Many people try teaching English so that they can live in what seem to be paradisical locations, often in undeveloped/developing countries . And these locations are truly paradises. Not only wonderful settings, beaches, palm trees, warm breezes year around, but also that wonderful local really relaxed and kicked-back attitude. WoW!
This post is partially my response to a discussion on another board about why people don’t last when they come to paradise.
So – what happens that most of those people don’t last more than a year and as much as 80% are gone after two years?
Well, I currently live in a “tropical paradise” and we see that same thing here.
WHY do people not last? Because things are different. DIFFERENT – captial letters purposefully.
It is not unusual to see a German expat yelling at his local girlfriend outside a hardware store, “This is stupid, it’s not how we would do it in Gemany!” . . . Yeah, but this ain’t Germany!
A neighbor recently was yelling at his landlord about noisy construction next door going on for weeks – “In America that would be done in a day!” Yeah, but this ain’t America, either.
Yes, things are different. But also in very meaningful ways. People arrive to stay forever, attracted to the very kick back lifestyle.
But a kickback local lifestyle also often means things like:
1. No one knows first aid if you are in an accident.
2. You are thrown in the back of a pick-up truck to get to the hospital in the case of an accident. Uh . . . yeah, no neck brace, no body board . . .
3. No one bothers to fix the giant pothole that caused the accident
and on and on and on . . .
There are two sides to every quality. One is a detriment and one is a wonderful value. While paradise is wonderful, it can carry some baggage with it too.
My wife says I am bullheaded and stubborn, but to me that is the very determination that made my businesses and investments succeed. Two sides to that too.
So . . . when you go looking for paradise, realize that the wonderful relaxed locals may not have any idea what to do when you really need serious help, nor be interested or even feel obligated to provide it. Those are your values and may not be theirs.
If you can do without that help – survive on your own – and realize that help isn’t coming – no problems then. If you always require assistance from the community to survive (as so many do these days), it might be worth rethinking your non-vacation visit to paradise.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Perhaps a harsh lesson, but one that today’s people need to understand.
TED’s Tips™ #2: If you seek a culture and environment that is easier to adapt to, then seek employment in a developed or more developed country. While there will still be cultural issues, basic things will tend to work better.