Do you want to be American? Do you want be from France? Do you want to all yourself an Ecuadorian? You can be what you want to be, "you."
Do you Stop Being American by Living Abroad
I love being an American, it the default setting of my mind and it works. And, I don’t fix things that are not broken, the first rule of wisdom.
Gee whiz, I got the best passport on the planet, I am F93king grateful to God, my Mom, Dad and random luck, and I am Andy Graham, a lucky sperm that travels the planet because I am from the USA. Tt is the number one reason I can travel, I was born American, I can search always for the American dream of being free, to think, dream, and want what I want.
There are people who would pay 100,000 dollars to become American! There are people who die trying to sneak into the USA.
This makes me grateful to be the lucky sperm that dropped into the hole we call “America.”
Yet, after living abroad more than 15 years, when I hear Americans talking, my first thought is,
“Wow, I stopped believing that crap 10 years ago.”
But, the more I think, and introspect, the more I know they are Americans, because when they open their mouths, they complain.
Did you know, Europeans often say to me?
“All Americans do is complain.”
It took me years of travel to finally understand why the Europeans continually point this out to me. It is like this, in Europe, they have been under the thumb of Kings, Queens, dictators, demagogue and all sort of other names for bosses. They have been trained,
“Never complain about the boss.”
When they hear people complaining, well of course, in a way, they are afraid, and want you to stop, because in the back of their mind, it is not acceptable, and could be dangerous.
I now say to the Europeans,
“Yep, thanks to the Brits we have the right to complain, or freedom of speech, and we exercise it daily, and normally to complain.”
(I wish my site was big enough to call that Wolf could call that slander... LOL and I could prove I am telling the truth.)
Because I have lived abroad for 15 years, I can no longer stomach listening to people on CNN, BBC, or any other world news organization. Public TV is a little better, but there is what you hear on TV, and what is real on the ground. There is the real story, and the political correct one, and the news broadcast that make the most amount of money for the network.
Money talks, and honestly takes a walk.
My Personal Unique Culture of Andy Graham.
I have adapted, evolved, and changed; my personal culture has been reinvented using the American culture as a base.
The bottom line is this; I have never met an American living abroad who gave up his American citizenship. And, the number one reason people go live abroad is probably to escape the rules and customs of the USA, the American culture, they are angry, so they move abroad. Not a very good reason to live abroad, but for 80 percent of the American who move abroad, you can ask why, and often they will go into a long story about what is wrong with America.
Then, you hear the same person complaining about Guatemala, Ecuador, Thailand, or the Philippines and you think,
“Hmm, you came here to make this country into Little America.”
Adapt, please adapt, and accept, but stop trying to change the planet, it is not your job.
"What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?"
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
My Personal Unique Culture of YOU, be a NEW YOU!
You can adapt, evolve, and change your own personal culture, you can reinvent, make anew, by using the American culture as a base.
I recommend any American thinking about living abroad, try to think of the change as this, you are going to live abroad, and take what is good, and leave what is bad. You can invent your own culture, the culture of you, where all the negatives are forgotten, and the new one is about you, and your family. You will become a new country, it is real, this is possible.
I do not become Ecuadorian; I adapt, and accept only the parts of the culture that make sense.
I do not want to be Thai, I will forever be American.
Today, I am in Kara, Togo, West Africa, and it is funny, there is an over surplus of women who want me, who think I am the Brad Pitt of the planet, who just love me because I am white and from the USA.
Do they love me, because I speak English and from the USA? No, they love me because they think I am rich, they want to cuddle up, give up the goods, and be rich also? And, they are right, on any give day, from the money earned by these web sites; I make 100 times more money than the average girl from Togo.
The whole worlds dreams of being rich, it is the universal motivation on planet earth, not to be American.
But, what is their beef, what is the problem? They want me to behave like Togo, and to become African, this is like doing a ski jump for the first time, not exactly safe. I often think to myself when listing to Togo people trying to enforce the culture,
“You want me become poor, do the same things that make you poor along with you.”
“No thanks. I enjoy being rich.”
Do not stay American when you live abroad.
Do not become the new country.
Reinvent yourself, and make yourself a new country, the best of all countries and cultures.
For me and a lot of other Americans that live or have lived in other countries one of the main things about living outside the U S is- after a time you realize you don't care about the politics and problems that confront locals because you are not one of them. If something serious becomes a problem you have the freedom to get up and leave where as many of them have no such option.
You also become immune to U S political and whatever problems are happening in the U S because you are not there.
You don't basically care any longer. So the government has huge financial, racial, medical, etc problems. So what I live here and I don't have those problems, again if such problems come up where you are now living you leave. But you generally are not going back to the U S you will go to another country and you're happy again because you don't care about about either countries problems.
Of course this is only if you can afford to do so.
The reasons so many Americans become expats are they can afford to live better cheaper, get as good and sometimes better medical services cheaper, travel around and enjoy their lives more than what they did in the U S. Then some are just hiding so to speak. They can be very interesting to talk with.
I spent about three months in the USA last year, 2012, and was always afraid. I do not have health insurance, and even if I did, it would not cover me abroad, in any country the USA consulate sheets warn not to go, which is alway where I am at. But I was afraid of getting sick, here in Togo or Thailand, or Guatemala, I am self insured, I can afford the cost. I cannot afford cancer in any country. But while in the USA, if I got sick, hurt, whatever, I would need to fly to Guatemala, Peru, or if lucky, Thailand to see the doctor.