certain sectors to hire skilled roles from within the local population. The complete list of affected sectors includes information systems, sales, marketing, administration, human resources, insurance, media, airports, engineering, and technical professions.

According to the Omani National Center for Statistics and Information, the number of expats in the workforce has almost tripled over the last decade, from 660,950 in 2007 to over a million people in 2016.

If you are just itching to get out of your home and find a new job abroad, Escape Artist has all the resources you need to get you there.


Manila Relies on Expats to Bring Up Tourism Numbers

The Philippines have issued a “Bring Home a Friend” program hoping to see an increase in foreign visitors. Filipino nationals can invite foreign friends to visit the country and enter into a chance to win prizes like gift certificates, a car, or a condo in Manila!

The program that began in October of 2017 is hoping to meet a 7.4 million visitor goal, an increase from the 6.6 million recorded last year. In 2016, the Philippines only saw 6 million visitors enter the country, which is quite low compared to the 26.8 million in Malaysia and 32.6 million in Thailand.

Relations are also warming up between the Philippines and China, which is also good news for the tourism sector.


2018 Olympics Coming Soon!

As the 2018 Olympics in South Korea near, athletes have begun to enter the country to begin training. On Friday, North Korean skaters began their training. As you may remember, North Koreans participating in the games was a controversial decision, especially after the decision to combine the North and South Korean Women’s hockey teams.

One North Korean skater, Choe Un Song, has already been injured since his arrival. He slid into a padded wall during a practice at the Gangneung Ice Arena. Skaters from Italy and France have skated among the North Koreans, but little interaction is said to have taken place.

The Olympic events begin Friday, February 9, 2018.


Fun Facts About the 2018 Olympics

Like stated earlier, the games are just around the corner. Let’s dive into some of the cool and interesting facts you might not have known!

  1. Pyeongchang is the smallest host city since the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
  2. The official slogan for the Games is “Passion. Connected.”
  3. Hannah Brandt will play for Team Hockey USA while her sister, Marissa, adopted from South Korea as a baby, will play for the Olympics’ host country.
  4. Seven sets of siblings will compete for Team USA in Pyeongchang.
  5. This year’s medals are the heaviest in history (gold: 1.29lbs, silver: 1.28lbs, bronze: 1.09lbs).
  6. Big air snowboarding is the newest event.
  7. This is the third time that Pyeongchang bid to be the host city for the Olympics.
  8. Pyeongchang is introducing a new rail system that will get visitors to the city from Seoul. It will take one-third of the time it currently takes.
  9. Soohorang, the mascot of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, is modeled after the white tiger, Korea’s guardian animal.
  10. With eight new events, the total medal events rose to 102, but 259 sets of medals have been made.


Thank you for reading this week’s round-up! If you’re interested in learning what it’s like to expatriate, don’t hesitate to ask some questions. At Escape Artist, we aim to ensure that your travels abroad run as smoothly as they can.

Whether you are planning on living, working, retiring, or investing overseas, Escape Artist can help you every step of the way. Don’t forget to check out the eBook store for the 2018 Expat Tax guide and our wonderful country guides!

For more information on what’s going on in the international scene, check out some of this week’s newest articles!

One last thing! I still have 3 invitations left to one of the most exclusive private Asset Protection conferences in 2018. I was graciously provided 10 invitations last week to provide to my readers. You must be an accredited investor to attend. If you would like more details on the event please contact me here!


Portugal, at the western end of Europe, is one of the wildest and least explored countries of the old continent. It has seduced thousands of expatriates with the kindness of its people, extensive coastline, and its cities full of breathtaking architecture. In recent years, Portugal’s economy is starting to reach its maximum potential, as it has become an overnight haven for foreign investment.

Portugal has maintained positive economic growth during the last 3 years, which has been the product of an increase in domestic demand. The fiscal deficit was reduced by…

Read more…


Belize is growing in popularity as one of the most appealing places to visit, live, and even retire abroad. It offers Mayan ruins, colorful towns, relaxing beaches, the Blue Hole diving spot, and nature reserves! There’s so much to do, and it’s easy to get excited and begin your trip without making sure you’ve checked your list of things to do or learn beforehand. Here are some tips to help:

Travel Documents

Most people don’t need a visa to travel to Belize, so you’re likely covered there. You will need a passport that’s valid for at least six months after your intended period of stay. There is also an…

Read more…


Portugal has created the Golden Visa, a mechanism that grants a temporary residence permit without the need for a prior residence visa. When citizens of any country outside the European Union, personally or through a company, make a substantial investment in real estate, artistic or scientific activity, urban rehabilitation, or create jobs in Portuguese territory for a minimum period of 5 years, they will qualify for residency.

When obtaining the Golden Visa, the investor and his family can…

Read more…


Relocating to a new country can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure where the best and worst places to resettle actually are. How can you be sure if you’re choosing a place where you’ll meet new friends and fellow expats? Belize is quickly becoming an expat haven, thanks to its low cost of living, beautiful beaches, and its wealth of activities for those seeking adventure. This means there are several different areas in which expats are settling – all offering a slightly different lifestyle and/or cost of living. That means more options for you! Here are Belize’s top four locations where expats are choosing to settle:

The Corozal District

Located on the northern border of Belize, Corozal sits on the Bay of Chetumal, right on…

Read more…


Antigua and Barbuda are two islands that make up one country – known as the most beautiful nation in the world. Antigua is located just southeast of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea, between St. Kitts and Guadeloupe. It attracts high-earning expats for a life of luxury, which can be perfect for those looking to retire somewhere exotic.

Cost of Living

Antigua and Barbuda use the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC $), which equates to $0.37 USD. While you may feel that this exchange rate could work in your favor, don’t be surprised to find that…

Read more…

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on February 02, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.