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50 Ways Expatriates Fail To Thrive

Expatriate information to help you know how to live overseas and enjoy the Adventure. this is the list of annoyances that will drive you crazy.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 07:37:10

The goal of living is not to just survive, the goal is to thrive and enjoy a fruitful, happy and content life. Many foreigners move overseas to a happier, then slowly over time their life becomes difficult?

What are the reasons Expatriates fail to thrive?
The essential problem is they convert their new lifestyle into the life they left behind.

  1. All or Nothing Commitment to City or Country

  2. Banking Problems
  3. Cultural Fatigue The number one reason Expatriates or Foreigners need to,
    Story on Bumping in Ecuador: Bumping

  4. You Travel believing “you are the light.”
    Standing in an Internet café Rio Dulce, Guatemala, talking to Mario the owner he nailed the developed world on the wall and threw darts at it with this comment.
    “Gringos come here believing they are the light, here we are, we can fix every problem you have.” I traveled long enough, and I traveled far enough, and one day the path became clear, I was lucky to save myself, half way the world. To enjoy living in countries around the planet, to return home and fit in, it is important to lose the idea of superiority.

  5. Not Evaluating Friends from Foreign countries with same rules
    Making friends is essential to happiness, however being from Europe does not instantly make a person your best friend on the planet. Tourist and Travelers from other countries, or the country you are in are different, and people tend to be enamored with exotic situations. While I was in Rio de Janeiro, Norwegian girl in the Hostel fell for a Mexican man and followed him back to Mexico City. I warned here, but at first glance this appears to be fairy tale love story, in reality it was the start to five years of problem. She left with over 80,000 U.S. Dollar, and with the help of her new lover, she or he used it all too quickly. Understanding another culture is complicated, there is a need to be prudent and careful, exotic cultures is close to an aphrodisiac, make commitments need be done slower.

  6. Denial of Real Problems
    There is no perfect world, there is a middle ground. Vacationers will celebrate and champion a new country or destination, and so will people living in a country. However, like a over-positive outlook on life, people can be naïve. Often retired pensioners sacrificed everything, sold their home, said goodbye to their friends, and made the end of the road commitment to purchase a home. This leads them to overstate their situation, to truly talk as if everything is perfect. This is not reality, they live in denial and end up walking around with frowns on their faces. Staying in touch with your feeling, try to weigh your emotional status, then isolate small problems that annoy you, then try to change them, to accept an unacceptable situation is not Paradise. The reason why this book recommend 12 cities around the planet is to allow or force balance to enter you world, there is zero reason to make the end-of-the-road commitment to a city or country.

    There is a saying in Real Estate which states there three things that determine value, “Location, Location, and Location.” Living overseas can be confusing, it is easy to choose what appears to be great, then later come to the conclusion there is no transportation available to the property. The Lonely Planet guidebook is sometimes call the Yellow Bible of travel, when I was in Accra, Ghana there was a particularly great review of a Hotel. Calling it a “Traveler Hotel,” this type of comment made me curious, looking at the map though it was confusing. Traveler normally do not have cars, we are not able to check them into the baggage compartment of planes, and they do not cross borders well. I decided to take a taxi out to this place, it was clear public transportation was not available. My curiosity was eating me away, I needed to know if this was truly the place where travelers lived. I needed some travel conversations, I need some hope. Upon arrival at the Hotel, it was clear, this was a Hotel where the Non Governmental Organizations came with their white Toyoto Land Cruisers. Transportation is both a convenience and a trap, the NGO’s are trapped by their need to finding parking for their vehicles. While travels are trapped in their inability to go places where you need to drive. It is necessary to be aware of the transportation traps.

    The locals know that tourist are naïve and will make purchases that are horrible values. The foreigners living in other countries learn this and become money grabbing, greedy, destroying the culture.

  9. Family is Not Supportive

  10. Family Does Not Exist
    There are expatriate with no family to help in the event of emergency. These peopel need to triple their efforts to find friends to help, both local and in ther home country.

