All you need to know about Iberian America

Why I Would Leave Latin America

So today was a pretty boring day in Latin America.

Mexico specifically as some of you already know.

As I wrote here, it’s not uncommon to have boring days.

It’s been even more boring recently because I quit drinking for a tiny bit and I’m on day 6 now of not drinking.

Still, it’s nice not waking up hung over.

I read online that if you wait 6 weeks that supposedly the liver repairs itself covering most of the damage you would typically expect if you haven’t done any permanent damage.

And between reading random articles like that…

I’ve also been listening to music like this below.

Mostly because, as I said, I didn’t have much going on today.

Anyway, while I was watching that, I got thinking about a phone call I had recently.

Roughly once a year around summer time, I get a specific type of phone call from someone in the family.

It’s always roughly around the months between April to July.

Where some random family member (mom, dad, sister) will call me and give me the hour long pitch as to why I should leave Latin America already.

And come back to Iowa.

As I wrote here, it’s not unusual for everyone back home to think you’ve gone bad shit insane for moving to a country that they consider to be a shit hole.

In my first year in Mexico, the reasoning for why I should move back was because “well, I thought this would only be a phase that would last a year and that’s it.”

Which was weird for me to hear because I already had 2 years under my belt beforehand.

In the second year? – “Matt, it’s dangerous and you need a 9-5 career!”

In the third year? – “CORONAVIRUS WILL KILL YOU!!!!”

In which both my dad and my sister called me up concerning the coronavirus news.

With my sister getting so pissed off that I wouldn’t listen to her that she stopped talking with me for maybe 9 or 10 months?

And what about the fourth year?

So far, I haven’t gotten the call yet from my parents.

From my perspective, I think my mom has kinda accepted the writing on the wall.

She is still concerned though that my current job occupation of earning affiliate money from telling dudes online to go jerk off to cam models isn’t the most professional career.

She might have a point…

So she’s been trying to convince me to apply for a job with the US State Department – a job I don’t think I’d get if they ever ran across this blog.

Pretty confident the US State Department doesn’t want a representative of America to Latin America while sometimes shit talking about Latin America online.

And other things too that make me think my mom has, for the most part, pretty much accepted reality.

My dad?

I feel like he’s kinda accepted it also but less so than my mom.

Though he still has deep reservations about it, I feel he’s taken on more of the idea of “well, Matt is all grown up and he knows where I stand.”

But I could see him writing me about it but I doubt it.

It’d have to be some major thing like another pandemic to scare him into calling me this year.

Or something major like the cartels kidnapping the Mexican president and gangraping him on national TV.

That might look scary to the average parent with a kid living abroad.

Though, as I said, I did get a call this year!

This time from my sister.

Seems like she has taken on the role this year.

In fact, she called me twice!

One of those calls, a few months ago, when she inquired about my long term plans.

And it came clear to her that I don’t have any plans on returning to living a full life in the US.

In which I have plans for quite the opposite – travel around Latin America.

To the DR, Brazil, Colombia, etc.

When i said that, there was a silence on the phone where I think she was taking it in.

“Oh, he’s serious about living there long term.”

And, with that, perhaps a realization that we won’t see each other much outside of whenever I visit home for the holidays essentially.

Which is a realization I’ve had as you can read about here.

Where you realize that time abroad is obviously time away from family.

And, at any moment, one of those family members could die.

Meanwhile, even if the closer family members do live a long life….

You choosing to live abroad really cuts down the amount of time you will ever have with those family members.

Let’s say, for example, my sister and I live for another 60 years.

If I go back home twice a year for a week per visit, that’s 120 weeks I have left with my sister.

Given there are 52 weeks in a year, that means that, in theory, I have 2.3 years left on this planet being with my sister in real life.

And, realistically speaking, the real number would be a lot less than 120 weeks given I normally only see my sister anyway for like maybe 1 to 2 days out of those individual weeks.

Much less for my parents obviously who probably have another 20 to 30 years left.

Shit, maybe less – you never know.

Of course, I could double the numbers here – why not spend two weeks per visit back home?

Granted, if I were to ever have kids, I feel it’d be trickier to have extended periods of time back home.

I could do even a month nowadays.

But I feel doing two months back home every year would be a bit unlikely if there is a wife and kids living in Latin America.

Well, it’s a sacrifice anyway when it comes to living abroad.

Reminds me of an aunt and uncle that I began to know about 15 or so years ago…

Who left the US to live in the Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia due to work the uncle had with the US State Department…

Came back to the US in retirement years and all but, from my knowledge, didn’t know too many people when they came back.

You know – parents are gone and other individuals they probably knew in their younger years.

But, as I said, it’s a sacrifice.

Leaving behind folks who will disappear from your life completely (some friends) to giving up lots of time you would have had otherwise with others (family members).

Among other thing you have to sacrifice also that I’ve written about elsewhere on this blog.

But, in my moment of being bored out of mind today, I got thinking about that annual phone call with my sister.

Which was funny when it started because she promised initially that this “wasn’t going to be one of those phone calls.”

And, to be fair, it was a little bit different.

In that instead of trying to persuade me about how life down here is so shit and I must go back home…

She instead tried to present it as an opportunity for why life in America can be nicer.

Perhaps with the knowledge in her head that:

  • I, like others, are persuaded to live in a country like Mexico due to, in part, the low cost of living (financial reason).
  • That it becomes less desirable to move back after you’ve spent enough years abroad in which you get accustomed to life in the new country and would maybe feel a little bit out of place in some respect if you were to move back.

So she started off by talking about all of the nice healthcare jobs that exist in Iowa.

Particularly for those who can do translation work with English and Spanish.

Where, according to her, someone could easily make what her friend Megan makes with a 50,000 dollar salary on Day 1.

Which, if we are doing strict finances, that could likely put my finances in better position.

As of right now, I only make slightly north of 2,000 a month.

But my living costs are 600 to 700 bucks a month and I have certain tax benefits with living abroad in Mexico.

On the other hand, 50,000 is more than double what I make a year easily.

Granted, taxes would be higher and cost of living to a degree.

I’d also have to work for someone else.

With commute, 9-5, colleagues, boss, etc.

Having the stress of being in healthcare where my current work involves sitting in my underwear playing with porn affiliate links.

Would have less time for local women to touch my 19 inch dick also.

That’d be a shame.

Plus, I wouldn’t be able to travel the world a little bit more.

On top of that, I really don’t want to live in the cold in Iowa again – with snow and all.

Finally, living down here where cost of living is so low and where I can work whatever hours I want…

For those who have read my more personal articles, that also helps me be a little bit happier in life for reasons I won't get into here.

And, all around, I’m just used to life here.

Comfortable.

Got more friends here now.

Don’t have a bone in my body that wants to move back.

Even though, objectively speaking, I could make more money back home if that 50,000 number is true.

Because, from what I imagine, I’d assume obviously that number would go up over time and would be a net positive overall.

Regardless, I understand where my sister is coming from.

Knowing her, I think it’s more of a “I Miss You” thing than anything else and a desire to want to see me more.

Especially given that I haven’t been back in the US for almost a year and a half now.

But, being bored today, I got thinking about that last phone call roughly an hour ago or so…

And it got me off my ass to write this article on a new relevant topic….

“Why I Would Leave Latin America?”

What are the reasons?

Could anything bring me back?

A worldwide pandemic that scares the living shit out of everybody and crashes economies to near Depression levels?

Nope!

Cartels trying to kill the local police chief in a major gunfight in my own city as you can see here?

Nope!

Someone trying to stab me as you can read here?

Nope!

The cops extorting me for money?

Nope!

Well, god fucking damn it.

If none of that will bring me back….

What will?!

I don’t know.

But that’s why I’m writing this article.

On top of my head, here are some things that I think could make me come back to America.

Reason 1: Different Life Stage

This is an interesting one that has come to mind.

When I was 15 or 16, I had absolutely no desire to live in Latin America.

I didn’t give a rats ass about this region.

Why did I ever come here?

Well, to keep it short, I really wanted to get the fuck out of Iowa due to family reasons back when I was about 17…

So I went to Ohio.

And Ohio did the trick.

But when I was in Ohio, I discovered a bunch of travel funding opportunities that basically shot my ass into Latin America.

And I got used to it.

So here I am.

And I like it.

But, going back to when I was 15, not in a million fucking years would I imagine that I would have done all the traveling that I have done in the following decade and more.

Where, as of this writing, I’ve been to at least 30 countries in my life so far.

Spent 6 years of life living abroad.

Yeah, my life is pretty fucking different nowadays than what it was before I turned 18.

When I think about it, it still blows my mind how different my life has become.

In ways that you can’t imagine – many of them extremely personal.

Anyway, I imagine, on one hand, that a continued life down here will only cement my future here.

For the reasons above that you simply get accustomed to it.

More so with each year passing.

So you simply never go back.

On the other hand, I hesitate to say that “I will never go back home EVEEEEEEEER!”

I don’t fucking know.

I know I don’t have a single bone in my body to go back right now or in the foreseeable future.

But I also know that 15 year old me would never have imagined what my life would be like today or what would happen over the next decade and more.

So I can’t tell you what my life will be like when I’m 40.

Or 50.

So that’s what I mean by “different life stage.”

Maybe when I get older, I’ll simply have a different life stage that motivates me heavily to go back.

What could such a stage look like?

Well, here’s an idea…

Reason 2: Having Children

Now, as of this writing, I have absolutely no bone in my body to ever have children.

Being honest, I just don’t have any desire to be a father with all the responsibilities of such.

The only time I feel differently is when I’m balls deep inside some random hookup chick from Tinder…

And there is that moment where you are thrusting your 34 inch dick inside her and you are thrusting faster and faster….

You think to yourself “fucking slut, I’m going to breed YOUUUUUU!"

And you thrust faster and faster.

To the moment where you have the biological desire to nut inside her.

But then a voice screams in your head “CHILD SUPPORT MOTHERFUCKER!”

Then you get scared and you immediately pull out.

Surprisingly, the fear of 18 years of payments doesn’t make my 21 inch dick go limp.

But I have lots of testosterone so I never go limp.

Ever.

Anyway…..

It’s a thought.

What would I do if I ever got a chick pregnant?

If I fell in love and wanted to marry someone to have a family with down here?

I don’t know for myself personally.

But I know of a few guys like that.

For example, there’s a guy known as Colin from a great website called Expat Chronicles that you can read here.

Where, in that article, he explains how, in part, having children was a motivation to go back to the US.

Among other reasons from what I remember in other blog posts that had to do with things like business for example.

Here’s a quote from that article that I really like:

“By the time I made it to three years, I noticed another feature of gringos throwing in the towel on Latin America: children. And that’s what got me, the need for education and a big house in a nice part of town. The adults told you all your life that having children changes everything. And I’ll tell you now, they were right. They were right all along.”

First, I like this article a bit because it shows the mindset and motivations of another American who has lived in Latin America for a longer period of time than I have.

Who is at a different life stage with children to take care.

It is interesting to get that type of perspective. 

But also another thing I like that about that quote is the last sentence – “they were right all along.”

That is, funny enough, an observation I’ve had already regarding some of the concerns my parents have about my time down here right now.

Where they have been concerned about my safety down here given the reputation Mexico and Latin America more broadly has of being a very dangerous place.

It’s easy to brush off those concerns and go “ah well, I’ll be alright. I’m young and invincible. Nothing will happen to me!”

Then, as you get older, you do contemplate that aspect of life – having children someday.

And you realize, similarly enough, that “they were right all along.”

All of a sudden, I get it more and more.

If you were to ask me this question – “Matt, would you feel comfortable raising your future children in Mexico?”

No. I wouldn’t.

Simply put, I wouldn’t want to put at risk the life of my own future children if I were to ever have them.

Even though, yes, plenty of parents raise children just fine in this country without any problems whatsoever!

I’m not interested.

To me, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that even though I feel perfectly comfortable with my own safety.

As I wrote here anyway on this same subject, the only countries where I would honestly feel fine enough raising children in are Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

Simply because, from what I have seen, those countries look nice enough and not too dangerous.

Even though you do have other countries, like Paragauy, that are safe also.

But, being honest, I don’t want to live in Paraguay as I wrote here.

It’s too poor for me, too much like Iowa and I’m simply not interested in that country.

If I wanted one of the poorer Latin countries to live in that doesn’t tax worldwide income, I’d pick Nicaragua.

It’s closer to home and has more volcanoes for me to hike.

Plus, Nicaraguan music is probably better than Paraguayan music or something (who knows).

Anyway….

It’s true though also that this is all Ivory League talk. 

“If you could pick a Latin country to raise children in, which would it be?”

Like you have the choice from the get-go?

Granted, in theory, you do to a degree.

You can, in theory, pick a country to move to and then keep an open mind to finding someone to raise a family with.

And, being honest, Chile is a country I have a deeper interest that has nothing to do with how safe it is for raising children.

Because, as I said, I don’t have a bone in my body right now to raise children.

And not sure if I ever will.

But Chile does have many other nice things about it that I really like.

Regardless, like I tried to imply there, life just happens sometimes.

For example, I know another guy who is like me actually.

Has lived in Mexico as long as I have roughly.

Is roughly my age also.

From the US.

And, in his case, it’s quite funny or ironic actually.

He used to talk about how he “doesn’t think it's a good idea to have mixed race children because they will have identity issues."

Making him think that, as he gets closer to 30, it'd be better to go back home to find a chick to raise a family with up in the US.

That was just his opinion anyway.

Which is even more ironic given a large part of his motivation to live in Mexico has been to basically have sex with any woman that moves.

Anyway, as I said, he has been getting closer to 30 and was thinking of moving back home.

Back to West Virginia, buy some property for a self-sustainable farm and have kids with a good ol’ American gal!

Then life hit him.

He fell in love.

And the girl he is in love with is a Mexican chick who is not necessarily the whitest chick in the country…

But he has overcome his previous belief about having a mixed race kid it seems…

And, all of a sudden, he is thinking of a long term future in Mexico.

Though, to be fair, he is still in the “I’m not sure where we’ll raise any future kids.”

But he is talking about kids!

I think he’s in the honeymoon phase to be honest.

About a month or two after being with her, he was already telling me about how “he sees himself marrying her in a year and having kids.”

Well shit – love strikes hard.

So, as I said, you don’t really “plan out” necessarily in perfect fashion where or with who you’ll have kids with.

And maybe he will one day have kids with her….

With the future of his children on the line….

He might conclude that “it’s better to raise them back home in the US.”

Who knows.

Not everyone takes their children back to the US.

Others do.

I just know that, for me personally, I’d have strong reservations about raising kids in Mexico.

Until the cartel situation isn’t crazy where these groups can’t just fuck up an entire part of Mexico over night in a competition to control drug routes into the US….

It’s going to be a hard no from me.

Either way, this is one reason I could imagine that could send me back to the US.

Being if I ever to ever have children in a country that I deem undesirable for raising a family in.

Some countries down here look to me, on the surface, to be decent places for that….

And others make me understand a little bit easier the concern my parents had regarding my safety being down here all these years.

Anyway, are there other reasons for why I’d go back?

Reason 3: All the Good Options Gone

 In the 20th century, you had various Latin countries basically just implode from the inside at various moments.

For example, all the shit Chile went under during the chaos under Salvador Allende and then the following Pinochet dictatorship.

To the civil wars in certain countries like Nicaragua for example.

Civil wars, dictatorships…

What isn’t there to love?

Now, as the world is changing….

You can read this article here about how China is trying to grow its influence in Latin America.

I remember in college how I had to read about China trying to grow a “Nicaragua Canal” to compete with the Panama Canal basically…

Which brings up an interesting thought…

What if we see a similar repeat of what happened in Latin America during the 20th century?

With a new Cold War that involves the US and China basically funding different regimes or revolutionary groups here and there…

Causing certain countries to basically implode.

We already have Venezuela.

That’s imploded for various reasons.

Even though it used to be one of the richer countries in Latin America.

So it’s a thought experiment….

Will there ever be a time where all the nicer countries implode down here?

Where they all get hit around the same time with economic collapse, dictatorships, civil wars, etc?

And would that make me go back home finally?

Well, the first issue probably.

In my life time, I’m sure some of the countries down here will probably get fucked up  heavily.

First off, climate change will probably do that for a few countries.

With hurricanes getting more intense and more frequent….

Places like Puerto Rico, the DR, Cuba, and some countries in Central America like Nicaragua are bound to get more heavily fucked up.

As we’ve already seen examples of in recent years.

And political and economic crises?

Sure.

Could happen.

I know that there is an election coming up in Peru!

I’m not at all familiar with the politics of that country though.

But I know a guy who lives in Peru who has sent me messages on Telegram warning how “Peru is going to be the next Venezuela!!!”

I’m not saying it will be but that’s often a repeated talking point you hear in Latin America these days….

Where anytime you have an aspiring presidential candidate who happens to be on the left running for office with a chance to win….

It always seems to me like everyone and their grandma is worried that “this candidate will turn us into the second Venezuela!!”

As I wrote here, we had a huge protest in Mexico City on my last birthday where the protesters had that exact concern about Mexican President AMLO.

Well, as of right now, it doesn’t feel like I’m in Venezuela.

Especially when I compare my life here to what I saw in Maracaibo as you can read here.

Anyway, it’s definitely possible for so many of my favorite countries down here to implode around the same time.

Mexico, Colombia, Chile, etc…

But would it make me go back home if that happened?

Well….

The global fear of the Coronavirus didn’t.

The cartels trying to kill the police chief of Mexico City didn’t.

And, being honest, I can be a little bit crazy at times.

If a civil war were to break out in Mexico…

It’s tough to say what I’d do.

Well, no bullshit, I probably would go to another country if I was thinking logically.

On the other hand, there is a part of me that likes crazy.

I love experiences.

If I could get a front row seat to the next Mexican Revolution of our century….

With our own version of Porfirio Diaz and Emiliano Zapata….

Well fuck me with a pogo stick.

You know, I might just fucking stay.

Because that is an experience of a century.

Literally.

If I survived, I could tell my grandchildren that I lived through a civil war…

Imagine all the insane blog posts I could put on here about it?

Fuck the blog posts – I could even write a book about it.

And it’d make me at least 10 bucks on Amazon….

Those 10 dollars could absolutely cover a month’s worth of black tea also!

And I fucking love black tea.

I could see it now….

Writing the 21st century of “Los de Abajo.”

Which was a great book on the first Mexican Revolution in the last century.

Except my book would obviously be better.

Just sayin…

On the other hand, if my sister wouldn’t talk with me for 10 months because I refused to go back home due to the Coronavirus scare…

I can’t fucking imagine the anger coming from her if I chose to live through a revolution/civil war in Mexico.

If I had to guess, that’ll probably be a 11 month stay in purgatory with her….

At least 11 months.

Maybe 12.

Either way, I could definitely see most of Latin America imploding as a reason to go back home.

Especially as there are some countries down here that I couldn’t see myself living in long term if they were my only options left if the rest of Latin America crumbled…

What are those countries?

On top of my head, I’d say Uruguay, Paraguay, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Now, I know Puerto Rico isn’t technically a country….

Which is why I scratched it off.

Why live in Puerto Rico when it’s a territory of the US?

Makes it seem less interesting.

So screw Puerto Rico.

And, by that logic, I guess all of Latin America wouldn't work if the whole region became an official territory of the US,

Then you have Venezuela for obvious reasons of safety and all.

Cuba being I’m American and it would be hard to live there.

Uruguay and Paraguay because I might as well live in Iowa at that point.

Guatemala because, as I wrote here, I never liked Guatemala.

People try scamming you there way too much in my experience and it’s fucking annoying.

Plus, it’s boring and not interesting to me.

Hondruas and El Salvador? Nothing against those countries but they never seemed interesting to me.

So if those were literally the last remaining Latin countries I could move to that weren’t destroyed by internal chaos…

Well….

Fuck, I might go back to the US then.

OK, you got me!

Are you happy now?!

Guatemala or the US?

The US any fucking day of the week.

Reason 4: An Insane Job Opportunity

While a 50,000 a year job isn’t very convincing to me right now…

Especially as there wouldn’t be any guarantee I’d get it…

But, to be fair, my sister had pretty sound logic when she gave her annual pitch this year about why I should go back.

She was smarter about how to convince me.

But 50,000 doesn’t sound very appetizing to me.

If, any one of you reading this, wants to throw at me a job paying 6 figures…

Let’s say 200,000 a year.

I’ll move back.

Though, being honest, I don’t know if I’d last forever away from Latin America while doing such a position.

But for 200,000 a year?

I could save a lot more money at a much quicker pace with that income.

Given how frugal I naturally am, I could maybe see myself pocketing a 100,000 a year after tax and annual expenses with that?

Granted, I have no idea how bad taxes in the US would fuck me up the ass with Uncle Sam’s 73 inch dick.

I’ve heard some folks pay taxes north of 50% when you factor in local and state tax also.

So I have no idea.

But if someone were to offer me a job that gave me, in theory, 100,000 in savings per year after tax and annual expenses…

I’d definitely take up on that.

At least for 5 years so I can have half a million dollars.

Would I do it for any longer?

Well, this is like the section under “children” where Matt the Ivory Tower guy is talking out of his ass again….

Easy to say I would give it up after 5 years.

I know that, for some folks, you simply get sucked into the job you have.

Get accustomed to it like you get accustomed to life in Latin America as a “expat.”

And then never leave.

Perhaps, if I did take on such a job, I’d fall in love like that guy I mentioned and just settle down.

Then the wife gets bitchy and goes “MAKE MORE MONEY, FUCKER!!”

And I weep “I’m sorry!” while she kicks me out of the house to sleep in the car until I bring home 300,000 a year and not 200,000….

Anything is possible!

But, in all seriousness, I’d like to imagine that I’d take on such a job for a short period of time.

Make that 500,000 and then bail back to Latin America.

I could have a pretty dope life in Latin America on 500,000 in savings….

What would I do with such money?

Hookers and Cocaine Lottery Guy

Reason 5: Retirement in the North

This is perhaps similar to Reason 1….

But I figured I’d make it a separate reason to clarify on this type of thing specifically…

Which is that I could see a future in which I’m 80 or whatever with some wife…

And we decide to move to the US in retirement.

Could happen.

Would be very similar to that uncle and aunt I mentioned that spent decades living in the Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia….

And traveling to a whole host of other countries like Guatemala for example…

Before ultimately retiring in Iowa basically in their final days before they both died.

And, to be fair, the US does seem like a nicer place to live in if you are very old and want a more comfortable life.

Though, on the other hand, if I were to ever raise children in Latin America…

Well, I got to fit in with the locals right?

I ain’t going to no fuckin retirement home….

Over the years living down here, I’ve seen some locals in countries like Bolivia bring their parents in to live with them in their final days…

Which, actually, now that I think about it, seems like a good motivation to have a bunch of kids.

Find a nice Nicaraguan woman…

Get her pregnant 20 times…

With 20 children (or 40 if they are all twins), I’m sure at least one of them can take care of us in our older age.

Which does save money on retirement homes!

Those institutions can eat up a lot of your savings!

Well, I guess I better move to Nicaragua now!

Even though, from what I’ve seen, I suspect that maybe it’ll be more common for folks to go into retirement homes in the decades to come down here.

Maybe – things change, you know?

But I have no idea.

In all seriousness, I could see it happening…

That older age in your final years being a motivation to move back.

By then, now that I think about it, I actually do hope I’d have a nice Chilean gal to keep me company.

Someone who I can play Grand Theft Auto with in our final days.

That’d be pretty dope.

Any Other Reasons?

If I ever was to leave Latin America, I guess a question that comes up would be….

Would I ever go to another region like Europe or Asia?

Honestly, I can’t see it happening.

Nothing personal against those regions but I have nothing that motivates me to want to live in either area.

Though I do know Europe a tiny bit – If I had to live there, I’d go with maybe Portugal or Greece.

Probably Portugal.

Or Spain maybe – wouldn’t have to learn a new language at least.

Hmmmm……tapas in Barcelona….

Anyway, this article is already pretty long.

And I figured I covered the most obvious reasons that I’ve always considered that would drive me back home.

At least what comes to mind regarding what would be most persuasive to me personally.

But I don’t know….

Anything I missed?

Is there anything you guys can think of as a good reason to move back?

To be fair, I guess one doesn’t really need a good reason though do they?

As I wrote here, it’s perfectly fine for someone to move back for any reason.

Life down here can be just a chapter in your life that you are ready to turn the page on.

Or be the final chapter.

Whatever works best for you.

As for me, I’m not opposed to it.

I definitely see life changes that could bring me back in the future.

Though, as I said, I don’t have a bone in my body to move back right now or for the foreseeable future.

But anything is possible!

In the same way that 15 year old me did not have any idea whatsoever that this would be my life right now.

Life changes.

Go with the flow.

Queens of the Stone Age -- Go With the Flow

Make the best of it.

Leave any comments below.

Much appreciated.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading and for your time.

Best regards,

Matt

4 comments

Dazza - May 18, 2021 Reply

I don’t have family members like that, my parents are very happy I am in Asia and I have a job and a career – they saw me on the dole at the bottom of the social heap when I was in my twenties so now – my life is a massive upgrade to what it was and what they expected from me as I headed towards the middle age.

The reason you aren’t going back to Iowa is because a) it’s boring and b) you’ve gone too ‘native’ to go back to Iowa and live there without frustrations – most people I know who expat spend two years or less and then go back and that’s fine but you have been gone too long to just wrap it up and embrace the corporate 9-5.

The next time sis rings up, put the question back on her – I am happy out here in Mexico, give me five good reasons why being back in Iowa (or anywhere in The States) would make me happier than I am now? She might come up with two or three reasons but five will be a stretch.

I will never go back home to live, it’s boring and full of wankers and it always rains – fuck that! Every day is interesting here, even when nothing happens. If I married a Chinese girl and had kids (it might happen…) then I would go to Peru and put them in a Chinese school in Lima where they won’t be the only mixed race, Chinese kid in their class. I want a life of nice weather, good food, nice looking women, interesting sights and interesting times – a lot of people just don’t have the guts to go for it even though that is what they want.

There is a great blog by American expat and octogenarian Larry Pitman about his life in Lima in retirement after living his working life in The States… here is a copy and paste of the part that resonated with me…

“However, it is a good description of life in Lima. Certainly in the fifteen years that I have lived here, I have experienced Lima as a caldron bubbling with change. When I look back at my life in California, where I thought that we experienced many changes, I now realize that our lives were dull, weighed down with a predictable routine. Most of the time, it was the same thing over and over. How boring.

On the other hand, I find living in Lima it to be a roller coaster experience. There is a surprise around every corner. It could be good or it could be bad.

I think it has something to do with the pace of the city. I see it accelerating. For example, try getting onto the Metropolitano (Lima’s mass transit system) at rush hour.

It also has to do with the demands of living with an extended family— someone is always sick, having a baby, getting married, or dying. With more people, there are more life events.

Dealing with a government bureaucracy that is always throwing curves at you also adds to the spice of life. Just when you think that everything is going ok, wham another change.

So I don’t know if all this makes you look younger, but if you want to ride on this roller coaster it certainly makes your spirit younger. ”

https://lightermoments.org/2021/05/05/looking-youngerliving-younger/

Some people crave the dull routine of life, you obviously don’t – nor do I, nor does Larry – sooner or later you break out of that crap and go and look for something that makes it worthwhile to get up in the morning and live your life. You’re living your life and one day you will get a handle on it all but there is nothing in the scenario that your sister is setting (health care job, Iowa, security etc) that is going to make you happier than you are now (I might be wrong, forgive me if I am).

    Matt - May 18, 2021 Reply

    Thanks for the comment and also citing that article. Never heard of that guy before but I’ll definitely check out his website. I always appreciate reading from other folks who live in Latin America.

    Anyway, let’s break this down in response.

    “I don’t have family members like that, my parents are very happy I am in Asia”

    I’d say my family has been for the most part supportive. However, they definitely have deep reservations about me living down here. Definitely “happy” is not the right word I would use in my case. But I understand their concern. As my sister once told me, she thinks Mexico is “just a bunch of beaches and shitty slums.” Well, you know, if you think life down here is nothing but hell, I get why you’d be concerned if someone you knew lives down here.

    And that’s where the issue lies. You could argue they miss me (and they do to a degree) but they have absolutely no problem if I lived anywhere far away from them as long as it was in the US. At times, they try to convince me to move to Texas because it has Latinos and so they think I’ll see it as “Latin America enough.” Either way, the issue is more Latin America itself and the perception of it than anything as to why there is concern about my presence here. I understand where they are coming from. As I said, I’d have concerns also about raising kids in Mexico specifically (though other parts of Latin America would be fine to me).

    “The reason you aren’t going back to Iowa is because ….”

    That’s largely true. Though the boringness isn’t much of an issue for me. I can get bored here at times also. Though, to be fair, Iowa is much more boring. It can be boring to me to live in Mexico City because, at times, I choose that for myself. Whenever I feel like crawling out of my cave to enjoy life again, I can much more easily enjoy life here than in Iowa because there is so much more to do.

    The second reason you provided is much more in tune with why I stay. Actually, that could be a good article topic so let me write that down…..

    Granted, I might have written about that already but I’m not sure. I’m starting to forget what article topics I’ve already covered now that I’m past article 332.

    Anyway, it’s largely true though and definitely one of the main reasons why I live here still. The longer you stay here, the more accustomed to life you become.

    Not sure I’d say I have gone “native” but I’m not sure what you mean by that exactly. Could be true. What did you mean though?

    But yeah, that is largely true. The longer you are here, the more you are used to life here. Plus, keep in mind my circumstances — I moved here at a very young age. I never rented an apartment in the US, only had a vehicle for a few years, never had my own insurance on anything, never had a real job, nothing. It’d take some time to adjust to how things are done up there.

    Like when I talk with my sister and she tells me how much more formal it is to get an apartment for example.

    On top of that, sometimes I watch videos that are shot in the US and the formality of everything up there is something I know I’d hate a shit ton. I saw some video of some kid getting taken to the side walk and given a ticket by the police for riding his bike into the middle of the street. I can’t fucking imagine being charged a ticket for that.

    I much prefer the informality of Latin America — despite how sometimes it can turn against you and be annoying in certain circumstances.

    Another thing that keeps me here is also how much nicer my life is being self-employed. I could be self-employed now living in the US with the income I make but it isn’t much of anything in the US. The quality of my life is much nicer down here for various reasons, including such as having more time to myself to cope with the past, go to bed when I want, have more in savings, not have to work very hard and not for anyone else, etc.

    Plus, as I said, I like the rhythm to life here more now. I also got all of my friends down here as almost everyone I know in the states has moved on. And other things.

    But what you said is on point definitely.

    “The next time sis rings up, put the question back on her”

    I’ve thought of doing this but in a different way. Instead of her calling me up for the annual, I’ve thought of calling her up and see how she likes it to have someone give you an hour long speech every year about why she needs to leave Iowa and move to Mexico. Sometimes I’m a bit of a smart ass.

    I won’t do it though. I get she is coming from a nice place.

    “then I would go to Peru and put them in a Chinese school in Lima where they won’t be the only mixed race”

    I’d do the same if I had a kid down here — meaning put them into a school where they won’t be the only mixed race kid or one of the few kids who is white looking that could be bullied for his skin color. I’ve read online of white Mexicans posting their experiences of being a “whitemexican” growing up in a public school system. I don’t know truly what the experience is like but what I’ve read would make me want to put them in a nicer school.

    Plus, you hear the public schools aren’t worth much in education value anyway. Not sure too much about that but that is what I heard.

    “I want a life of nice weather, good food, nice looking women, interesting sights and interesting times”

    Same. I’m pretty simple in what I want out of life. I don’t look for much because I don’t need too much to be happy with what I got.

    Nice quote by the way. As I said, I’ll check out his blog. And I agree with him that every day down here can be exciting if you make it so. Granted, not every day down here has been very exciting for me but that’s often because of my own decisions. Regardless, I agree with him that it is easier to have an exciting life abroad — especially when you are retired or self-employed.

    “Some people crave the dull routine of life, you obviously don’t – nor do I, nor does Larry”

    Wrote a response to that here.

    Thanks for giving me a few new article ideas.

    “You’re living your life and one day you will get a handle on it all but there is nothing in the scenario that your sister is setting (health care job, Iowa, security etc) that is going to make you happier than you are now (I might be wrong, forgive me if I am).”

    I agree. That’s another article topic also I suppose.

    Every so often, I get the thought to myself “am I crazy for living down here? Would I be happier back north?” I’ve had this thought every 9 months or so since I’ve lived down here. Hard not to when everyone questions you.

    Then I give it a few minutes to think it out — and I conclude without any doubt that I’d be much happier down here and that life up north would only make things worse for me. That my life wouldn’t be any better but arguably worse by some measures.

    Thanks again for the comment.

Dazza - May 18, 2021 Reply

‘Going Native’ was a British Army term of the times of the Raj (and colonial occupation of India) where soldiers would be stationed out there for five years or more – sometimes their whole career could be spent in India and it would be there they would learn to speak the language (of the place they were in…) get accustomed to the heat, the food and of course they meet women and one they they’re standing on guard in the midday sun and they go ‘fuck this’ and go off to live with their girlfriend/wife in her hometown or wherever and his friends would say of their deserted mate ‘Old Smithers has gone native!’ back then this was a negative thing and it was something decent upstanding, white, British men would never ever do – only a bounder of the worst kind or a peasant of the lower orders would do such a thing but of course, in this day and age of a globalised world – going native is wonderful! This is how we can survive in foreign climes.

I think the problem is that your family aren’t recognising your decisions made from an adult standpoint ie: You have dissected the pros and cons and have made an informed choice (and on the ground too…) and they’re wondering why.

And even though your sister is offering you secure options and safe options, they’re not necessarily going to make you happy and that’s the problem – is going home to Iowa and being an interpreter in a hospital a safe and secure option? Probably – for now! (Because who knows how long some MAGA type will want to use taxpayers money to fund Spanish speaking interpreters when they can learn English – then you will be out of a job…) but it comes with it’s own stresses, a little badge with your photo and a barcode that you have to scan if you want to get through the doors, some asshole boss who hates you, overtime, flexitime, two weeks vacation a year, a mortgage – or rent – whatever you pick when you’re freezing your ass off in winter scraping ice off the windows of your car – that would drive me to drink and I don’t drink!

There are two ways you can deal with this, the first one is ask your parents and your sister to go down there, show them the nice bits, show them the things that make life there nice, take them to nice restaurants and to that square with the big fucking flag, take them to a bullfight, to a soccer match, to a nice bar where they can have coffee and those Mexican cakes sat outside under a parasol – loads of things you can do where they will leave thinking ‘hey, it’s not bad… I wouldn’t mind coming again…’

Or

Ask them this question ‘if they won a billion pounds on the lottery, where would you move to and why?’ and if they say ‘well, I would stay in Iowa’ then any future conversation is redundant because they just can’t see why anyone wants to live outside of what they know and they’re never going to understand it either (which is most people…) there is a whole wide world out there and if one won so much money then they could live anywhere they want but choose to stay right where they are then I suppose you talking up your life in Mexico City is going to fall in deaf ears but at least they might realise you’re both on differing tracks regards this.

    Matt - May 18, 2021 Reply

    Thanks for the clarification on the term. I was thinking it meant something else but wasn’t sure.

    Yeah, as we’ve covered, I don’t really feel the need to work for some hospital back in Iowa. A large part of it really comes from the benefits I feel from being self-employed and living a higher quality of life relative to the income I make. I think she looks at it, in part, from how much money is rolling in and job security. Both important things but I value a bit more right now working from home at the very least and working for myself.

    Granted, remote jobs are becoming more common due to COVID so there’s always opportunity there if I ever feel the need to take on a “real job.” Assumingly anyway, that’s what I heard.

    How to deal with this?

    Honestly, I mostly just ignore it. As I said, it’s a once in a year phone call I get. It’s actually kinda surprising I still get these calls about 6 years into my time down here. And they don’t annoy me much at all but I have wondered if I’m still going to get the Annual Call 30 years into living here. Obviously not. Well, hopefully not. Fingers crossed. But mostly I take the call being as respectful as I can (even though I’m sure they’d find it distasteful if I were to call any of them with an hour long selling pitch for Mexico) and take in whatever is said to me. Once the call is over, then I don’t have to worry about it for another year.

    You are right though about it being redundant. Well, if my mom could live anywhere, it’d be England. Well, maybe she’d visit England and not live there. I don’t know. But she really has a fascination with the place.

    But you are right though that it is redundant. In part for that reason. Which is fine. Nothing wrong with wanting to stay in Iowa. I actually like Iowa. I wouldn’t want to live there for reasons but it’s a nice place to visit. During any season that isn’t winter anyway.

    I believe though I wrote about this on another article somewhere — about how a lot of people back home, ever since I was a kid until now, have deep reservations about ever leaving the US at all. Not just reservations in terms of “I don’t have friends or family there” but reservations in terms of security. Here’s the thought process: Is Europe safe? No, has Islamic terrorists. Middle East? No, same issue. Latin America? A bunch of gangbangers. China? Communists live there. So on and so on. And legit there are people who think that way. I’ve met a handful like that. Again, I’m sure I wrote an article somewhere covering that same topic.

    At the end of the day, if you personally wouldn’t ever dare set foot in Mexico, knowing anyone who would live there might sound crazy. Being honest, I don’t think I’d ever get anyone in my family to ever visit me. Unless it was on Cancun. Or unless I had a major wedding down here. Then I might be able to pull that off.

    But it goes both ways.

    You could argue that any concerns thrown my way seem like they are falling on deaf ears also.

    The way I’ve always thought about this is that everyone has different values in life. When you are trying to talk with someone who has completely different values for what they want in life, it’s going to be hard to convince them of whatever when you come at it with your own values or mindset that isn’t shared by the other person. As you say, it’s “differing track.”

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