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“They treat me better than Bono here…”

November 14, 2011
Manila, Philippines

[Editor’s note: Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon Black today.]

In the back of a chauffeured SUV limo, my friend Phil recently told me, “What I love about coming to the Philippines is that I feel like a rock star… not like at home where I’m a short, balding nobody. They treat me better than Bono here.”

When the limo arrived to Manila’s Intercontinental Hotel, the doors were whisked open, and a platoon of smiling attendants took care of every detail– the kids, the bags, the strollers, welcome drinks, hot towels, etc. The whole experience, including the royal suite, ran a whopping $150/night.

Another friend of mine was feeling a bit down about his lack of female companionship at home in North America.  So, summoning up his courage, he sent a profile to an Asian dating site, no doubt thinking, “What would anyone want with an old has-been like me..?”

Within a week he’d received private correspondence from 48 different eligible ladies ranging from a gorgeous university student to a sophisticated woman with a Masters degree in engineering.

[Lest we receive droves of hate mail, my female friends who have tried this approach had an even higher response rate. After all, there is a major shortage of women in many countries throughout the world.]

I relate these stories to make a point.  If your life at home sometimes feels dull and unexciting, it doesn’t have to be that way.  As Simon writes, when you expand your options to include the entire world, opportunities really open up.

If you want to go to school and can’t afford the ridiculous tuition, look at universities overseas. (You can go to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology where Einstein attended for just $750 per semester. )

If you’re an entrepreneurial and having problems due to the dismal economic conditions at home, look overseas to stronger economies. In fact, in this month’s Sovereign Man: Confidential, Simon is profiling some specific business ideas he came across in the world’s fastest growing economy.

If you’re an unemployed worker and can’t find a job, you’ll have brighter prospects overseas no matter what your skill set. Places like Singapore, Qatar, Bermuda, Hong Kong all have thriving job markets for people ranging from cocktail waitresses to molecular biologists.

And if nothing else, your speaking English is a skill that over 1 billion people on the planet would like to have.

I have another friend who dreamed of being a drummer in England.  He’s talented but never got the right break and used to work odd jobs to barely make ends meet.

He hated it, and about 15 years ago he finally took a leap.  He studied for a diploma in teaching English as a second language and got a job in South Korea.

To this day, he’s still there. He plays the drums in one of the popular expat bands in town and is appreciated in a way he never was back home. He’s not making huge money.  But he’s content.

Naturally, his friends and family undermined the decision at first. When he rang them up to announce that he was moving to Korea, they all said he was nuts. And that’s how society works– people want people to stay average.

When we start to deviate from ‘normal,’ our friends and family tell us that we’re nuts and try to pull us back into the fold. Don’t listen to them.

There is nothing to lose by acting and thinking exceptionally. What’s the worst that can happen– you go back to what you were doing before?

Inertia is a powerful force.  If you’re not happy with what’s happening around you, I urge you to expand your options and think bigger. Think globally. The cost is negligible, the benefits are enormous, and the incredible experience is forever.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

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About the author: Born to a Danish father and British mother, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Tim Staermose has led an international life since the day he was born. Growing up, he also lived in Egypt, Denmark, and Singapore, before eventually settling in Australia, where he completed his education and took out citizenship. Since then he has also lived and worked in Hong Kong, and Manila, Philippines, in the field of equity research — both for a bulge-bracket Wall Street investment bank, and for an independent investment research firm. Today, when not traveling the globe looking for investment and business opportunities for the Sovereign Man community and catching up with his diverse, multinational group of friends, he divides his time between Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dan

    The part about the family trying to pull you back into the fold is so true. Doesn’t matter if it’s my plans to break away and build my own company after graduation from university or my plans to travel the world with my lady. I’m feeling the resistance from my family and my girlfriends family very clearly. They want me to get a “normal” and “safe” job. They think my lady should stay where she is working in the local food store, because it’s “safe” and pays “decent”. “Why risk it?”. A very successful friend of mine said that to become successful you’re in many cases required to leave home and not come back until after you’ve become successful. Otherwise there will always be people to drag you down. I’m convinced he is right.

  • John Lloyd

    Its articles like this that give expats a bad name. Middle age men going to some South Asian hole in the ground in order to get laid and feel more important….How about being an expat to learn about other cultures, pick up a language or two, and become a more complete human being? Is that too noble and monastic a cause?

    • reina

      “How about being an expat to learn about other cultures, pick up a language or two, and become a more complete human being?” 

      well said !!! 

  • Teachrman

    Always good to hear about people diving in and becoming expats. I did it in 199 when I was 55 years old – never too late. Moved to Budapest to teach English as a Foreign Language and travel. Have done both extensively – Jordan last March was my 45th country visited! Still in Budapest, having a ball. Had six books published since I moved here. Other than not seeing my daughter often enough, there’s nothing I miss about the states. This is the best move I ever made. 

  • http://twitter.com/LaForestWine SoCalR

    Well written and inspiring. Thanks.

  • Bubbleburster

    Sorry to burst your bubble but they are called mail order brides and they are only interested in US citizenship, not a loving relationship with a short middle-age balding American man.

  • Ross

    I live in Bermuda andthe job market here is almost non-existant for foreigners, unles you can prove that you have special qualifications that no Bermudain has. The resession has hit Bermuda hard and there are a lot of people out of work. The expat community is quickly dwindling as more and more are going home. It is also very expensive to live here, even with a well paying job.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UYPMHYF2ED3M4HRVOMZRGNRNPI Margaret

    What are some of the countries that have a shortage of women? I know China and India are among them- any others?

  • mememine

    If the US dollar defaults, would the Canadian dollar suffer the very same fate?
    -my homework

  • http://twitter.com/GGArchive GG Archive

    That part of family holding you down, to keep you like them, “normal”, so hits it on the head.

    I’ve left long ago, and members of my family have dispersed as well, and I know a number of folks (extended family, friends, acquaintances) who are stuck in the old rut and don’t take kindly to my immediate family. For no official reason. But we know the “unofficial” reason.

  • Grenwesh

    “Within a week he’d received private correspondence from 48 different eligible ladies ranging from a gorgeous university student ”

    Or from prostitutes, scammers, even men pretending to be attractive women and with a sob story to get money for international phone calls, internet access, having photos taken, ticket to visit, etc.  Such scams are well known, except among the naive.

    “You can go to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology where Einstein attended for just $750 per semester. ”
    * (Disclaimer in microscopic type) as long as you are a Swiss resident, are admitted, and speak German. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jblair320 James Blair


  • Dboy

    Excellent post!

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