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Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
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yankeetravels Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-02-2017 06:26 PM)CleanSlate Wrote:  
(12-02-2017 04:09 PM)Shimmy Wrote:  
(12-02-2017 02:51 PM)LoveBug Wrote:  You don’t miss the American/western style food? A good subway sandwich? Good Mexican? Good pizza? Good Chinese? Good Texas’s BBQ? Etc. that’s the first thing I look forward to when I get home from the developing world, the variety of the food

Not only that but the grocery stores and convenience of getting anything you want. As much as people like to complain about how unhealthy american food is, if you're looking to be healthy then the US is the best place in the world to get what you need in order to have a nutritious diet.

They have lots of Western food out here, too. If I wanted a good meaty burger or a pizza loaded with cheese and toppings, I know where to go. BBQ? Yep, that too. Mexican? I know a good place or two. Italian? I have a favorite not more than a klick from where I live. And there are a few gourmet stores where I can pick up some cheeses, olives, spreads, kefir, and stuff like that. Granted, these come at a premium price-wise, but it’s all there so I don’t miss these.

As for eating healthy, you can do it just as good or even better here. You just have to ask the locals (or your girl) where and what is clean or not, where to buy it, and how to cook it. Plus there are cheap smoothie places where they use real fruits, veggies, and organic ingredients. They even ask you if you want any sugar added, to which I say no, of course.

Idk where you guys find western food in Asia, but in my few months lifetime I've been out there, I've never found good western food. I like the local food there don't get me wrong, but my taste buds get me missing my western (particularly Italian) food sometimes. Even in cities like Tokyo, Taipei, and Manila which all seem to have diverse food options, I rarely find western food such as pizza, pasta, and burgers at the same quality as back home.

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12-03-2017 09:22 PM
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Post: #27
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Good introspective piece, OP, very observant for just 1.5y in Asia.

I've been here 5, going on 6, years now with some breaks in-between and went through all the various phases Suits mentions in his spot-on post.

It was only after a shit-ton of experimenting and soul-searching that I decided splitting my time between the States and Asia was best for my overall quality of life. It's going to be different from person-to-person, so no matter what advice you may get from people, it's always best to have an honest discussion with yourself about your goals and what you're willing to put up with to get there.

Suits, loved your post man. I had some differing thoughts on a few things tho.

(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  For the first little while, for someone who really needed a change, even a completely sucky place will be awesome, just because it's a needed change of pace.

Then for the intermediate period, the first two or three years (and perhaps longer for some), you still very much judge the new place by comparing it to the place that you are most familiar with, typically your home country.

the so-called "honeymoon" period of an expat's experiences, where even banal, everyday experiences become "interesting" or instagram-worthy. having said that tho, had some of my fondest memories from this period. i reckon a lot of us did. different girl in your bed each night, hopping a train and traveling each weekend, getting shitfaced and doing stupid things you and your boys will laugh about for decades to come.

so yea, you've got those rose-colored glasses on, and it makes you do things you wouldn't do in your home country, but i think it's important for young men especially to be able to have these kinds of character-building experiences without the burden of Western societies' excessive penalties and consequences weighing over them.

(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  When your tenure becomes long term, probably after 4 or 5 years for most, I think most will cross a psychological line where they start to judge the place where they are living based on its own merits.
...
The cross over into the long term mentality changes one's calculations somewhat and you may wonder if you'd changed one boring existence for another boring existence. In the first couple phases of a person's journey abroad, even a visit to the local convenience store is an exciting adventure, but after several years, it's just a pain in the ass.

Yea, spot-on mate. same shit, different place. and having kids will make it worse, that shit really starts to tie you down mentally and everything that used to be "interesting" now becomes a chore. expats who have kids here start to long for the conveniences of western society again, with a big-box retailer within driving distance and a minivan to take the kids around in.

(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  Enjoy the experience, but keep in mind that as the experience develops, different interpretations of your experience and different priorities may rise to the surface. For example, living eternally on temporary visas with no hope of ever being able to work legally (without being completely dependent on the company that issues your work-visa) is not all that much fun year after year. Given that Asian countries are so protectionist when it comes to employing foreign workers, this is definitely something that will become an issue for most long term expats. Even marrying a local will not solve this problem entirely. In China, marrying a local just gets your 10 year tourist visas essentially (eventually, you don't qualify for them right away) and those don't give you the legal right to work. I suspect that Vietnam is probably somewhat similar.