  11. FEAR
    One side of the coin is over-positive belief in the city, the other side often coin is fear. There will be groups of people telling you overzealous stories of robbery, theft, and violence. Trust what you know, do not trust gossip. A New Yorker will travel to a country and portray New York City as free from crime, and not recognize there are many people killed by guns in the hood. There are bad neighborhoods, and I have yet to see a country that is completed bad, you watch for the bad neighborhoods in your home country, take care to identify the bad neighborhood abroad.
  12. Health Coverage
    - The person cannot relaz because of constant worry, they need to interview hospitals.
    There is a natural tendency to claim a city as your home, and protect it against all conflicting opinions. It is not important to love or hate a city, the goal here is to be open to the pros and cons. If you find yourself saying, this city has this, and this city has that, please compare it to other cities, an opinion standing alone means little.
    “There are many nice people in this city.”
     --- This is of little value.
    “Panajachel Guatemala has friendlier people than Rio Dulce.:
     – This had value.

    Older people have this problem more than the youth, the world has become small. 50 years ago, when you traveled overseas you truly would not talk, write, or hear from your friends and family until you returned home.
    My friend Mark calls me, ore I call him approximately 2-3 times per week, and we talk for hours. A person can become good friends by e-mail, before my travels started, I seldom had a conversation with my Mother or Father except at family engagement. Presently because they e-mail me almost daily we have become best friends, by leaving the country some of my friends are now better friends. You are not too far away to write or call, you truly can write or call daily, do not deny yourself the telephone calls, keep in touch with your friends, maybe you will find with more time you are a better friend.

  15. Cultural Fatigue Definition: Cultural Fatigue is the physical and emotional exhaustion that almost invariably results from the infinite series of minute adjustments required for long-term survival in an alien culture. Living and working overseas generally requires that one must suspend his automatic evaluations and judgments, that he must supply new interpretations to seemingly familiar behavior and that he must demand of himself constant alterations in the style and content of his activity. Whether this process is conscious or unconscious, successful, or unsuccessful, it consumes and enormous amount of energy leaving the individual decidedly fatigued…”
    - Cultural Confrontation in the Philippines
    From a Chapter in the Book Cultural Frontiers of the Peace Corps.
  16. It ain't right Repeated Daily

  17. "TMI - Too much information.
  18. Action-based coping
    Action-based coping involves actually dealing with a problem that is causing stress. Examples can include getting a second job in the face of financial difficulties, or studying to prepare for exams. Examples of action-based coping include planning, suppression of competing activities, confrontation, self-control, and restraint.

  19. Emotion-based coping
    Emotion-based coping skills reduce the symptoms of stress without addressing the source of the stress. sleeping or discussing the stress with a friend are all emotion-based coping strategies. Other examples include denial, repression, wishful thinking, distraction, relaxation, reappraisal, and humor. There are both positive and negative coping strategies that can be defined as emotion-based. Emotion-based coping can be useful to reduce stress to a manageable level, enabling
    action-based coping, or when the source of stress can not be addressed directly.

  20. Denial

  21. Keeping busy When Everyone Around you doing Nothing

  22. Mating or finding a person of opposite sex to share intimate talk

  23. Going Native

  24. Harmful coping methods
    Some coping methods are more like habits than skills, and can be harmful. Overused, they may actually worsen one's condition. Alcohol, cocaine and other drugs may provide temporary escape from one's problems, but, with excess use, ultimately result in greater problems.

  25. Alcohol or drugs

  26. Prostitutes

  27. Lack of Filters on Brain

  28. Language Problems

  29. Cultural Shock
  30. Political Correctness
    This is horrible, to not make judgement that are real leads you to dysfunctional interpretations of the world.


  32. Talking bad about the locals continuously

  33. Jade behavior from failing to adapt.


  35. Not Creating a Social Network with the Locals

  36. Not Calling Home

  37. Visa Management - Not Keeping Visa Current

  38. Workaholics

  39. Purchased Real Estate before Living a Year
  40. Never come to the country, purchased land or house and never used.

  41. Not enough money to support their Expatriate lifestyle

  42. Un-Realistic Expectations of People and Country

50 Ways Expatriates Fail To Thrive