The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Number 1 challenge as an expat

Olimac21

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
389
471
243
26
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Hello everyone,

For those of us who live abroad, what has been the number 1 challenge/obstacle to get exactly what you want abroad?

I will start with my own answer, for me is about building meaningful/long term relationships with locals. Since they already have their friends and family it is not easy to connect with them and form long term friendships, especially when you are older (+30 years old).
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

Danczyk

Contributor
Feb 20, 2019
43
51
107
Belarus
I immigrated from a 3rd world country to another one. I had exactly the same problem with you. Fast forward a few years, I was never so happy with my social life. You know what I did? I found the expats just like me. Not the tourists but the people who live there, who have businesses or work there. The smaller the city the better because people tend to bond with you better. I made many friends and luckily for me they are all in a better place than me in life so they pull me higher with them. That's another point, I am soon to be 35 and my friends are generally 40-50 who already made it.
 

Tiago

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 22, 2014
456
526
263
26
Hello everyone,

For those of us who live abroad, what has been the number 1 challenge/obstacle to get exactly what you want abroad?

I will start with my own answer, for me is about building meaningful/long term relationships with locals. Since they already have their friends and family it is not easy to connect with them and form long term friendships, especially when you are older (+30 years old).
Definitely this. What I'm doing is hosting dinners with people I find interesting. I've done one and it was awesome. Maybe an idea to try out.

Also I see that you are located in BH, Brazil. I'm located in Balneário Camboriú/Florianópolis, if you ever come around these corners we could meet.
 
OP
OP
Olimac21

Olimac21

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
389
471
243
26
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
I immigrated from a 3rd world country to another one. I had exactly the same problem with you. Fast forward a few years, I was never so happy with my social life. You know what I did? I found the expats just like me. Not the tourists but the people who live there, who have businesses or work there. The smaller the city the better because people tend to bond with you better. I made many friends and luckily for me they are all in a better place than me in life so they pull me higher with them. That's another point, I am soon to be 35 and my friends are generally 40-50 who already made it.
This is interesting because in all my expats experience I have targeted making connections with the locals but it seems again and again unless that local is someone from the opposite sex, it rarely happens.

Btw how is life in Belarus?
 
OP
OP
Olimac21

Olimac21

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
389
471
243
26
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Definitely this. What I'm doing is hosting dinners with people I find interesting. I've done one and it was awesome. Maybe an idea to try out.

Also I see that you are located in BH, Brazil. I'm located in Balneário Camboriú/Florianópolis, if you ever come around these corners we could meet.
Cool I have heard Balneario Camboriu is amazing, what are you doing there? Are you Brasilian?

I like your idea because you are proactive and a dinner can lead to interesting conversations/mingling time. What I normally do if I go to a new place is to check the meetups and people on CS that seem interesting and message them, always focusing on what value I can add to them.
 

Tiago

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 22, 2014
456
526
263
26
Yes I am Brazilian. But have lived in Germany for 7 years and now I've been back to Brazil for the last five years.

I took the ideas of the dinners from Jayson Gaignard and his mastermind dinners. He has a book and podcast on this.

But I simplified it way down. I have a few criteria that people must meet in order for me to invite them. And then I just invited them into my house, everyone brings something to eat/drink, and no work-related talk. This opens up to connect more as humans. Funny enough, I create clients also from this interaction.
 

Kevin88660

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
229
220
150
Singapore
Hello everyone,

For those of us who live abroad, what has been the number 1 challenge/obstacle to get exactly what you want abroad?

I will start with my own answer, for me is about building meaningful/long term relationships with locals. Since they already have their friends and family it is not easy to connect with them and form long term friendships, especially when you are older (+30 years old).
Depends on what type of friends and agenda.

There is a meet up app which is food to know bro with similar interest. I made new friends through sports. It is always easier to make friendship from people with similar interest.

Knowing chicks is still about doing the old fashion way of approaching and asking for number, at least for me.
 

Mattie

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2014
2,890
3,813
916
Netherlands
Hello everyone,

For those of us who live abroad, what has been the number 1 challenge/obstacle to get exactly what you want abroad?

I will start with my own answer, for me is about building meaningful/long term relationships with locals. Since they already have their friends and family it is not easy to connect with them and form long term friendships, especially when you are older (+30 years old).
For me it's missing my favorite American foods. :) Well more it seems like I'm a different environment 100%. Learning the language just seems like the biggest barrier, since I've had English all my life. Since I'm a writer, it tends to be kind of overwhelming trying to learn Dutch fluently to begin with and than because writing is my passion, it just doesn't come fast when you have learn a backwards language, the way they phrase things.
 
OP
OP
Olimac21

Olimac21

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
389
471
243
26
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Depends on what type of friends and agenda.

There is a meet up app which is food to know bro with similar interest. I made new friends through sports. It is always easier to make friendship from people with similar interest.

Knowing chicks is still about doing the old fashion way of approaching and asking for number, at least for me.
I was talking more about virtue friends, those kind of friendships that are for the long term and want the best for you.

