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60% of American men will never be happy living overseas

What's your story? Discussions your reasons for going abroad.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Postby Halwick » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:23 pm

To add to Contrarian Expatriate's excellent points, I would add:
- Be open minded and take an interest in people, culture, customs. An adventurous friend of mine who frequently travels abroad takes an enthusiastic interest in people, their culture, customs and history. Being a gregarious sort of chap, he makes friends everywhere he goes and keeps in touch. He also enthusiastically tries out the food, listens to the music and tries their pastime sports.

I think much of the expat's unhappiness stems from the attitude that as a "westerner", he thinks he is more advanced, superior and intelligent than the locals. The locals resents the patronizing attitude and it is reflected in their attitude toward him. No wonder he is unhappy.
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Re: 60% of American men will never be happy living overseas

Postby In2dadark » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:52 pm

DevilsAdvocate wrote:
DevilsAdvocate wrote:
pete98146 wrote:
DevilsAdvocate wrote:
pete98146 wrote:
Jester wrote:
pete98146 wrote:.....If you are a selfish, stuck in your ways type of guy chances are you'll never be comfortable abroad. I'd even venture to say 60% of American men will never be happy living overseas.

Sure women are a dime a dozen overseas but once you land one, then what? Dating foreign women and living abroad are two very different and distinct topics.


What kind of man thrives overseas? (I mean living there permanently.)

What are the characteristics of men who permanently adjust to living in SEA, Japan, FSU, South America etc.?

Sure it helps to have independent money, learn the culture, learn the language. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I'm curious about personalities, temperament, upbringing, etc. What are the traits of a man who will crash and burn overseas? What are the traits of a man who will take to it like a fish to water?

And what is different about the men who will succeed in FSU, Asia, Latin America?

We know the women are there, waiting for us to bust a move. But life is more than women. Whos hould go? Who shouldn't? Who should go to SEA, who to LA, who to Eastern Europe?


The guys that take to living abroad are ones that actually take interest in the people, culture and language. A perfect example is a guy like Ladislav! He's an absolute sponge who tries to soak up as much about his new country as possible. Guys like him KNOW there are obstacles and frustrations but they soon learn to jump over the hurdles. They don't bitch or moan instead they adapt.

Remember the first time I went to Thailand. I was getting a haircut and and the owner (absolute knockout) of the salon had her nephew visiting her. He was around 8 years old and was going to join a soccer league. His shoes were falling apart tho. After my haircut I went over and spent $10 to buy the kid a new pair of shoes from a sidewalk vendor. The little kids eyes we as big as saucers and I had a friend for life...lol. Everytime I walked by the salon I stuck my head in to say hello and the owner would be beaming with a pretty smile. No longer was I Joe Farang but I was Peter the good guy.

So I'm convinced it's all about attitude. You can choose to get out, meet people and get involved in their community or you can sit in your apartment and be a self absorbed grinch. Guess which guy is going to have the most fun overseas??





Well here is what I'd like to know. If I go to Thailand to live am I going to have the problems I have in the USA?

You see, obviously I'm different from all of you. I have to fight all the time in the USA, it's a never ending battle for me. People in the USA do not like me, they are jealous of me and hate my guts, and as such they f**k with me all the time. So I either have to just ignore them or bust their teeth down their throats. I have always opted to bust their teeth down their throats.

What I would like to know is if I'm going to get f***ed with constantly like I am in the USA? Are the Thai guys going to hate my f***ing guts and want to f**k with me?

Because I can just tell you now that if that were to happen my life will come to an end in Thailand, but I will go ballistic and kill every mother f***er that I can take out on my own.

I have had enough of this f***ing bullshit for one lifetime.....

The USA is the biggest joke country to ever exist, it's the most unfriendly fake country and it's people are all retards and assholes and freaks beyond description.

Like these guys from Oklahoma, I mean seriously, these people are fat, they are stupid beyond belief, they are punks and freaks and assholes beyond belief, I hate their guts, and they being American and me being American are two different things. They are freaks of the world, they are not human beings, they hate hate hate, they love war, they love killing, they are ignorant and stupid and fat and dumb and ugly and mind boggling f***ing retard mother fuckers.

Obviously the government has been f***ing with these people, and dumbing them down, and making them inbreed, and putting something into the water or whatever, but these people are horrible rotten human beings.

I cannot live around them any longer or I'm going to go postal and take people out.....

