We Must Be Pretty Weird Because, You Know, We’re ExpatsMarch 18, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Countries generally live better on the inside than they look on the outside.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
In my experience, most countries look better, and live better, on the inside than what we'd predict from the outside.
Consider France, for example.
Outside France we read about strikes, the world's highest taxes, a broken welfare state, and Arab riots. We hear of snotty innkeepers, arrogant food vendors, and pickpockets who target tourists.
Yet once inside France we enjoy red wine and leg of lamb, the Louvre and the Pompidou. We wander through a thousand years of European history. We still hear about things like subway strikes, but we find that those things rarely affect us.
Or consider Argentina. From outside Argentina we read about travel restrictions, currency controls, import controls, an arrival tax targeting Americans, media censors, and a terrible crime problem. From the outside, Argentina looks exactly like the mess it is.
But once we're in Buenos Aires we eat thick steaks, dance tango, go to the opera, and sit at beautiful sidewalk cafes. We spend a morning at the Costanera Sur, perhaps the world's finest urban wildlife refuge.