I came to the conclusion that one must know what tier they are in before considering a place to live.Ill explain...
Its not too different from your place of origin. You can read everything, you see things you recognize from home, you have western amenities at your fingertips and there are quite a few western places to eat.You can usually find clothes that fit your body even if you are not the same size as the people who call the country home.Its not difficult for you to stay in contact with people from home. Accommodations are quite comfortable and may even better than what you were living in back home. Healthcare may be very good or you may have to speak to other expats but you will find a doctor who can help you in most instances.You (usually) dont have to fear losing a limb over a minor incident.Transportation is not a major issue. You can drive or take public transport though both may take some time getting used to.There is little to no threat of conflict, you can communicate (more or less) with people you come in contact with on a regular basis and you may even get annoyed if no one in an establishment speaks English.This can also be referred to as being a pretend expat. This may be good for those who may want or need to ease into the process of living abroad.
A few steps down from the first tier. There is a lot less of everything mentioned above. You will see little to no English on a regular basis. Housing may be a lot less than you are used to,expats can be a bit more spread out.The comforts of home may be few and far between.And if they arent, you may not make enough money to purchase them. Clothes are probably not in your size but you can have them made and/or sent to you.You probably dont want to get sick here but if you needed minor health care you can get what you need though it may take several attempts to get someone to understand you. Transport can be an issue bc of language barriers and so can the most mundane activities that we dont even think of being in our home country.You would do well to learn the language if you plan on staying.Your housing will take some getting used to,especially the space you have-or dont have.You are definitely an expat and this may add to your level of home sickness.
Think bare minimum.Kiss all the things that make your life easy goodbye. In tier one, its close to or slightly higher for the item, in tier two you have to search for it and pay 2-3 times more for it.In this tier, you arent getting it. You will probably live like a local (and you may very well be cool with that).Forget about McD's or the comfort of breakfast food. In fact, you may be eating things that are either pets or rodents on a regular basis.Bring what you need in terms of medicine, clothing, and anything you may need to survive.Talking to people at home is not as simple as turning on your VPN or using a cell phone with international minutes.Forget receiving mail. Tier three is not for the faint of heart. I am definitely faint of heart,lol.
Anyway. This is just my take and I could completely be off the mark,lol.I just think we arent created equally when it comes to living abroad.You can sometimes tell when you hear people complaining about one thing or another. the more you learn, the more you realize that all places have some kind of issue. Some more than others.Sometimes you want to take those people,send them to a tier three location, and then see how much they complain when they come back. But this isnt a rant sooooo.
Where to next? That remains to be seen.Right now, I will continue to do what I do here.Its working well for me.