It's really that simple....

So the question is, am I going to get f***ed with in Thailand?

Because seriously, you guys do not understand, and I'm sorry about that, but if I were to go to Thailand, and some cops tried to extort me, what do you think I would do? Sissy out? Pay their extortion? ROTFLOL.....

I would easily take their guns away from them and kill each of them very very easily, no problem whatsoever.....

I'm afraid this world is not suitable for me to live within....

Signed,

Devils Advocate


Good question DA. If you get a pretty Thai gf then yes the Thai guys may envy you but I doubt they'd ever get in your face about it. It's just not the Buddhist way to live life. Thias are VERY non-confrontational. Worst case scenerio is that they give you a bit of the stink eye but I'm sure you can live with that can't you? So unless it's YOU that runs around looking for trouble, chances are you'll be ok.

The entire Thai way of "putting on a smile always" is a bit fake but again "when in Rome." Learn how to play their game to succeed or be the Ugly American who doesn't learn how to mesh and you may well find trouble. As they say (over and over and over in Thailand) "up to you!"






No I wouldn't care about any of them giving me some evil eye, no not at all....

One of the reasons why I was choosing an Asian country is because of my experience with Asians, like for instance:

Most of my trouble in the USA has been from my fellow white guys just like me, I'd say about 80% of my trouble. And I've had some trouble with Mexicans, but not that much considering I'm from San Diego and have always been around a lot of Mexicans in general. I've had some problems with blacks, but not that much at all. But never once in my life has any Asian ever given me one single problem, not an evil eye have they given to me, and I sense no hostility from Asians whatsoever, I don't even sense that they are saying things behind my back, I get no sense from that whatsoever.

Maybe they are just very good at hiding it, I really don't know, but I don't think so....

So I see Asians as good people because of this, they are just like I am, in that they don't bother anybody, they don't look for trouble, they simply just live their lives, they are very respectful people from everything that I have seen in the USA.....

For this reason I like Asians, and they seem to like me, or should I say they don't seem to not like me, which is good enough for me....

Maybe I shouldn't read into all the bad stories out there, it would be like me living in Brazil and hearing about some guy killing a bunch of people at the movie theater and then thinking that the USA is a seriously dangerous place......

I think maybe if I go there I'll find it so peaceful and my spirit will be able to rest for awhile long enough that if the police did try to extort me I would just laugh and pay their extortion fee.

It's just that when you are strung up with such high stress your fuse is short and it doesn't take much to set you off, whereas if you can rest the longer you can do so the fuse gets a whole lot longer.

I need to leave the USA soon, and I'm going to.....





And when I say "white guys" I don't want to include Italians with that. Italians seem to be a special people to me, and here is why.

Living in San Diego during the 80's I had a lot of trouble from white guys, white guys just like me. So when I moved to the East Coast area like NY and the general area there, I thought for sure that all the Italians out there were going to want to fight me all the time, and I dreaded it....

I was stunned and amazed when I did go there and not one Italian guy ever once wanted to fight me, and in fact they didn't even pay any attention to me at all, as if I didn't even exist, and they seem too busy with their own lives to care about what I was doing.

The only problem I did have was with a fellow white guy (Irish).....

I found the Italians a very intriguing people, I had respect for the guys because they seem to be living life more.....

My first trip to NY City I went to a place to eat and there was this short Italian guy with these three hot girls, and to his right a huge bodyguard. At first I didn't notice the girls were with him and as they went by me (going to the restroom) they smiled at me and naturally I was smiling back, not realizing they were with this short Italian mafia guy....

So they come back out of the bathroom and go by me again smiling really big and flirting and I'm smiling back and flirting and then they go sit down next to this short Italian guy, and he's looking right at me glaring at me, and then I see his bodyguard and I go.........ooops......

I thought I was going to have a serious problem on my hands at that point.....

But he looked at me and I at him and he had control of his power, and he waived his bodyguard not to do anything and that was the end of it....

These Italian guys impress me....

There is a rule about life that all people should know, and that is you don't mess with people, it's really that simple, and anybody who does better watch out, because you will mess with the wrong person one day....