For me, this very issue has led to a real focus on examining countries based on their suitability for long term living on legal terms. Taiwan and Malaysia currently stand out, but even in those places, the prospects are poor compared to what a Western country offers newcomers.

There's a reason why people in the third world will absolutely jump at the opportunity to move to the first world, despite the numerous problems with the first world that have people like myself and Cleanslate seeking greener pastures. The longer you stay, the more likelihood there is that some of these reasons may become more pressing realities.

It's no shock that most Western expats head back home sooner or later.

I remember a few years back, there was a time when every other thread was about starting a business in Asia or China. There was a shit-ton of enthusiasm and everybody was convinced they would strike it rich. Some even bought a one-way ticket and just went in blind...the hubris of youth i suppose.

At this time, I was working for an established MNC in Asia and was able to see with my own eyes how many of these guys fared. So what Suits says here is very accurate. In general, you will need to have either a skill that is desperately in need in Asia, lots of capital, or be part of an established company to make it in Asia as an expat. I feel bad writing this because a few years back, I started my own business and it was successful; and I feel that this quick success blinded me to the realities out here and made me give out a lot of bad advice to other entrepreneur-hopefuls.

The only successful entrepreneurs I know already had something in their home countries and were just looking to sell their products or services in Asia. But they weren't interested in actually living in Asia. In addition, market entry solutions are expensive and the laws surrounding imported products can be extremely convoluted so the majority of these guys just partnered with local agents or importers and just supplied them. If your product/service is any good, you'll have to pay a lot of money to jump through all their hoops. And god forbid if it's great...now you'll have to worry that they'll steal it, create their own version, and cut you out.

Asia's tough as shit to crack and anyone who says otherwise is either full of it or has deep pockets.
12-04-2017 02:14 AM
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Post: #28
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-04-2017 02:14 AM)GyopoPlayboy Wrote:  Good introspective piece, OP, very observant for just 1.5y in Asia.

I've been here 5, going on 6, years now with some breaks in-between and went through all the various phases Suits mentions in his spot-on post.

It was only after a shit-ton of experimenting and soul-searching that I decided splitting my time between the States and Asia was best for my overall quality of life. It's going to be different from person-to-person, so no matter what advice you may get from people, it's always best to have an honest discussion with yourself about your goals and what you're willing to put up with to get there.

Suits, loved your post man. I had some differing thoughts on a few things tho.

(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  For the first little while, for someone who really needed a change, even a completely sucky place will be awesome, just because it's a needed change of pace.

Then for the intermediate period, the first two or three years (and perhaps longer for some), you still very much judge the new place by comparing it to the place that you are most familiar with, typically your home country.

the so-called "honeymoon" period of an expat's experiences, where even banal, everyday experiences become "interesting" or instagram-worthy. having said that tho, had some of my fondest memories from this period. i reckon a lot of us did. different girl in your bed each night, hopping a train and traveling each weekend, getting shitfaced and doing stupid things you and your boys will laugh about for decades to come.

so yea, you've got those rose-colored glasses on, and it makes you do things you wouldn't do in your home country, but i think it's important for young men especially to be able to have these kinds of character-building experiences without the burden of Western societies' excessive penalties and consequences weighing over them.

(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  When your tenure becomes long term, probably after 4 or 5 years for most, I think most will cross a psychological line where they start to judge the place where they are living based on its own merits.
...
The cross over into the long term mentality changes one's calculations somewhat and you may wonder if you'd changed one boring existence for another boring existence. In the first couple phases of a person's journey abroad, even a visit to the local convenience store is an exciting adventure, but after several years, it's just a pain in the ass.

Yea, spot-on mate. same shit, different place. and having kids will make it worse, that shit really starts to tie you down mentally and everything that used to be "interesting" now becomes a chore. expats who have kids here start to long for the conveniences of western society again, with a big-box retailer within driving distance and a minivan to take the kids around in.

