April 11, 2017

TRAVELING ABROAD? Truth or Fiction, Which do you Prefer?

Which would you rather receive? We ask the question because it has become increasingly evident to us over the years while living abroad that there is a segment of foreign retirees that appear to accept either; maybe not knowingly but apparently puffery to the cloud 9 level appears to be very good for the travel abroad agenda for now.

Oddly, when you tell the truth (the whole story) some people find ways to justify within themselves and to others why the hidden truth is not what’s real.  It’s very strange and why we feel compelled to expose this anomaly…it’s very strange.


Bad Stuff Won’t Happen to Me! I’m Immune!


It appears that when someone wants something bad enough or when they want to retain an illusion for their own perceived benefit, they will not see the future implications (consequences) of their actions, instead they justify reasons in their head why something is not as bad as it seems. Rationalizing, it’s one of those human flaws.  A lot of us do it.


Some expats, (not all of them) love to rationalize that bad stuff won’t happen to them; “bad stuff only happens to other people”. But in truth, there will always be someone who will have something bad happen to them.  Someone on a consistent basis will have negative issues happen to them while living/traveling abroad….but not you.


We could make all sorts of examples. We have seen personally and read about many harmful things happening to expats abroad; Case in point;  recent statistics/verifiable facts state that at least one gringo per week is robbed and murdered in Mexico. Be the lucky guy that mentions that on social media and you’ll quickly receive the righteous indignation of the vested interests police.  ‘do you know how many Americans are in Mexico’… they say.


It’s the same things we’ve been trying to tell people on the blog and in our Ecuador guide books for years.  Well speaking of personal safety. Just in the last year there have been numerous robberies of expats in their homes and on the sidewalks in both Cuenca and on the coast.


Personal Safety When Living Abroad


Some people rationalize why they can…


1. …walk isolated beaches at night (during the day too!) in Latin America. Forget about the fact that she had a purse dangling from her shoulder.  She was lucky, the next person might not be so lucky.  Women walking alone, on isolated beaches in Latin America is flat out dumb.


2. …walk alone at night anywhere in Latin America. It’s funny, men, not women so much, love to compare the “lack of” crime in Latin America to “so much” crime in the USA…as long as it’s someone else who will get mugged, beaten, raped murdered; they will continue to spew out fiction.


This type of guy would allow his wife to walk alone on an isolated beach…or his 18-year old daughter to travel alone to undeveloped country. Where is the sense?


3. …walk in or near the local Mercados with a purse, fanny pack, money clip, jewelry and watches and are oblivious to the fact they are being watched by people who make less money per month than the telephone they’re sporting!  They justify that it is fake jewelry but the perpetrators don’t know that.

4. …talk real loud in their native tongue, boasting about the expensive hotel they are staying at and the international restaurants they just ate in. Talking loudly in English about money in the back seat of a taxi cab.


5.  …not have to learn Spanish because there is a big expat community that speaks English.


6. …get drunk and party with local hoodlums and then get raped, beaten, robbed, taken advantage of, etc, etc.


7.  …live where all the gringos are and somehow feel safer, so they let their guard down and they get robbed in an exclusive gringo enclave. They then seem puzzled that they got robbed.  They grumble, “I had all the security measures in place and they still made it in to our home and took everything.”


8. …trust workers and repair people into their homes. This one has always boggled our mind. In the USA, people demand workers be vetted through corporations and institutions. But here in Latin America, they seem to trust everyone. After all, they’re in ‘paradise’ right… Strange as strange can be.


9. …go hiking in some isolated wilderness because they are with a friend or because they are two people, etc, etc.  What kind of parents would allow their young daughters to travel alone to foreign countries anyway?  We’re just shaking our head in disbelief.


Fortunately, most of these young women come back unscathed but that small percentage that don’t, they’re someone’s daughters.


10…open their money clip, exposing a fat wad of $20 dollar bills (it was $300) just to pay for a $5 souvenir.  Later he got pick pocketed; this happened at the Rotary Market in Cuenca Ecuador.


Buying Real Estate Abroad


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying real estate abroad if you do your due diligence but we see people casually throwing around money and then crying about the loss of their property later on down the road because they were not thorough in procuring their property investment.


Some People Justify reasons to buy property and when something goes wrong they complain and want to sue.


1. … gullible folks buy property sight unseen and believe everything the seller said about the property.  However, only after they buy it, do they find out the property is not what they were told.


2. …they rationalize why it’s ok to buy property in earthquake prone areas. History shows Ecuador coast from Manta to Esmeraldas and Quito-Riobamba area having devastating earthquakes about every 15 to 30 years. That’s not very long in between earthquakes.


3. … they buy property right next to a river estuary (southern coast) that has been known to flood and think their house will be immune.


4. …vulnerable folks are easy prey to con artist trying to pawn property. Lots of people from North American have fallen prey to believing in false documents only later find out someone else owns the deed to the property.


5. … some folks don’t know what a good deal is for the area and so what happens is they buy already over-priced property and then flip it at even more of a ridiculous price to another unsuspecting gringo. This is going on in Cuenca and Ecuador coast.


6. …it’s funny, some North Americans move to Latin countries and then want to live in “little America”. There are many gringo enclaves in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and now Ecuador is getting their fair share as well.


They justify that living amongst gringo comrades will somehow be safer but what they aren’t told, after they buy of course, is gringo enclaves are more prone to home invasions than if they lived in a local neighborhood. 


7. …foreigners are simply too trusting. They buy property in Latin America and believe everything the Retire Abroad Magazines say about the property and the area. Later they discover something else altogether.


8. …some foreigners buy property in a foreign land and then later, after the honeymoon realize they don’t like it there.


These stories go on and on and on…and of course this is not all gringos that move abroad, but a fair share of them either get robbed or scammed after just a few months of living there. It’s because they make their personal spaces unsafe by putting up emotional justifications to the crime, the culture, the scammers and the con artists because they want something too bad... they want to trust so bad that they inevitably make themselves a target and something negative happens.


Many folks like to follow the mainstream media about a “paradise abroad” unawares that the whole thing is a “retirement abroad scheme” designed to benefit their own agendas.  So then turning a blind eye to certain aspects of life in a developing country (the not talked about negatives) is probably a bad idea.


Whiners signing off until next article.


Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, check out these ones too for more travel abroad details.



Hello Friends, We have posted something new, several times per week for the last 5 plus years about crucial insights and every day life experiences that provide the other side of living abroad. From us, you'll get REALITY. If you're looking for straight forward answers and honest reporting about life here, you've found it!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you. But its all over the world what you say. One has to have their wits about them all the time. I think the younger generation feel like they are untouchable as we get older we are more aware of the dangers. Thank you for this blog lets hope it makes people more aware

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