If you’re thinking of becoming an expat and are doing your homework online, you know that there are hundreds of websites out there filled with advice for you. There are forums, small blogs like this one, big blogs with any number of writers, and giant sites that cater to every popular destination.
The quality of advice is hard to gauge.
Take this site, for instance. I try not to dispense advice because my experience of the Philippines is different than many other expats’. For one thing, I’m nearly deaf. My experience of life is different than many peoples’. I don’t go out much, keep to myself and rely on my Filipina wife to handle most things. That’s why this blog is more observational – and some say less useful – than other blogs.
Still, I have a lifetime of human experience and some of that relates well to what I blog about here. I was a DIY nut and close to the building maintenance trades for years before becoming responsible for three buildings in Seattle. I know enough about maintenance and construction to make good observations about the process of building a house here.
But I don’t know much at all about visas and ACR cards and the BI. I’m here on a yearly Balikbayan Visa. That I know about.
Not everyone is as honest as I am (humble-brag!). Some sites create the illusion of knowledge – and success – to sell you things.
Some blogs have books and “services” they hawk. The owners claim that they’re making “big bank” and that you can, too. Then you find out that their spouse is working 16-hour days in an Alaskan fish cannery and it makes you wonder if selling books was where their income came from.
So, be careful, expat or expat-to-be. Take what you read with a grain of salt and keep a healthy suspicion of books and guides and services people try to sell you.