I am getting the feeling, I am a member of a Country Club here, but I never wanted to join one in the USA, but living abroad is similar.
14 years of traveling the planet, and why people live abroad is still an enigma. I am obsessed with understanding psychologically and socially what motives people to move to another location on the planet, the reasons are convoluted, few of the people around me know why they are here, except the like it better than the other choices they can afford.
Yet, in the end, the main category is:
"We want to be the Rich and Famous."
We come to poor countries, so we are the Rich.
We came to live in a small pond full of foreigners, we are no longer a nobody, we are a somebody.
Maslows Hierarchy of Needs is CRAP
I think the most basic need of humans is to improve status, by rising above other people. If a human cannot compete, they will somehow change the rules to allow themselves to compete.
I think I better talk about me, I get enough hate mail already.
I admit it, I go to West Africa, and the Philippines because the girls love me, my alternative of living in the USA, and only dating divorced woman with two children and an ex husband is no longer acceptable.
I admit it, I love paying 140 USD per month for rent, my alternative is to live in the USA and pay 400-600 for the same quality of housing.
People rise above others by proving the people around them are less, or they lie to appear more important. There is no reason to be angry, or tolerate any situation, the is zero reason to accept your station in life, you can change it.
I do not need to tolerate the weather.
I do not need to tolerate American women.
I do not need to compete with the Jone's.
I do not need to be bored out my mind, listening to people talk about the weather, or how they mowed the lawn, and bought stuff for their house in the USA.
I love to listen to crazy foreigners, they are entertaining, but each year I live, the less respect I have for people, I am becoming a misanthrope, misanthropy is the general hatred, mistrust or disdain of the human species or human nature.
I am thankful today, for the wisdom, and the will to walk away from people, and not need to talk with them. I am normal, I need friends, family, love and all the other feeling that make us feel whole. However being part of the group has become tiresome, I find myself walking away from people more and more, and finding simpler friends.
I was in the Palapa Bar and Restaurant yesterday in Panajachel, Guatemala talking with dozens of people --- and suddenly I found myself walking toward the market, and feeling stronger because I left. It felt like a country club, and what I needed to tolerate was too high a price to pay.
We pay for our life with tolerance, we trade tolerance for other benefits, and often find we paid with fools gold. The more I walk away, the happier and richer I am, life is good.
Life is good, and I know I am rich, because there is no need to accept, or tolerate anybody, or anything. I can change the channel simply by moving to better location on the planet. I come to Lago Atitlan because life is simple, and the weather is perfect, and it is entertaining to listen to crazy foreigners for a short while.
Andy Lee Graham
What Shakira has to do with your "I accidentally joined the country club and live abroad" article?
It's the German in Andy. The German tell you like it is. As one German friend said, "Why would you be anything but direct? That is the most efficient."
Andy, thank you for being honest.
I apologize immediately as I am doing the same thing but it seems appropriate considering one individual.
will those who seem to get off the subject at hand go find another site. There are thousands (millions?) you can rant, rave, criticize, complain about all the thing you don't like, the things you believe in and even the things you do like.
This is a travel site that goes to various thoughts, ideas, etc.
Even if something is political, business, sports, life styles, religion or whatever it is still travel oriented and therefore you should keep your opinions, facts (though those seem rare), ideas, beliefs travel oriented aimed at what ever subject Andy has posted.
Again I will generally ignore anything anyone writes that is off in another area.
I consider it rude, crude and most of the time stupid when someone does this.
I do realize I make mistakes at times as most of us do but I do my best to stay on the immediate topic. I also realize that what I write is probably 90 or more percent opinion not fact but I will not say that in what I write as it is usually obvious, but if I do state something as a fact I will also not cite where to find it or why I think it's a fact.
You all can easily go on line to check if you wish and if you find out my "fact" is not so, oh well, so what.
Now I know that this is aimed at one individual but there may be others at any time.
Thanks to all who want to keep this site free of blatant stupidity.
ENJOY! Bill H. Redwoods Country
Great post, Andy. I feel the same way sometimes, but just leaving the bar will do it, in America or elsewhere. Bar people only think they are interesting I know, I used to drink.
