July 30, 2010
This weekend I’ll be in a forgotten corner of eastern Hungary, just south of the Polish Slovak (thanks Jana/Rad) border and just west of the Ukrainian border; it’s a beautiful area, adorned with splendid castles and palaces that were commonplace during the Hungary’s days as a powerful kingdom.
One of the interesting things about the area is the abundance of natural hot springs. There’s an interesting mountain cave in place called Miskolctapolca where the water is a balmy 31C (88F) and contains a variety of aromatic minerals.
Many ancient cultures believe in the healing powers of these natural hot springs, especially to reduce bone and joint stress, ease respiratory infections, and relax the muscles.
On that note of health, this week’s first question is from G. Mitchell Sr.:
“Simon, I’m finding much useful information in the e-letters, but here’s a question I’ve not seen addressed– I’m just home after six weeks away. I now find that I’ve put on about five pounds/2.7 kilos. How the bloody do you keep fit whilst travelling full time?”
Nothing is more important than our health… and it’s true that traveling can take a toll. Eating out every night can lead to weight gain, and it’s easy to skip out on the gym. Fundamentally, though, staying healthy is a question of priorities and lifestyle.
For me, eating well and working out is something that I plan into the travel. For instance, I always seek out a gym wherever I go. Constantly paying day rates can be a bit annoying, though– I estimate that my monthly gym dues in various cities/countries probably run about $300/month in total.
For those who’d rather sweat it out in their hotel rooms, my friend and fellow Atlas 400 member Craig Ballantyne has designed a fantastic series of hotel-based workout programs that take as little as 15-minutes; you can check them out on Youtube.
Eating well can be a bit harder. I avoid chemicals and try to eat natural foods as much as possible; when I go out to eat in a new city, I do a bit of research first to find the restaurants that serve organic food. I also subscribe to a few services that do this work for me, like HealthyEatsHere.com
The bottom line is, there really is no great mystery to keeping fit and healthy– eating well and getting exercise is the tried and true formula that will work for every human being alive. Ultimately, though, it’s up to each of us to make it a priority in our own lives.
Next, Jerry asks, “Simon, I applied for Irish citizenship several months ago via genealogy. Once I become Irish I will renounce my US citizenship and live in Panama. In this case, will I have to pay Irish or US taxes on income that I earn from a portfolio of US mortgage loans?”
The United States government has its hand out for a piece of all US-source income, regardless of who earned it. An Irishman living in Panama who generates US income will owe a certain percentage of that income to the IRS, plain and simple.
The Irish government, however, does not tax non-residents on income that is not sourced in Ireland. Furthermore, if you sell your portfolio to someone else for a gain, Ireland does not tax capital gains that do not arise in Ireland and are not remitted to Ireland.
Next, Kate asks, “I had twin boys at a US military hospital in Germany. My husband and I are both American. Are my boys eligible to acquire German citizenship?”
No. German nationality is based on the principle of Jus sanguinis, or right of blood. Children born in Germany must either be stateless, or have at least one parent who is German (or living in Germany with a permanent residency permit).
Lastly, John asks, “Simon, I’m clicking around the Internet and see that Poland is very bureaucratic, does not recognize dual citizenship, can require a person to pay income tax on money earned abroad, serve in the Military, and other possible disadvantages. Given all this, is it worth pursuing Polish citizenship?”
This is why I consider Google to be the “Black Hole of Accurate Information.” A lot of what you are reading on those sites is just plain wrong, or taken out of context. Do what I do– ignore the armchair expats and go straight to the source.
In this case, you should consult with a Polish immigration attorney. You can find you own, or use the one that I already pre-screened for you while I was on the ground in Poland. Either way, get your information from credible sources so you can separate fact from fiction.
Have a great weekend.