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The BBC have an excellent article about an expat experience in Thailand…

To the holidaymakers visiting Frances Khetrat’s bar on a picturesque Thai beach, it must seem as if she has the perfect life

I often think how lucky I am, when I remember all the people stuck on the tube while I’m surrounded by crystal-clear water and beautiful scenery,” she says.

But Frances readily admits that her life is not as idyllic as people might imagine

[BBC News]

There is a harsh reality that many people fail to take into account when thinking somewhere is idyllic, and the is simply the aspect of what is it really like to live there. Take, for example, living in Prague. I am living here with my family, I am working on a Czech contract on a Czech salary – which is above average but still a local salary. When British, German or American tourists come here they think wow, its so cheap. This is simply because the respective currencies are stronger so, on the whole, the money goes further. They are also taking in the tourist experience and have the “I am on holiday, away from home” feeling, it will naturally be fabulous where ever you go.

But living here is very different than being on holiday here. Simple beurocracy (there is no simple version of it, but there are basic procedures who need to go through at first) can be a headache. Registering with the alien Police can find you sitting for hours and hours, and if you are lucky you will see someone to register your details with, who is likely to only speak Czech. I say if you are lucky you will see someone, the office closes at 15:00 and no one cares if you have been sitting there for hours, waiting, you have to come back another day.

Whilst living in another country can be a fabulous experience, it is totally removed from the tourist experience, and this is something many people fail to take into account.

Categories: Journal, Travel
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