I 100percent agree with you about living abroad. I love it, but I think what Maslow was trying to say is that if we move we only move the pyramid. So maybe it's smaller or speaks Chinese, but it's the same needs. I love living in my little Nepal, and you are so right, I'm almost celebrity status. It's taken me a long while but I think I've finally got my inner circle in order. It's heaven to me.
And not having a man have to tolerate me is even better. Yes, I've punished enough men in my life. After you pick through the gays, mentally ill, war survivors and addicts that man that's still standing (without a cane and not on high blood pressure meds) has a free pass as far as I'm concerned. I won't bother him.
I am not sure why I joined the travel country club. I guess I just got hooked on travel and cannot stop. It is addicting. Kind of like the Lays Potato Chip Commercial. You cannot just eat one. LOL
One of the nice things about travel now is that there is such a wealth of information about destinations, tickets, and hotels that you have lots of choices. And you can usually find someone who has been where you are going to ask questions about the do's and the dont's.
I got started traveling professionally as a US Navy sailor. It kind of went with the job description. LOL. I just haven't been able to quit now that I am ex navy. I love it.
New here. Widowed a little over a year ago and just can no longer stand the pain or tolerate this country's government. I'm just wanting to get some trusted info on relocating to another place where I can enjoy what time I have left.
I have the means to go and do what I want but not the trusted info.
I'm hoping to glean some valuable info from others here who are much more travel savvy than myself.
Looking forward to a enjoyable info filled association with all you experienced globe-hoppers!!!! :-)
I travel almost perpetually. Sometimes my motives vary. Last year I lost my next older sister to a heart attack. I needed to travel and ease the pain of her loss. I also travel because of an intense interest and curiosity about other lands and peoples. In the process of traveling I have developed a lot of ways to do things best and places I want to visit. I travel for enjoyment and enjoy meeting new people wherever I am.
No doubt most people will become an expat because of their financial status. They are able to upgrade by living in a poorer country.
But I enjoyed living in Europe over 7 years, Japan 3 1/2 and China about a year.
Europe is expensive but I could afford it and it helped even more after I married a local. China is poorer and easy to live in very reasonably, I was surprised how many foreigners that had taken up permanent residence and happy for doing so.
The best city for English speakers is Beijing as there are so many new businesses there and embassies/consulates from around the world. There are a lot of places to go for entertainment and English is prevalent.
What I discovered, more than the financial aspect, living in any foreign country that makes it enjoyable is I came to care less about whatever was happening in the U S politically as I no longer lived there. I didn't care about what party was in charge, what they were doing or not doing. I compleatly lost all interest in just about everything there. I no longer followed sports, learned to know about and enjoy soccer, so what about what entertainer was getting divorced or arrested, did not worry much about my parents, which I communicated much less with, what problems I may have with my cars, as I didn't need one any longer, etc, etc.
The other part of this equation is I also didn't care one bit about national, local politics because as an expat I had no say of any kind so I didn't care, other than keeping an alert ear open that may hear it was time to leave for some reason or another.
Another thing is expats tend to flock together in the same places and that can be very helpful when info is needed. But I generally avoided such places and tried to fit in with the locals, go where they go for entertainment, food, etc.
I learned a little of 4 languages though none very well but enough to be friendly and ask questions.
Anyway financial was not my main reason for enjoying my time away from the U S.
I now live here because It's where my kids are and I can still travel when and where I want so it works for me, but if not for my kids and a couple of med reasons I would more than likely be living in northern Italy near Florence, one of my most favorite cities but I still prefer to live in the country over the hustle, bustle, noise, pollution of cities.
I totally agree. There are a lot of ex pats who live in certain countries because they can afford a much higher standard of living and totally relax while doing so. I live part time in the Philippine Islands and see lots of ex pats. There are 250,000 US Citizens living in the Philippines. English is mandated by the constitution so the younger generation and the college grads all speak good English.
Other countries where there are lots of ex pats living include Spain and Guatemala. I try to choose a country where I can get a hotel room for ten to 20 dollars per night.
I find that I no longer stress out about US News and politics. I am healthier because of that. I do spend some time in the US every year though. See family and friends.