(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  Enjoy the experience, but keep in mind that as the experience develops, different interpretations of your experience and different priorities may rise to the surface. For example, living eternally on temporary visas with no hope of ever being able to work legally (without being completely dependent on the company that issues your work-visa) is not all that much fun year after year. Given that Asian countries are so protectionist when it comes to employing foreign workers, this is definitely something that will become an issue for most long term expats. Even marrying a local will not solve this problem entirely. In China, marrying a local just gets your 10 year tourist visas essentially (eventually, you don't qualify for them right away) and those don't give you the legal right to work. I suspect that Vietnam is probably somewhat similar.

For me, this very issue has led to a real focus on examining countries based on their suitability for long term living on legal terms. Taiwan and Malaysia currently stand out, but even in those places, the prospects are poor compared to what a Western country offers newcomers.

There's a reason why people in the third world will absolutely jump at the opportunity to move to the first world, despite the numerous problems with the first world that have people like myself and Cleanslate seeking greener pastures. The longer you stay, the more likelihood there is that some of these reasons may become more pressing realities.

It's no shock that most Western expats head back home sooner or later.

Market entry solutions are expensive and the laws surrounding imported products can be extremely convoluted so the majority of these guys just partnered with local agents or importers and just supplied them. If your product/service is any good, you'll have to pay a lot of money to jump through all their hoops. And god forbid if it's great...now you'll have to worry that they'll steal it, create their own version, and cut you out.

Absolutely. This pretty much sums it up.

I'm in the process of creating products, but although I live in China, I am not interested in focusing on China or Asia as the primary place to sell the goods I create.

I would obviously like to sell in Asia. In fact, I design both my products and have created a business model specifically to counter the restrictive market elements in Asia.

But I see it as only one part of a larger plan of attack. It would be foolish, in my mind, to depend primary on product sales in Asia for my income.

To do so would be putting far too many eggs in one basket.

My point being, if your strategy is simply riding the wave of demand created by the growing middle and upper classes in Asia, think again. These protectionist nations have specifically designed systems to prevent anyone other than their own nation's elite from doing so.

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12-04-2017 02:48 AM
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Post: #29
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  Even marrying a local will not solve this problem entirely. In China, marrying a local just gets your 10 year tourist visas essentially (eventually, you don't qualify for them right away) and those don't give you the legal right to work.

Not sure if it is because you are Canadian or not, but I got mine as soon as they increased the time to the current sets. I have a 10 years and 6 months per entry family visa. Also like you said, it is not a work permit either. Seems like every few years they increase the years and months you can stay, so it pays to check in at the embassy website and see what new increases they give. I also did not change my visitor visa until a couple years after I got married. Back then it was 10 years and 2 months per entry if I recall correctly.

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12-04-2017 11:55 AM
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Post: #30
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
From OP: "Don’t be surprised to hear of me moving to a smaller 2nd or 3rd tier city within the next year or so. The older I get, the more peace and quiet I want"

Well, it is not an easy task (long-term, I'm not talking about short holidays), "moving to a smaller 2nd or 3rd tier city" to get more peace and quietness, and less expensive accommodation.

Matter of fact, most of the people who currently live in huge metropolis, would love to do just that (move to smaller towns), but, whether we like it or not, huge, polluted and noisy cities, are still the places to be, for business, both private and public, top universities, and top-quality women (who are all drawn to capital cities, where they are able to leverage their assets to the best).

So most of us have to remain in massive cities, and postpone peace of mind and quiet times surrounded by greenery, for many years. I mean, where can you find a not huge, livable, calm city with ton of opportunities for business or prime chicks? Nowhere in the world I guess...
Meaning, in the modern world, our natural aspiration for quality of life and peace, is at odds with the necessities of (prestigious) education, business, and game.
12-04-2017 12:53 PM
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Post: #31
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Da Nang springs to mind. I don't think Cleanslate does much (if any) business actually in Vietnam. From what I've heard, reasonably priced accommodation is readily available there. As for girls, I think a lot of guys arrive in Asia and go through a "quantity over quality" phase. OP seems to be further down the line and in the "quality over quantity" phase; I'm sure a man of his caliber would have plenty of options in a city of well over a million.

12-04-2017 04:12 PM
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RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
GyopoPlayboy and Suits,

Wow. It's always great to hear from guys who's been an expat much longer than me, and you've given me a lot of food for thought. When we're having the time of our lives abroad in the first couple of years, we don't really think about how our own feelings will change over time. I mean, if I'm single by then, it's easy to fix that. All I'd have to do is book a flight back home or switch to a different country.

But for expats with wives, kids, and families, I met one American guy at the gym who has been in Vietnam for two years and has a wife and baby. He said he hated it. He wants to bring his family back home but they're having visa issues.

It's on my mind now because I'm dating this girl who, for the first time in my life, doesn't have me running for the hills when I have thoughts about having kids with her. But, given what I hear from other expats who's been abroad longer than me, I probably should not slam the door on going back to the US -- despite the risks of being married there. I just won't move to a super blue state, which means both coasts are out, especially California and the Northeast.

I would love to split time between the US and Asia if I got married and had a family, but how practical is that, really?

EDIT: Another thing that works to my advantage in light of what Suits and Gyopo says, is my income is worldwide (mostly from US-based clients) and not dependent on Asian economies.
(This post was last modified: 12-04-2017 06:22 PM by CleanSlate.)
12-04-2017 05:55 PM
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Post: #33
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-04-2017 11:55 AM)TravelerKai Wrote:  
(12-03-2017 09:11 PM)Suits Wrote:  Even marrying a local will not solve this problem entirely. In China, marrying a local just gets your 10 year tourist visas essentially (eventually, you don't qualify for them right away) and those don't give you the legal right to work.

Not sure if it is because you are Canadian or not, but I got mine as soon as they increased the time to the current sets. I have a 10 years and 6 months per entry family visa. Also like you said, it is not a work permit either. Seems like every few years they increase the years and months you can stay, so it pays to check in at the embassy website and see what new increases they give. I also did not change my visitor visa until a couple years after I got married. Back then it was 10 years and 2 months per entry if I recall correctly.

The family visa is a tourist visa, whereas a marriage visa is a glorified tourist visa that falls under the category of residence permit.

The residence permit will allow you live in China for the length of the visa period with no limitation on days per entry.

I haven't researched it myself (since I have no interest in marrying a Chinese woman), but friends who have pursued it have indicated that its a bit of a process, even after being legally married.

You absolutely cannot work on a marriage residence permit. If you want to work, you have to apply for a working visa like any other barbarian foreigner. You also can only work for companies specially licensed to employ barbarian foreigners. You will need to meet the same requirements for the working visa as any other barbarian foreigner. You can never become a citizen. You can never become a permanent resident. That does not exist in China aside from as a special honour in special circumstances for the rarest of people who are probably too old to work anyway.

(12-04-2017 05:55 PM)CleanSlate Wrote:  I would love to split time between the US and Asia if I got married and had a family, but how practical is that, really?

How practical would it be to either rent a completely new place every 6-9 months or pay to own/rent two different homes in two different countries?

How practical would it be move your school aged kids between two different parts of the world on a regular basis?

Do you predict having an income in the future that will make it affordable to pay for three or more international flights once a year or more?

Is your present location independent income scalable to the point where you can even afford to support a family with children and give them everything you want to give them in life?

What happens when your hot Asian bride downgrades herself to a 4 thanks to the aging process, but you're working your ass off to provider for a family?

Are you willing to wait out the honeymoon period of new enlightenment that comes with moving to a new place before determining which locations you'd actually be willing to live for a portion of each year? What if you discover that the current country (Vietnam) is not a place you want to settle down? Are you willing to spend up to 3+ years in a new country, getting past the honeymoon phase so that you can make a responsible decision?

How much are you looking forward to having to arrange visas for not just yourself, but also your kids in countries that are largely nationalist and anti-immigration? What happens when you decide that the children's mother's country is not somewhere that you want to raise your children and you can't fall back on the "but the kids are citizens in both countries" convenience?

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(This post was last modified: 12-04-2017 08:49 PM by Suits.)
12-04-2017 08:33 PM
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RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Hi OP, thanks for the post, and others in the thread. It's comforting to read other people's experiences returning to the US, as I did the same and it didn't go as I had planned.