I'm an Italian guy from the east coast & I can say you described me to a 'T'. But people like to f$$$ w/ me too much. So, now I'm in the process of hunting a new home. I'm going to take my time & enjoy the search. Not trying to make the end result be the reward, but the journey itself. Every day out of the country I plan on embracing. I've really tried here. What a wasetland.
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Postby Jester » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:14 am

Jackal wrote:I think that most of the guys who are able to fit in overseas have had a lot of prior exposure to foreign cultures when they were growing up (they lived in a city where they met lots of foreigners or have foreign family members, etc.)

My mother is from a European country, so I always acted like a European anyway. So going to Europe was more a return to what is natural for me than it was something new and different which I had to learn.

There are of course exceptions. There are probably a few guys who never traveled, but who for some reason (some very unique past karma) just connect very well with the locals in a particular country and then become inspired to learn the language, but I think that these guys are quite rare.

If a man lived way the heck out in some small town in Idaho his whole life and never learned any foreign languages while growing up, I doubt that he will be able to adapt to very different foreign countries successfully.

However, the internet is a great resource. If the hick from Idaho reached a turning point mentally and resolved to start reading about foreign countries, to teach himself a foreign language, to talk to foreigners online both in English and in the foreign language he's learning, and to stop exposing himself regularly to the American media which works hard to make guys too paranoid to go overseas, then some mental transformation is possible. The 2 keys to transformation are 1) the initial strong resolve to do it and 2) regularly practicing the new skills and habits to develop them.

Having above average mental skills also helps. Most Americans are quite stupid and ignorant, so if you are already more intelligent than they are, this is a good sign. But even people who aren't so bright might be successful (or perhaps even more successful) if they have great social skills and are very accepting and open-minded about different cultures.

Or an even simpler test: If you are one of those people who feel that America is "the greatest country in the world" (LOL!), then you probably won't be very happy overseas!


Great reply. +1

This really makes sense, thanks.

As a young teen I
-- drank toasts with minor warlords in Beirut
-- studied French, Latin, Russian
-- learned Thai culture
-- attended a goat barbecue with Pakistani students

and so on.

So I guess I fit the profile that will succeed. Good to know.
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Postby ***JP*** » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:21 am

Halwick wrote:To add to Contrarian Expatriate's excellent points, I would add:
- Be open minded and take an interest in people, culture, customs. An adventurous friend of mine who frequently travels abroad takes an enthusiastic interest in people, their culture, customs and history. Being a gregarious sort of chap, he makes friends everywhere he goes and keeps in touch. He also enthusiastically tries out the food, listens to the music and tries their pastime sports.

I think much of the expat's unhappiness stems from the attitude that as a "westerner", he thinks he is more advanced, superior and intelligent than the locals. The locals resents the patronizing attitude and it is reflected in their attitude toward him. No wonder he is unhappy.



+1 Amen to that. I've seen tons of westerners especially Americans making themselves look like jackasses just because they are extremely ignorant to the point they still think the US is the center of the universe but then kick and scream when people are rude to them abroad. Most American tourists always have the mentality that everyone has to bow down to them.
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Postby Ghost » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:10 am

I think most of it comes down to personality. I loved the Philippines because it is very relaxed and laid back, the women are many, pretty, and friendly, and there are no asshole types as far as I could tell. Everyone is too care-free to be an asshole.

I don't like America because the culture causes massive amounts of sociopathic behavior and personalities, many people apparently exist solely to be assholes, the culture is all about work without purpose, productivity without a soul or reason, among many other reasons.

I don't care for China because it doesn't really have much culture, it's uptight and rigid, and is all about productivity without any fun or relaxation. But it has some good points.
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Postby Novem » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:24 pm

I am not surprised by this statistic. Americans are highly entitled and are indoctrinated to believe they are God's gift to human kind. American culture is the best and no other culture can possibly measure up in the majority of their minds.

Generally, anybody who has a superiority complex about where they came from is probably never going to acclimate themselves to another country. I mean how can you realistically learn to enjoy your new environment and culture if you are constantly puffing your chest about your old one being better? If it is one country maybe it was just a bad match. But if it is every country you go to then it is all on you. Anyone who lacks imagination, a sense of adventure, and is spoiled by the convenience and instant nature of western culture should probably keep their privileged asses at home. No need to ruin the experience for other people who legitimately want to embrace their new surroundings.
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Postby argaluza » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:33 pm

'Wherever you go, there you are'.

Living abroad is a re-invention, if you bring old habits and hang on to the views that were making you unhappy at home, it is just simply not going to work.