In terms of chicks, is a whole diferent story lol although some people try to replace the community feeling of their hometowns by dating a lot of girls (a friend is suffering this syndrome nowadays).
 
OP
OP
Olimac21

Olimac21

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
389
471
243
26
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
For me it's missing my favorite American foods. :) Well more it seems like I'm a different environment 100%. Learning the language just seems like the biggest barrier, since I've had English all my life. Since I'm a writer, it tends to be kind of overwhelming trying to learn Dutch fluently to begin with and than because writing is my passion, it just doesn't come fast when you have learn a backwards language, the way they phrase things.
Oh yeah food and language can be big struggles haha where in Netherlands are you living? I lived in Groningen for a semester and my sister lives in Utrecht. About the language in countries like Netherlands where everyone speaks english on a good level it can become a trap because the language is not necessary for everyday survival but it is the only way to really penetrate the local culture.
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,833
10,744
2,426
27
Chicago, IL
but it seems again and again unless that local is someone from the opposite sex, it rarely happens.
I've experienced the same problem, but I'm putting most of the blame on myself.

The locals have a different upbringing, likes, tastes, mentalities, and views on the world, so for me it's difficult to make friends with most of them beyond a single connection layer or two after which I get bored.

I have friends for gambling, muay thai, and drinking when I'm abroad, but it's hard to make deeper connections. That's why I gave up on making friends with most guys and focus most of my time on women.

4/5 women I meet overseas, there's no connection. But at least with those 4 you can still have a good time (partying, etc).

Making friends with expats on the other hand I found to be hit or miss. Some are really cool guys that I want to hangout with. Some are complete losers or weirdos. But it is easier to make friends with them than someone back home. It's weird how having the connection that "we're both foreigners" is enough. It's also weird that locals will introduce you to other expats assuming that you two would want to be friends ... it's not a bad thing though, just weird.
 

Ocean Man

How may I provide value?
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 26, 2018
141
161
145
Same goes for me.

It's tough to make meaningful friendships here with the locals or expats.

I'm not sure about other countries but here in South Korea, it's a tight-knit community. People are only friends with people they've gone to school with or done activities with. It's tough to even get involved in their activities as well.

There are groups that you find on Meetups, 95% of them are language-exchange. And I have a distaste for those. You have to pay about $10 every-time you go to one and then it turns one-sided. You end up being an English teacher or it becomes a one-night stand.

And personally, I don't really want to be friends with the other foreigners here. Either two things happen:
1.) They're only here for a short time.
2.) I find that (not all of them), but a good chunk of them are only here for one-night stands.

Unfortunately, a lot of the relationships here are short-lived.
 

Danczyk

Contributor
Feb 20, 2019
43
51
107
Belarus
This is interesting because in all my expats experience I have targeted making connections with the locals but it seems again and again unless that local is someone from the opposite sex, it rarely happens.
While making connections you also become friends with those who is closer to you in mindset. I don't think you could be friends with a peasant. Yeah it's good to drink with them but as soon as the alcohol disappears generally conversation as well.

Btw how is life in Belarus?
Most people sleep on Belarus. I lived or been around old SSSR countries for the last 10 years. I would never live in Russia, Ukraine or any other countries but Belarus. It's the jewel of the old communist world. Ask those who have been here they will tell you the same tales. Girls are looking for your western passport, country is boring and blah blah. That's the impression you get when you stay here for a week and go to the same clubs and places where every foreigner goes.

First let's get the bad out of the way. People are boring and extremely shy and most of the time they don't have anything to say. And if you don't know Russian or can't read cyrillic alphabet, good luck finding your way around.

Now, the life is cheaper than in EU and US. I bought a 2 room flat 5 minutes(on car) from the very center for 65000$. Average costs (internet, water, electricity, heating and all) 30-50$ a month. I go everywhere with Uber for 5$ tops.
I have a 6 years old daughter. Last year a couple of women from sports club came and hand picked her and a couple of another girls for gymnastics training. I made a quick search and found out those trainers all had olympics history. This is a very important thing for me because all my childhood and younghood I was yearning to be in a sports club which I had no access to. Kindergarten and sports club costs are 40$ + 30$ per month by the way.
I had an individual entrepreneurship company where the only worker is myself. I was supposed to pay 5% from my revenue however the minimum amount of tax to be paid for a year is... wait for it... 300$(maybe it was 400$?) I literally enjoyed all my financial gains. However if you want to grow a team of programmers and be a real "company" the taxes work for them usual as everywhere.
Because I have a residence permit I also have access to free healthcare. Healthcare could be better but at least the dentists are up to the level of Europeans if not better. Sometimes I go to a private clinic, but they are still cheap 30-50$ depending on the doctor.
There are no immigrants at all. No rapists, no crime, the city is extremely clean, 3rd wave feminism hasn't made it here yet so you will not be sued for sexual harassment if you want to introduce yourself to a girl on the street. Though I must say I see many Arabs taking advantage of it.
The rules are very strict. If you cross the road where you weren't supposed to six times, or if you get 6 speed tickets you get deported. No matter who you are and how much you invested in the country.