Little background. I'm approaching mid thirties, and about a year ago I returned to the US after living abroad for a solid decade, mostly in East Asia.

Trump ran and I felt a patriotism I had hitherto never felt, a closer connection to the country of my birth, and when against all odds he actually got in I wanted more of that feeling, like a man in the desert who gets that first drop of water on his tongue. I wanted to cease being a rootless nomad, and return home, despite all its flaws, all the reasons I left in the first place. And like so many fools before me, from all walks of life facing all kinds of uncertainty, I thought, "this time it'll be different."

It also had to do with work, which created a crossroads in my life at the time. Plus the fact that I had decided within the prior couple years that the allure of new random girls had (long) since worn off, that I did want to settle down with a quality young girl of a similar background (not that East Asian girls can't be great, they definitely can be). But, we all know about the kind of girl who travels or lives abroad, so for long term I felt limited to the local population.

So, I moved back and trusted myself to get a job. It took ages and tremendous persistence but find one I eventually did.

After the initial reverse culture shock euphoria wore off (oh look at the new dollar bill!), I sunk into a deep depression and haven't really recovered. Early on, I spent hours searching for "reverse culture shock depression" to try to make sense of what I was experiencing. Some sound advice was to give it six months so you're sure, even a year. Well, that six month mark came and went, as did one year. And if anything it's gotten worse. If I ever did "belong" here, I certainly don't anymore.

First, the things that have been good:
-Closer to family and friends, especially aging relatives.
-Driving. I bought a cool used car that is very enjoyable to drive. I hadn't owned one in over a decade, as there was no need.
-New friends I've met especially from the forum, some of whom are represented on this thread. People who are fun to be around and whose company and laughter have kept me sane, and without whom I would have probably quit my job and left already, or worse.
-I'm fortunate to work with cool guys, and be able to openly joke about the batshit crazy liberal bullshit of which there's never a shortage of source material. I get the sense I'm in the minority of work environments here and I lucked out.
- ...... honestly, I was thinking hard of another bullet so I don't sound like a prick. I really can't come up with anything else for which my immediate reaction isn't "yeah but that exists much better in place X" and doesn't feel tryhard.

How about, "at least it's not [insert your preferred third world hellhole] ... yet?"

Anyway.

Seeing so much open space is strange for me, too. For the last say fifteen years (including college) I could walk to most places. Driving is fun, but it loses much of its appeal when I have to do it all the time just to function. The isolation is maddening.

Violent crime. Practically non existent in homogenous East Asia, as East Asians commit very relatively little of it. I hardly ever thought about (or appreciated) it; now, I have a buzzing anxiety that's tough to shake. Locking everything, always watching my back.

Sports. Supporting oversized retards who would prefer me dead, who make obscene amounts of money yet piss all over the fans to whom they themselves feel no connection, does not appeal to me in the slightest. But here it's an almost-required social lubricant, and it seems like the only thing that can bring all people together. The colors of the national flag mean less than those of a stranger's football jersey. Because in post-America, people share so little in common with their neighbors, not the same religion, values, origin, history, culture, not even freaking language in many cases. So, let's ignore all that and cheer for laundry. Go team!

Stress and anxiety. I'll let Roosh tell it (
http://www.rooshv.com/10-reasons-why-het...ve-america ):
"Before I started traveling, I had some hypochondria issues. I’d experience a minor health symptom and proceed to have a meltdown that I was dying a cancer (laugh if you want, but this was a serious problem for me). My hypochondria has since disappeared."

I recently came across that and immediately knew what he meant. I can't recall having this before, though I did have anxiety, but I absolutely experience it now to a high degree, even developing something of a nervous tic, and the only changed variable has been location. I don't enjoy public spaces like I used to, either, people watching and the like, experiencing the company of strangers.

Girls? *shudder* ... As a moderately attractive looking guy with his shit together, I went from dating some of the most desirable, sweet, feminine girls in the world (often but not always East Asian, usually around 20yo or so), to trolling for older, marginally attractive, The Rules-scamming single mom scraps on dating apps. And those types of girls genuinely believe they have leverage, too, that they're valuable Because I'm Worth It. And forget about calling to set something up, rather than be happy/shy/nervous that you're calling, they might text back something like "I don't like talking in the phone, I'm a very busy person," meanwhile they're working at Starbucks. It's a f***ing sick joke, a perversion of all that is feminine and beautiful, something that's been well documented on this forum, but this post would be incomplete without it.

America: The Richest Third World Country. First world prices, for third world parts and labor. Our garbage airports that feel like upmarket homeless shelters.
Roads redone with shoddy, patchy construction that fucks with my suspension and makes the roads feel like an endless rap video. Payment in checks...like, from the kind of checkbook that your grandma used to balance with her pen and calculator.

Recently, returning home after a night drowning myself in alcohol, I damn near choked on some cold cuts. Apparently the butcher at the supermarket didn't realize I wanted only the meat sliced into my ziplock bag, and not the hard plastic that had encased it. Oh well, I can see the confusion as he didn't speak English.

Restaurants. Tipping for EVERYTHING. Plastic smiles, irritating servers, forced conversation devoid of substance. But please, kindly ignore the utter degradation of society and open contempt for the rule of law in practically everything, and be absolutely sure that I'm 21 years of age if I want to buy a fucking drink in peace. Because in the Land of the Free, risking someone drinking a beer at 20.5 years old simply cannot stand.

One thing I noticed about your bullet points on what you miss, is that except for the standard "family and friends," it's all related to physical environment and climate, mountains, beaches, heat etc, whereas the negatives are all related to society and people. I feel the same way.

It's like from a beautiful, handcrafted mug drinking coffee brewed with formaldehyde. One gets nourishment from the substance, not the packaging, and I feel like what's inside here is poison for the spirit, kryptonite for the soul. You don't always notice that it's poison, but you feel its effects just the same.

MAGA would have been just swell! decades ago. Now, as it seems so obviously too late, I wish the patient a quick, painless, and peaceful death, with the hope that from its ashes can arise something worth holding onto, something worth fighting to defend. Because, sadly, the USA is not.

Anyway, this is turning into a thread hijack, I just want to say thanks, I know how you feel, and, no, I wouldn't worry that you made the wrong decision in leaving.

Recently, I made a similar decision. In my mind I've already left (likely to somewhere in Europe), and I'm the happiest and most grounded I've been in a long time. I enjoy time spent honing my exit plan, and dreaming about a brighter tomorrow. Like an inmate hell-bent on getting that degree, the vision of leaving one day gives me the motivation to get up in the morning and work even harder.

And after I leave this time, I will never, ever, return.
12-05-2017 03:37 PM
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Post: #35
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Lian,

Damn dude, thanks for sharing your heartfelt and profound story. That had to be a rough time. But do you think this had to do anything with your age when you left the US and the amount of time you spent abroad? You're in your mid thirties, so you must have left in your early-mid 20s, which is a really young age and you've never really experienced life in the professional workforce after college. Then the ten or so years abroad undoubtedly shaped you into the person you are today, and obviously you've found that living in the US is not for you.

Meanwhile, I'm older and I've spent the majority of my life in the US, and it's only been a year and half since I left. On the other hand, if I'm already feeling the same isolation and similar feelings about sports (I used to be an NFL football nut, and now I've completely lost interest), tipping culture, women, etc -- within a brief visit of only two weeks -- we seem to be on similar wavelengths.

I read somewhere on here about guys who seemed disillusioned about their lives in Asia/EE and their desire to go back to the West, and one guy was warning these guys that they could get even more disillusioned with their lives in the West if they did go back. I believe it was this post:

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-64571...pid1641472

I think this has been your experience as well.

Everyone may be different, and while I don't have any idea how I would fare if I went back, with or without a wife/kids, one thing is for certain... the decision to go back should not be taken any more lightly than the decision to leave.
(This post was last modified: 12-05-2017 06:34 PM by CleanSlate.)
12-05-2017 06:31 PM
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LoveBug Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Aside from the food options, the other thing that kicks ass not in a good way in the developing world for me are the bacterial infections. I spend my time in Guatemala. A year and a half ago I was in the hospital with a rash head to toe. Just got back a week ago with no appetite after a week of travelers diarrhea. I get too old for that sh*t. I wonder if it’s the same in SEA
12-05-2017 08:26 PM
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scrambled Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-05-2017 03:37 PM)Lian Wrote:  I went from dating some of the most desirable, sweet, feminine girls in the world (often but not always East Asian, usually around 20yo or so), to trolling for older, marginally attractive, The Rules-scamming single mom scraps on dating apps.

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12-06-2017 07:38 AM
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Post: #38
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
If anyone has spent some year abroad and the experience has led to you feeling disillusioned, you should PM me. I've lived in Asia for well over 6 years now and I live what I consider a very healthy a positively minded existence.

This is the result of many intentional activities and intentional mindset on my part.

If anyone is struggling with this, I'd be happy to talk.

I'm the King of Beijing!
12-06-2017 08:01 AM
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Post: #39
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Thank you for this honest piece of writing. I am going on year 6 in Colombia. My trips home (USA) are less and less frequent. Not for any discord or hate towards my country I just feel less and less like I "fit in". I imagine many on here start to feel that way....

I think this recent article from Colin Post on Expat Chronicles nails a lot of what is being said in this thread. While it focuses more on Latin America "Expats>Regular Gringos" I think a lot of the under tones from the article can be applied in Asia or wherever foreigners make home.

Here are a few quotes from the article that resonated with me....again thanks for the honest reporting some of us old timers appreciate it rather than the I banged 17 girls in 2 weeks give me my internet stroking! If you make it to Colombia look me up.....

"I’ve come to realize that we expat gringos aren’t such strange bedfellows after all. We have something in common — we live in the Upside Down. And the Upside Down is not like Anywhere, U.S.A. The Upside Down gets inside you and changes you."

In time, we don’t relate so well to the normal humans (gringos) back in the other dimension. We relate better to the other humans who choose to live in the Upside Down.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.expat-chronicles.com/2017/12/...r-gringos/
12-06-2017 08:06 AM
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Post: #40
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-04-2017 08:33 PM)Suits Wrote:  How practical would it be to either rent a completely new place every 6-9 months or pay to own/rent two different homes in two different countries?

How practical would it be move your school aged kids between two different parts of the world on a regular basis?

Do you predict having an income in the future that will make it affordable to pay for three or more international flights once a year or more?

Is your present location independent income scalable to the point where you can even afford to support a family with children and give them everything you want to give them in life?

What happens when your hot Asian bride downgrades herself to a 4 thanks to the aging process, but you're working your ass off to provider for a family?

Are you willing to wait out the honeymoon period of new enlightenment that comes with moving to a new place before determining which locations you'd actually be willing to live for a portion of each year? What if you discover that the current country (Vietnam) is not a place you want to settle down? Are you willing to spend up to 3+ years in a new country, getting past the honeymoon phase so that you can make a responsible decision?

How much are you looking forward to having to arrange visas for not just yourself, but also your kids in countries that are largely nationalist and anti-immigration? What happens when you decide that the children's mother's country is not somewhere that you want to raise your children and you can't fall back on the "but the kids are citizens in both countries" convenience?

These are really good questions that could be threads in the Family Sub Forum. I think about them regularly and would be good to hear from members who are doing it.
12-08-2017 11:39 AM
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Post: #41
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
CleanSlate, I think you said all that needs to be said about the location independent lifestyle.

At least if you're a similar personality type as you.

Well done.

Newbies would do well to bookmark this thread, cause this is what it is for good and bad.

The interesting part is what makes someone go from this to proper expat. What makes the expat different from the location independent.
12-08-2017 03:39 PM
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Post: #42
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
I think the original term expat means someone who is sent by his company to a third country, with the intention to develop new markets or support expansion in the globalised world, usually for multinational companies. The expat usually goes home to his or her developed country from a developing one after 3-4 years, having gained some overseas experience and followed by a rise in seniority level.

These days with the labour markets being more globalised, one can apply for a job in Singapore from living in London and use his skills in his new company there, so there are more people voluntarily wanting to live in a different country, as opposed to in the past where assignments were done often involuntarily as differences in living standards between say US and Thailand or China were much bigger and people were more glued to their home countries.
(This post was last modified: 12-08-2017 04:22 PM by worldtraveler3.)
12-08-2017 04:15 PM
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MongolianAbroad Online
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Post: #43
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-08-2017 03:39 PM)nomadbrah Wrote:  CleanSlate, I think you said all that needs to be said about the location independent lifestyle.

At least if you're a similar personality type as you.

Well done.

Newbies would do well to bookmark this thread, cause this is what it is for good and bad.

The interesting part is what makes someone go from this to proper expat. What makes the expat different from the location independent.

If the girl you are dating/married to's SMV would rise far above yours if you go back to the west.

In that case, you definitely don't want to go back. That's why you see a lot of old guys with 20 year old girls in Asia, but not in America. If the old guys do bring them back, they aren't likely to stay married for long.

Also, if the location independent guy's only source of income is so low, for example a small pension, that his lifestyle would be negatively affected by a move back to the states.

If you have a combination of the two, a small pension as the only source of income and a young woman as a companion, then it's unlikely that person will be inclined to come back to America.

On the other hand, if the the guy's location independent income is at a higher level, and he's younger, for example, his SMV and his lifestyle wouldn't take as big a hit back in the West, so then bringing back a girl and enjoying the lifestyle benefits of the West makes more sense to some.

There's also the guys that actually have a good job in a foreign country, but the job is specific to that country and they've built up a strong network there. In that case, moving back "home" could result in financial hardship, regardless of the other factors, and that person may just go native.
(This post was last modified: 12-08-2017 04:32 PM by MongolianAbroad.)
12-08-2017 04:29 PM
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wi30 Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
More America for me.

[Image: anigif_enhanced-6574-1393376497-2.gif?do...ality=auto]

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcROz2uiCnhhf4Xh_FmRsOl...BmtOSu7uGk]

Kidding aside, I think most guys have to venture out and find their "home". It may be the next town over or on the other side of the world. I'm younger than a lot of you guys but once I found my "home" my life improved dramatically. I was born and raised in Wisconsin and had a coming home feeling the second I drove into Colorado and saw the mountains. After that visit, I decided I was going to live there one day. It took five years and a rough breakup but I finally made it out west 1.5 years ago. I couldn't be happier.
12-08-2017 06:02 PM
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Post: #45
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
(12-08-2017 11:39 AM)edlefou Wrote:  
(12-04-2017 08:33 PM)Suits Wrote:  How practical would it be to either rent a completely new place every 6-9 months or pay to own/rent two different homes in two different countries?

How practical would it be move your school aged kids between two different parts of the world on a regular basis?

Do you predict having an income in the future that will make it affordable to pay for three or more international flights once a year or more?

Is your present location independent income scalable to the point where you can even afford to support a family with children and give them everything you want to give them in life?

What happens when your hot Asian bride downgrades herself to a 4 thanks to the aging process, but you're working your ass off to provider for a family?

Are you willing to wait out the honeymoon period of new enlightenment that comes with moving to a new place before determining which locations you'd actually be willing to live for a portion of each year? What if you discover that the current country (Vietnam) is not a place you want to settle down? Are you willing to spend up to 3+ years in a new country, getting past the honeymoon phase so that you can make a responsible decision?

How much are you looking forward to having to arrange visas for not just yourself, but also your kids in countries that are largely nationalist and anti-immigration? What happens when you decide that the children's mother's country is not somewhere that you want to raise your children and you can't fall back on the "but the kids are citizens in both countries" convenience?

These are really good questions that could be threads in the Family Sub Forum. I think about them regularly and would be good to hear from members who are doing it.

Easy there cowboy! If too many men start seriously confronting these questions, there won't be a Family Sub Forum.

I'm the King of Beijing!
12-10-2017 07:51 AM
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cosworth Offline
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Post: #46
RE: Self Reflections 1.5 years after leaving the West
Top post CS , as much as I love SEA , I just don't think I could live there full time , being in air con environments 90% of the time isn't for me.
Ideally I need to earn as much location independent income to live 30% of the time in Asia and the rest here in London UK.
Gonna need some serious £$£$ for that but the quest continues.
12-10-2017 10:56 AM
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