The best thing to do is to educate yourself to the best of your ability, try and get some skills and learn some of the language of the place you are going to.
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Postby publicduende » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:00 pm

argaluza wrote:'Wherever you go, there you are'.

Living abroad is a re-invention, if you bring old habits and hang on to the views that were making you unhappy at home, it is just simply not going to work.

The best thing to do is to educate yourself to the best of your ability, try and get some skills and learn some of the language of the place you are going to.


I would say living abroad can be a big catalyst for change, so long the choice of location, human interactions (including FBs and partners) and lifestyle are meant to be a better fit with one's personality, preferences and life goals. Yet, a catalyst is designed to facilitate a life change, not be entirely responsible for it.

A man has to have a genuine desire to change and improve his life to fulfil his desires, expectations and dreams. Most of the time, as it turns out, moving abroad is not even that great a catalyst. It might be a (perceived) shortcut at best, and one that can easily backfire once the hurdles to adapt to a different culture, language and habits become evident.
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I found this topic super interesting because I lived abroad

Postby Sarita » Fri May 16, 2014 9:54 pm

For many years I lived in Spain, where I was a teacher. The lifestyle there was everything the U.S. wasn't. People knew their neighbors, and not from merely saying hi. They actually visited one another. Of course, the layout of the land was different. The U.S. is (as the Happier Abroad e-book said) is a car nation, where people live isolated, and wholly dependent on cars for survival, all of which encourages isolation. People also were not terrified of losing their jobs, as they are in the U.S. In the U.S., working is (again, as the e-book said) cutthroat, each person is set against the others. People in Spain had more fun and more leisure time, more holidays, and did more things together.

My only problem being in Spain was that, despite having friends and acquaintances, ultimately they had families there, and I missed my mom, dad, sister, brother, etc. I felt like the odd one out because I was no one but them (friends) to rely on, while they had strong, extended families that they spent a lot of time with.

While I do think other advanced nations are far healthier than the U.S., a person becoming an ex-pat is still different from the locals of the country of his/her choosing in that the locals have family to rely on, love, and spend time with, while he/she (the ex-pat) does not. Makes things a little difficult to be "different" that way.

Did anyone else become an ex-pat and deal with this? How did you deal with it? Thanks!
“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.â€￾ - Tennessee Williams
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Re: I found this topic super interesting because I lived abr

Postby Jester » Sat May 17, 2014 1:35 am

Sarita wrote:
For many years I lived in Spain, where I was a teacher. The lifestyle there was everything the U.S. wasn't. People knew their neighbors, and not from merely saying hi. They actually visited one another. Of course, the layout of the land was different. The U.S. is (as the Happier Abroad e-book said) is a car nation, where people live isolated, and wholly dependent on cars for survival, all of which encourages isolation. People also were not terrified of losing their jobs, as they are in the U.S. In the U.S., working is (again, as the e-book said) cutthroat, each person is set against the others. People in Spain had more fun and more leisure time, more holidays, and did more things together.

My only problem being in Spain was that, despite having friends and acquaintances, ultimately they had families there, and I missed my mom, dad, sister, brother, etc. I felt like the odd one out because I was no one but them (friends) to rely on, while they had strong, extended families that they spent a lot of time with.

While I do think other advanced nations are far healthier than the U.S., a person becoming an ex-pat is still different from the locals of the country of his/her choosing in that the locals have family to rely on, love, and spend time with, while he/she (the ex-pat) does not. Makes things a little difficult to be "different" that way.

Did anyone else become an ex-pat and deal with this?
How did you deal with it? Thanks!



Great OP and welcome to the forum, Sarita!!

I am certainly dealing with this here in Mexico.

Great country, lots of great people. But HARD to break in socially, beyond the surface.

I think a lot of people end up getting a GF (BF) in the new country, then end up socializing only with the new GF's family. This is OK, but not ideal. Especially for a man, it's hard to be "arm candy" when you're a guy.

I hope we get some useful ideas here.

I am doing the following:
(1) Successfully dodged the bullet of living in an all-gringo community
(2) Joined a gym (nice place).
(3) Moving to a nice IN-TOWN ocean-view community, mix of old gringos :( and young upscale Mexican families :D (Already have met a couple of both.) (Found it by befriending a trainer at the gym, who hooked me up.) SCREW living in working-class areas with no decent restaurants, nowhere to go, nothing to do. I am not a housewife!
(4) Making friends with waitresses/bartenders in bars and restaurants. One will be my nextdoor neighbor, four more will be invited to my housewarming party. Spanish lessons planned with one next week.
(5) Seeing just a couple of posts of pretty girls on my FB, a male friend decided to come down and look at a second home here. Also four other friends want to visit. Maybe I'll make my own colony here. At least my friends are all single, none of them are married-to-an-old-gringa fossils.
(6) Volunteered to serve as a translator (or whatever) for ThousandSmiles.org. Next weekend surgery marathon is in early August. Maybe I'll meet some of the Mexican Air Force or Navy people who help, or even some nurses... Or just help some kids.

LOTS more ideas I need to do. Will post stuff as I do it.

Meanwhile hope to see others adding stuff here!!!!!!! So, who else out there is good at building a social circle abroad?!!


PS
AmericanInBangkok, who used to post on this site, had built a life in Thailand, by speaking the language, and by being a journalist reporting on their national sport. He was deeply involved with Thais, through his work.
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Re: I found this topic super interesting because I lived abr

Postby Sarita » Sat May 17, 2014 2:27 am

Thanks Jester! -

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who went through that missing-family thing. Wouldn't it be great to transplant our families completely to the new country? Those are some really good ideas you had.

On meeting a BF - while I was in Spain I met a Spanish man, so I got fairly involved, but I still missed my family. I missed Americans and joined the American Club in Madrid. I was delighted to find that ex-pats are different from other Americans - so much more aware. I invited some of to my home, and my hubby and I met with them at the Club or for cena, and so on. We already had a good social life, but this felt a bit more familiar.

I guess perfection to me would be to kidnap my family and bring them with me.

I second your comment - it'd be great if others would share their ideas!

Jester wrote:
I am certainly dealing with this here in Mexico.

Great country, lots of great people. But HARD to break in socially, beyond the surface.

I think a lot of people end up getting a GF (BF) in the new country, then end up socializing only with the new GF's family. This is OK, but not ideal. Especially for a man, it's hard to be "arm candy" when you're a guy.

I hope we get some useful ideas here.

I am doing the following:
(1) Successfully dodged the bullet of living in an all-gringo community
(2) Joined a gym (nice place).
(3) Moving to a nice IN-TOWN ocean-view community, mix of old gringos :( and young upscale Mexican families :D (Already have met a couple of both.) (Found it by befriending a trainer at the gym, who hooked me up.) SCREW living in working-class areas with no decent restaurants, nowhere to go, nothing to do. I am not a housewife!
(4) Making friends with waitresses/bartenders in bars and restaurants. One will be my nextdoor neighbor, four more will be invited to my housewarming party. Spanish lessons planned with one next week.
(5) Seeing just a couple of posts of pretty girls on my FB, a male friend decided to come down and look at a second home here. Also four other friends want to visit. Maybe I'll make my own colony here. At least my friends are all single, none of them are married-to-an-old-gringa fossils.
(6) Volunteered to serve as a translator (or whatever) for ThousandSmiles.org. Next weekend surgery marathon is in early August. Maybe I'll meet some of the Mexican Air Force or Navy people who help, or even some nurses... Or just help some kids.

LOTS more ideas I need to do. Will post stuff as I do it.

Meanwhile hope to see others adding stuff here!!!!!!! So, who else out there is good at building a social circle abroad?!!


PS
AmericanInBangkok, who used to post on this site, had built a life in Thailand, by speaking the language, and by being a journalist reporting on their national sport. He was deeply involved with Thais, through his work.
“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.â€￾ - Tennessee Williams
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Re: 60% of American men will never be happy living overseas

Postby Bao3niang » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:57 pm

My adoptive father is a mature man, 53, British. He still explores!

Yes I agree expats too set in Anglo ways will just stick to expat zones even when abroad and never try to understand the local people, culture, history etc. They go from place to place while never really making observations / doing something worthwhile. Personally I'm the type that does not (and has no desire) identify with any culture. I'm just me.

I encountered many types of those expats back in Beijing, the kind that we all tend to despise. Going abroad has no meaning and no purpose if the expat / Anglo bubble is never popped. I'd give an even higher percentage, 70-75%.

Being homesick is one thing, wasting your time abroad never coming out of the Western/expat lifestyle is another. If one truly wants to go abroad, they must build a life abroad by trying to go local as much as possible.
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