Yes it's a boring country yes there aren't a lot of things to do yes you can't find the clothes you want but I want a quiet life and good friends. I haven't found them in any of the neighboring countries. All my friends(Germans, Dutch Greek Canadians etc) who live here for years share the same opinions. I tried Warsaw and Budapest, they didn't work out for me.
 

Kevin88660

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
229
220
150
Singapore
I was talking more about virtue friends, those kind of friendships that are for the long term and want the best for you.

In terms of chicks, is a whole diferent story lol although some people try to replace the community feeling of their hometowns by dating a lot of girls (a friend is suffering this syndrome nowadays).
Similar interest and lifestyle.

As I am early 30s and still single those friends that hang out are also single and we used to play the same sports in the same university.

True virtue friends need to have trust and trust take time to build. Once you are out of schools everyone is hustling for their own lives. It will not be easy to find new friends. Common interest is still the best starter. One of the colleague got really well with me because he was impressed by my knowledge in cryptocurrencies.
 
OP
OP
Olimac21

Olimac21

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
389
471
243
26
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Same goes for me.

It's tough to make meaningful friendships here with the locals or expats.

I'm not sure about other countries but here in South Korea, it's a tight-knit community. People are only friends with people they've gone to school with or done activities with. It's tough to even get involved in their activities as well.

There are groups that you find on Meetups, 95% of them are language-exchange. And I have a distaste for those. You have to pay about $10 every-time you go to one and then it turns one-sided. You end up being an English teacher or it becomes a one-night stand.

And personally, I don't really want to be friends with the other foreigners here. Either two things happen:
1.) They're only here for a short time.
2.) I find that (not all of them), but a good chunk of them are only here for one-night stands.

Unfortunately, a lot of the relationships here are short-lived.
Where are you living? Seoul?

I am sorry to hear that I have a korean friend and he tells me everyone in Korea they live just for work plus you get very limited chances on meeting people due to language barriers.
 

illmasterj

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 19, 2016
203
488
229
35
1360m
1. Learning a new language
2. Finding lawyers who actually know what that are doing
 

Ocean Man

How may I provide value?
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 26, 2018
141
161
145
Where are you living? Seoul?

I am sorry to hear that I have a korean friend and he tells me everyone in Korea they live just for work plus you get very limited chances on meeting people due to language barriers.
Yes, I currently live in Seoul.
 

VTK

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Dec 14, 2018
2
3
16
Negotiating through a translator, especially when the other party has more comprehension than you of both languages.
 

Mattie

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2014
2,890
3,813
916
Netherlands
Oh yeah food and language can be big struggles haha where in Netherlands are you living? I lived in Groningen for a semester and my sister lives in Utrecht. About the language in countries like Netherlands where everyone speaks english on a good level it can become a trap because the language is not necessary for everyday survival but it is the only way to really penetrate the local culture.
More by Maastricht
 

Kade

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 6, 2017
44
76
123
France
For those of us who live abroad, what has been the number 1 challenge/obstacle to get exactly what you want abroad?
Adapting to the local culture. It always requires a bit of fine-tuning in the beginning.

Don't spend too much time "socializing."
Upon moving here, I tried to meet the most amount of people in the shortest time possible, so I joined a lot of MeetUp events. The people at these event seemed really nice... however, we just don't have anything in common. And when we do, they have a flight in the morning.

When meeting locals, it's a hit or miss. Do you like the culture ? Can you live the same way locals do ?
As the saying goes: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

For your question:
What I've found is that, it is always better to make friends in context, while doing an activity you enjoy.
Once you get along with someone, the likelihood of you liking their friends (and vice-versa) is significantly higher.

Then it takes off from there.
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

windchaser

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 24, 2017
100
201
155
Spain
I am no longer an expat but I have been one for several years.
For me the number 1 challenge was the same, getting to make true friendships with locals.

In fact, especially now that I have returned to my country, I realize that I didn´t built any real friendship with any local. However, I cannot say the same about other expats. Most of my friends as an expat were also expats (although not necessarily from my home country) and I managed to build true friendships with some of them with whom I still maintain a very close relationship despite of the distance. In my experience expats are generally more open to establishing new relationships.

Other challenges for me were but definitely not as hard as the first one:
1) Adapting to the cultural difference, despite having been very familiar it still shocked me in several aspects and many in which it was very difficult for me to adapt.
2) Food
3) Understanding the legal and credit system
 

rosepxj

New Contributor
Apr 22, 2019
4
4
14
Romania
I’ve been living abroad since 2012. The challenge for me is that I no longer know what’s going on in my home country. When I go back to my own country for family visits, the friends I used to have are so different. People’s lifestyle and value have become so different, which makes me a bit sad that I don’t feel I belong there anymore.

The thing that I like about being an expat is that I feel more free. In my own country, if you have a different mindset or way of life, people judge you easily and try to give you all kinds of advice. As an expat, if I think differently or do differently, it’s okay because I’m a foreigner. People are more likely to be curious in their observation than judgmental in how things are supposed to be.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom