When I was in Peru some odd years ago, I was basically just traveling around the southern part of the country.
Visiting places like Cusco for example and all of the Inca stuff.
In doing so, I came across a few travelers in my very brief time there.
One of them happened to be this guy that I actually got into an argument with about if “white Latinos” exist.
As I wrote here, the guy took it offensively that I suggested that a “white Latino” could exist.
Like they’re some fucking unicorn or shit.
Couldn’t exist! No way!
As I said in that article I cited above…
I’d love for that guy to have a conversation with a white Latino from some place like Argentina.
Particularly because I’ve met some white Latinos in Latin America who have a stick up their ass about being identified as European and not Latino.
Could see it now…
“Hola my LatinX friend!”
“STFU Gringo! I’m not Latino! I’m European (because I had some random relative from 500 years ago arrive from Ukraine to Argentina)!
Anyway, before I somehow poked a hole in that guy’s perception of racial identity politics and what certain ethnicities can or cannot be…
Even though he wasn’t Latino himself either…
We were discussing other things also beforehand.
Mostly just basic chit chat about what we are both doing in Latin America.
This guy was, if I remember right, basically some backpacker type.
In recent months, I met another American named Alex who used to work in hostels..
And he told me that he’s seen plenty of other Americans and foreigners in general working long hours in front of their laptops for little pay to stay down here.
That’s what this guy was seemingly doing in Peru!
Where he basically had a Fiverr account or some shit writing freelance articles and pulling in together a measly sum of money for 40 to 50 hours a week.
Or however much he worked anyhow.
But why was he working so hard to make such little money in Peru?
“I can’t go back!” he would say.
“I find the people of Peru to be so nice, the food so amazing, the best weather ever!”
Now, being honest, when I hear a foreigner give those reasons for why he is here…
I can’t help but imagine he is blowing smoke up my ass covering up less PC reasons for his time here..
Like exploiting the low cost of living to chasing pussy.
In my experience, you have some foreigners like that who will give you the BS reasons but actually have reasons like low cost of living or dating as being the primary motivation.
Which, to be fair, I can’t judge.
Cheap rent and easier pussy?
What’s not to love?
Still, in my brief conversations with the guy, it appeared to me that he felt some “responsibility” to prove to others that he isn’t a failure!
Especially as he’d go on and on about how “everyone back home thinks I’m CRAZY for moving down here!”
Which, to be fair, I’ve complained about that perception from back home also.
But the point I’m trying to land here is that, in some way, I felt that this guy felt a “reresponsibility” to prove those folks back home wrong.
That he isn’t going back home with his tail between his legs!
And, to be fair, I’ve been there.
Struggling for Money
So I’ll keep it brief here.
Basically, in my first year in Mexico City, I was having a fucking blast.
And just partying all the time.
Then the money ran out by the end of the first year.
And I had to work.
With no experience working online, I just did whatever the fuck I could do to make it work.
Moving to a lower cost of living area in Mexico City where my total cost of living was as low as 300 bucks at one point..
With as much as maybe 100 bucks in the bank account.
Struggling to find a way to put money on the table.
Sitting in front of a laptop for hours a day figuring out how the fuck to put money in my US bank account.
In the end, I made it work.
Looking back on it, I think I did alright.
Though there is a part of me that looks back at that and thinks “that was fucking stupid.”
Because I could’ve gone back to the US and earn USD to refill my bank account…
While, on the side, trying to figure out how online income works.
Then go back for Round 2 a year later.
As I wrote in this article here, sometimes gringos do that where they take “little trips” back home to earn USD so they can live in Latin America again.
Or sometimes they just miss home and want to be with family for a tiny bit.
But I remember anyhow back in those days…
There was that same feeling in my head about how….
“I shouldn’t go back. Not going back with my tail between my legs. I’ll make this work!”
Which, again, that is stupid since it’s just an ego thing.
At any rate, the type of gringos that I have noticed who take on this mindset are usually one of the following…
Who Has the Mentality
This might not cover everyone who thinks like this…
And, truthfully, I’d bet most foreigners have this thought or concern at one point while down here.
Hard not to also when you might have folks back home questioning your decision.
Or have days down here that make you frustrated.
Anyway, who have I noticed having this type of mentality?
First, you have the “new gringos” who’ve only been here for a year or less maybe.
Maybe less than 2 years or so.
More or less.
Basically, the more time you spend here, the less likely you’ll have this mentality I feel.
I haven’t had this thought for a few years now.
Second, you have those who are financially struggling and too proudful to go back home for a year to stack up cash the normal way before going back to Latin America afterwards.
I feel this group mixes in well with the first group…
In that if you are new here, it’s more likely you might not yet have your shit together financially yet.
Third, I feel some gringos lie to themselves about how much they like living down here.
Those who become jaded with life here and can never say one positive thing about Latin America.
But they can’t go back because that would be admitting like they made a mistake or were wrong about how a move to Latin America was a bad decision on their part.
So an ego thing.
Any other groups of people you notice with this mindset? Drop what you’ve seen below in the comment section.
At any rate….
Look, I’ve said this before.
You’re not a loser if you repat to the US.
Honestly, nobody gives a fuck if you do.
Nobody is judging you.
Maybe your family members and friends will feel superior for an hour about how “they were right all along” in that a life back home is better.
But they probably won’t rub it in your face—not much…
Maybe for 15 minutes.
But it’s perfectly OK if you are tired of living in Latin America.
Or if, for whatever reason, you need to go back to your home country temporarily to make USD.
That’s cool too.
Just be smarter about how to be self-sustainable financially if you ever come back to Latin America.
Like I said, I think in part it would’ve been smarter had I left Latin America during my time by Cuatro Caminos to go earn USD back home while figuring out the online income thing.
Granted, it worked itself out regardless and I kicked my ass into high gear to figure it out.
And, arguably, some might say that the ass kicking was a valuable learning experience that made me more resilient and capable to carving out a solid life here.
I could see that.
And, as I said, I don’t feel any insecurity about “not making it work down here” and “having to go home with my tail between my legs.”
Especially because I feel like I’ve proven already that I can make it as I have 6 years in Latin America so far with 4 of those involving full time living in Mexico.
So I don’t feel that need to “prove” people wrong by making it work here.
I proved it.
And also, after a while, the honeymoon phase of being in Latin America fades away and you don’t feel so hellbent on proving to others that it was the right decision to move down here.
I feel being in that honeymoon phase can be weird when you are mixing it in with self-doubt during financial difficulty when you are at risk of “going home with your tail between your legs.”
As you want to prove it wasn’t a bad decision.
But now with that honeymoon phase well past me..
It’s like – who gives a shit?
If I was to spend time back in the US for like a year, that’s cool too.
I don’t feel insecure about it being a “tail between the legs” thing.
Especially as I know I can go back whenever I want.
And, for now and the foreseeable future, I don’t have any desire to go back.
I just don’t have that thought in my head of “trying to make it work” to prove I won’t have the “tail between the legs.”
Either way, that’s enough about me.
I’d just caution anyone who is experiencing this aspect of living abroad to not be as silly as I was some years ago when it comes to this thought process.
If you have to go back for whatever reason, that’s cool!
Latin America will still be here for you to enjoy whenever you are able to come back.
Learn why it didn’t work out the first time.
Don’t think you are a loser for not making it work down here.
Enjoy life back home if you need to.
Don’t feel bad about it.
And come back whenever you are ready!
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
Drop any comments you have below in the comment section.
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Thanks for reading.