ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Want-to-be Expats; taking a dip in de-nile

Updated on November 15, 2011

Tall Buddha, Sanya, China

This standing Buddha is over 300' tall and is identical viewed from land or sea. It is dedicated to sailors.
This standing Buddha is over 300' tall and is identical viewed from land or sea. It is dedicated to sailors.

Listen Carefully

I am an Expat, or at least I have been referred to as one. In the last 6 years I have spent a total of 2 months in the US. I lived for years in China, Colombia, South America, and spent time beyond what would be considered by most to be a vacation a few other places.

I don’t really follow any particular blogs but I drift through and try to answer people’s questions in subjects that I am familiar with on a few.

I have written a book on traveling, more on travel safety.
Anyone interested can Google “Smart Safe Traveler”.

The one thing that strikes me, rather often, is that people would rather follow their Pollyanna misconceptions than hear honest truths when it comes to living in foreign countries.
I can see that it isn’t so much fun to have someone deflate their balloon a bit; but is that more important than the truth?

A week or so ago I answered a question that went something like this;
“I want to live in Colombia or Venezuela on $685 a month but I don’t want to be hassled with visas and such. Can anyone make a suggestion?”

My first thought was just to answer “Stay home, you are clueless!”
But I decided to give them the benefit of my experience.
I explained that it might be possible to live in one of the “Pueblitas” (tiny towns in the countryside) on that amount of money. But they would be living a extremely low key lifestyle.

I then explained that both countries require special visas and that unless they could show more income they would not qualify.

A couple of days later I got a PM from them.
“Thanks for responding but I don’t want to live in a place that doesn’t have good nightlife and I really want to live in Medellin, Colombia.”

“Oh and I think I can just live there without a visa because that would be easier for me.”

I replied that I happen to live in Medellin and there is no place for a Gringo (white foreigner) to live safely in the city for the amount you stated.
And, sorry, but you can’t live here without a visa, unless you want a suit in one of the fine jails we have down here.

I didn’t expect to hear back; but I did.

“I think I can live in a neighborhood that I think is called a “0” area, that should be cheap right?”

RP; “I believe you mean an Estrada 1, which is the ghettos, and no you can’t live there without becoming a victim of crime,,, frequently!”

“Well live and let live right?”

I didn’t reply because it was a waste of time.

You can swim in the river but there are crocodiles and hippos in there, and they will see you as either a meal or an intruder either way it doesn’t work out very well for you!

There have been so many similar exchanges over the years that I’ve lost count.
I remember one person saying that they thought that after they got a 60 day tourist visa they could just add a 1 to the front and make it a 160 day visa. I hope they enjoy the food in prison!

My point to all of this is that it takes a tremendous amount of planning and researching to move to a foreign country. If there are requirements that you can’t meet that doesn’t mean you can ignore them.
At the very best it will be a true test of your patience, temperament and abilities to think on your feet. If you trip or fall there isn’t going to be anyone to catch you.

I suppose this may be as close to venting as hubbing, but the message here is that if someone who has been-there / done-that offers advice; listen. If that advice is contrary to what you want to hear; listen even more carefully.

One time I carefully explained to someone how to get the right visa and pointed out that they need to speak the language to get by.

They accused me of wanting to keep the country to myself…

Right; you busted me; after all there is just me and 1.3 Billion Chinese so yeah, its my little secret.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Borsia profile imageAUTHOR

      Borsia 

      6 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      Hi MW; Thanks for commenting

      There are ways around most problems and probably some arrangement can be made to carry mandatory insurance. But I am not familiar with Canada's system and every country is different.

      Healthcare is always a big consideration. You never want to be without some sort of coverage. Medical systems are expensive no matter where one goes and as foreigners we usually aren't covered by state systems. They may be far, far cheaper than the US but medical bills can still be devastating to your bank accounts.

      Unlike the US if you are in a foreign country and have a problem without coverage you are often just flat out of luck. They won't have any regulations requiring a hospital or other medical facility to stabilize you in an emergency situation. In many 3rd world countries you will simply be denied any help and turned away.

      In some countries things don't make any sense to us. In some countries if there is an accident nothing can be moved until the authorities have cleared the site, even the injured can not be moved or aided.

    • MobyWho profile image

      MobyWho 

      6 years ago from Burlington VT

      Hey readers, Listen to Borsia! The grass does seem greener elsewhere, but then, mowing it can be hard. I wanted to move to NB, Canada - my father's birthplace and family's homestead. I wrote them...No Way! They don't want me for more than a short vacation. I'd have to prove I would never need their healthcare system, etc. I'm sorry: they're smart! and living under cover would not be pleasant for long.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)