Some expats are doomed to failure.
They get off the plane complaining about something. The moment they check-in at their hotel they hit Facebook to complain about the taxi service, small portions, or the unbelievable rainy weather. And they send nasty emails to anyone who sees the glass half-full.
But… This Isn’t Like Home!
A while back, I received a flaming from an traveler who just completed a two week trip to Ecuador. It seems that they had a rather bad experience while here in Ecuador.
He was angry that everyone online lied to him about what to expect. Here’s what he said:
“I spent 8 months researching Ecuador before we made our trip, and I can not remember a single blog site that I can say told me the truth as to what we would find once there, including yours.”
I find it hard to believe that someone could research any topic for eight months and still not understand it. It seems that the rose-colored glasses filtered out what he didn’t want to see. And when he arrived he was shocked.
In his email, he complained about the people (unfriendly), the president (dislikes gringos), dogs (too many), safety (doesn’t exist), and other expats (all liars).
Over the past six years, we have seen the Ecuadorian people to be a most friendly and welcoming culture. I don’t follow politics very much, but the president seems to favor foreigners – encouraging incoming expats with favorable visa requirements. Acceptable levels of dogs and safety are highly subjective – and dependent on what part of each area you are considering and what you are comparing them against.
In my experience, most expats arrive with both reasonable expectations and a willingness to adapt to how things are done in their new country. But some expats seem bent on the negative. And some of them favor lashing out against anyone in their path.
In my opinion, if you’re unhappy at home – you’ll be unhappy abroad regardless of where you move. If you are high maintenance, you just might find life abroad to be challenging. Of course, there is nothing wrong with liking things a certain way. But when you move to another country, you will likely lose that control. We have gotten used to random power and water cuts. Sometimes the carrots are damaged and the apples are soft (or just unavailable). We have low-thread count sheets and no hot water in the kitchen. But life goes on.
When I first saw the following video, I thought about the complaining expats who have trouble with inconvenience. This video is for you.
First World Problems (Weird Al)
Note: While our friend Al makes some good points – his voice can be a little grating in this video. Now you know.
Watch on YouTube
What Do You Think?
Have you seen this in other expats? Or in yourself? How do you handle adaptation? Please join the conversation below.