Author Topic: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?  (Read 36288 times)

GoldenStache

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2014, 12:16:06 PM »
DO IT!!!
Great for the kids, and make a ton of money to boot.  If you are worried about driving, don't drive.  You can pay someone very cheaply to either drive you or run your errands for you. 

You can live in a great expat neighbor, meet other worldly people and have a great time.  What ever they offer, ask for at least $75k more.   

kkbmustang

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2014, 12:25:28 PM »
I'd consider it if they pay you a lot, albeit as far as I know Emirates or Oman are nicer places for westerners and with more things to do in your free time. I was in Oman on vacation recently with a female friend and we both had a good time and were treated very well. In fact local Omanis were nicer and more helpful than Indians so prevalent in the service sector.

Saudi Arabia would be one step too far for me, though. It's so restrictive and so hot that the only thing one could do is spend time in the mall or in front of TVů I have a Lebanese friend who is a Muslim too, but left a high paying job in Saudi Arabia after a year because he and his wife couldn't stand the super conservative culture there anymore.

Emphasis added by me. This is patently false. Yes, it's hot. But there is much more to do than sit in front of the TV (which, when I was there, was only on for 6 hours a day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.). My mom was very busy and my parents had a very active social life with other expats. My mom was part of the International Women's Group (I have no idea what they do, but my mom was President for a term) and my parents entertained, hosted and attended dinner parties several times each month. We lived on a compound that had several pools, a tennis court, parks and a recreation center.

My family is still very good friends with people we met there. I met my BFF there (she lives in PA now). You develop very strong relationships with people there. There's tons of activities on the compounds. Family nights, ping pong and tennis tournaments, etc. For the kids there are Halloween parties, etc.

Albert

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2014, 12:40:19 PM »
The thing about "mall and TV only" didn't have to be taken literally, but honestly I've spoken with several people who have lived there and none of them really liked the place. Plus your description kind of fits too - it's all about other expats and activities within closed spaces accessible only to people living there.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2014, 12:46:25 PM »
For the most part, living anywhere is what YOU make of it. There are people who live in Hawaii who spend most of their free time sitting in front of a TV, ditto to my hometown of Victoria B.C. with its virtually limitless supply of hikes/mountain biking/oceans etc. there are still people who choose not to go outside.

If you're the type of person who doesn't enjoy adapting to new scenarios or the challenge of some discomfort then of course you will have difficultly adjusting to life in a new culture. It is very much dependant on your personality (and that of your spouse.)

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2014, 12:55:09 PM »
I'm Brazilian and I am used to listen about Brazilian soccer players that go to ME countries. Thay say its good to live in Qatar and Emirates. Saudi not too much, but it's possible as well.

As a SAHM, you and your kids can live in expat neighborhoods, with people from different places of the world. Of course, not all of them enjoy it. But they can hold it because of their 6 figures paychecks.

It's good for you if you're used to stay at home, make expat friends, (not so mustachian but...) visit wonderful restaurants and malls.

kkbmustang

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2014, 01:16:26 PM »
The thing about "mall and TV only" didn't have to be taken literally, but honestly I've spoken with several people who have lived there and none of them really liked the place. Plus your description kind of fits too - it's all about other expats and activities within closed spaces accessible only to people living there.

Still not buying it. I went to other compounds to visit friends all the time and had friends visit our compound. All. The. Time. You aren't stuck in your little compound 24/7. Plus, we took scuba diving classes not on the compound, played in softball leagues (kids and adult) not on the compound, etc.

randymarsh

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2014, 01:22:50 PM »
Sounds like a cool adventure to me, but my perspective is of course different as a 21 year old getting ready to graduate. I love to travel though and the money would be useful for paying off student loans.

Originally I read this and thought "Qatar?" That sounds scary. The more I read about it though, the more I found that it seems pretty safe overall. At this point I might take Qatar over Detroit.

I assume your husband would be working for a reputable employer right? If so, I'd do it.

kaetana

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2014, 04:19:55 PM »
Fear is not a reason to not do something.

I have to disagree somewhat with this one. I think it depends A LOT on the reason behind your fear. It's there for a reason, after all. If it's just a fear of doing something new, sure, by all means try and get over it because new experiences can be awesome. Three times in my life I've dropped everything to live in another country where my first language isn't spoken, and each time it was scary, but SO worth it. I'm working on the fourth time right now!

But there's a difference between a fear because something's new and a fear for your life and safety. I am naturally risk averse, and appreciate that others aren't, but I tend not to take as many chances on things that make me genuinely afraid for my life. I have no doubt that this stops me from having some amazing experiences-- such as skydiving, or moving to the Middle East. I am absolutely comfortable with that, and accept this loss as a cost of my safety.

Good luck to anyone who thinks otherwise - it's certainly something you have to decide for yourself. I'll stay here, gladly read your adventures, and even cheer you on!

arebelspy

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2014, 04:47:05 PM »
Fear is not a reason to not do something.

I have to disagree somewhat with this one.

Give me any counter example then.

If its a rational fear, then the reasons behind it will be why you shouldn't do it, not the fear. The fear doesn't matter, and you shouldn't do that thing (because of the rationale) whether there's fear or not.

If it's irrational, then the fear isn't a reason not to do it.

I used the absolute for a reason: Fear is never a reason to not do something.

Or provide me with a counter example where you should do something but because you are afraid you should no longer do it.  It may be difficult to do that thing, but you should still do it, regardless of the fear.
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2527

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2014, 04:56:24 PM »
Yes, I lived in Turkey for 5 years and Saudi Arabia, and had a low cost of living, high income and no taxes.  That is the main reason I am FI today.  You will find an expat community and have experiences with them.  Something like living in Disney World and only tangentially really knowing what Florida is like.  If you don't like it, you will be back in a year.  If you do like it, you will stay a few years, probably have really close friends, and return to the US probably several hundred thousand dollars ahead of where you are today. 

If nothing else, I suggest you listen to people who have done it, and listen to the reasons they say yes or no, and decide which reasons apply to you.  Don't listen to people who haven't done it.  I was really scared before I went to Turkey the first time, and had heard a lot of nonsense from people who had never been there.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 05:00:20 PM by 2527 »

Cassie

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2014, 05:06:32 PM »
My brother and his wife/kids worked in Saudi for  7 years- I think in the early 1980's. He made good $ and they liked it. They left when their kids got older because back then once kids reached a certain age they had to go to boarding school in another country.  Saudi did not want them around their teenagers. I have no idea if that is still true or not. My hubby wanted us all to go & I told him to go & send home the $. It totally did not appeal to me at all.   I would talk to people who have done it and then make the best decision you can.

kkbmustang

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2014, 05:07:55 PM »
My brother and his wife/kids worked in Saudi for  7 years- I think in the early 1980's. He made good $ and they liked it. They left when their kids got older because back then once kids reached a certain age they had to go to boarding school in another country.  Saudi did not want them around their teenagers. I have no idea if that is still true or not. My hubby wanted us all to go & I told him to go & send home the $. It totally did not appeal to me at all.   I would talk to people who have done it and then make the best decision you can.

Back then the schools went through 9th grade. Now they go through the end of high school. At least this is true of Dhahran.

kaetana

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2014, 05:27:20 PM »
Give me any counter example then.

If its a rational fear, then the reasons behind it will be why you shouldn't do it, not the fear. The fear doesn't matter, and you shouldn't do that thing (because of the rationale) whether there's fear or not.

If it's irrational, then the fear isn't a reason not to do it.

I used the absolute for a reason: Fear is never a reason to not do something.

Or provide me with a counter example where you should do something but because you are afraid you should no longer do it.  It may be difficult to do that thing, but you should still do it, regardless of the fear.

My point is that how every person feels - the amount of fear he feels, what he fears, and why he fears is - should sometimes affect what he should do.

The thought of skydiving scares me. Is it rational? You could argue either way. It doesn't really matter. But the point is, I'm terrified of it, of something going wrong and of me dying. Sure, I could force myself to do it (or have someone force me). If I land safely and all goes well, do you really think I would suddenly change my mind and want to do it again? Maybe another person would-- but I know myself, and I know I'd likely be throwing up and wetting myself and being terrified the whole way down. Even on land I'm pretty sure I'd swear I'd NEVER do that again. And for what? A few minutes of increased adrenaline? In that case, I believe the strength of my fear would absolutely prevent me enjoying it, rendering it worthless - even though for someone else it might be wonderful.

However, if you search yourself and find the fear isn't as deep-rooted, or believe you have the personality or the motivation to get over it, then by all means go for it! Either way, I believe fear is there for a reason, and should make us stop and reevaluate things, if only for a second. I don't think all fears necessarily SHOULD be conquered just for the sake of conquering them.

arebelspy

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2014, 05:56:54 PM »
I didn't say all fears should be conquered.  Or even any of them.

I'm saying fear should never be a reason to stop you from doing anything.  I didn't say the converse, that fear is a reason to do something.

If there were rational reasons to skydive (gunman threatens you and family unless you skydive, no other way out of it), you should do it, regardless of the fear.  If there aren't any rational reasons, fine, don't do it.  But if there are rational reasons, the fear shouldn't stop you.

Fear should never stop you. (That doesn't mean it should start you, which is what you are inferring.)
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kaetana

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2014, 06:53:56 PM »
I didn't say all fears should be conquered.  Or even any of them.

Except in the following case:

If there were rational reasons to skydive (gunman threatens you and family unless you skydive, no other way out of it), you should do it, regardless of the fear.

So if there are rational reasons, you should conquer your fear and do it. I would agree with that.

If there aren't any rational reasons, fine, don't do it.

This is exactly what I'm saying-- that in some cases, I let fear stop me and I don't skydive. So I agree with this too. You could argue that in this case it's the lack of a rational reason that stops me, but in fact the mere absence of a rational reason just reduces the inclination TO do it. It's really the fear that screams out at me and tells me actively not to do it.

I think it's just semantics we're discussing, because we both agree there are cases when something should be done despite the fear, and there are cases when it's not worth doing something you're afraid of. In this case, I personally wouldn't move to the Middle East even if it hastened my journey to FI, but I accept that other people's sense of adventure or risk tolerance would make it a great opportunity for them.

Daleth

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2014, 07:42:05 PM »
I gained a better understanding of different cultures, got to travel the world (30+ countries), and grew to be a strong, independent woman. Do I contribute that in part to living in the ME? Absolutely.

I got an understanding of different cultures, visited two dozen-plus countries (and lived for years in three), without ever setting foot in the Middle East. With only one exception, the vast majority of people nixing the idea on this thread are not nixing the idea of working abroad--they're nixing the idea of living in the Middle East, especially in a country where your employer gets to decide whether you can leave or not.

There's a lot of fearmongering going on in this thread. We traveled regularly and extensively and, to my knowledge, NEVER had issues with being allowed to leave the country. And Qatar is less strict than Saudi, as I understand it.

I don't know how old you are, but the Middle East has changed A LOT in the past 30 years or so. And the fact that your parents never had issues with being allowed to leave Saudi Arabia two or three or four decades ago has nothing to do with whether people can easily leave a completely different country now.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2014, 07:42:55 PM »
It sounds like the OP has her head on straight.
* She's lived in 'foreign' cultures before.
* She's looking at different sides of issues which may crop up
* She didn't rule it out just because it's a 'Muslim country' or the Middle East
* She'll be fine, no matter what

Btw OP, I lived in Sydney part-time for 3 years. Really enjoyed the place in many ways, but the anti-Lebanese and anti-Indian racism, amongst others, gave me pause (anti-east Asian racism was discreet in comparison). To say nothing of how the Indigenous people are treated -- however I'm from the USA, so we obviously have our terrible points on this too. I was surprised at how ok it seemed to bash aboriginal people, to just ignore them as full human beings....never seen anything quite like it, but I expect in the American south it can be like that too.


Thank you for the compliment. Hopefully I am getting more sensible in my old age! Your experience of racism in Australia echoes my own. Such a wonderful country in so many ways but the casual racism is shocking.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and experiences, it really is useful. I have friends in Dubai but don't know anyone who has lived in Doha so being able to read a little of life there has been great. I should probably just conquer my fear of driving there by taking a defensive driving course.

We are both very open to new cultures and experiences and willing absolutely to respect another society's rules and habits. We make friends easily and our children are very young so I think they would settle quickly. The job is open-ended at this stage but we'd be looking at two years max I think. Who knows though, we may love it.

We definitely wouldn't go down the husband in Doha, us here route as we want to be together (even if it adds 20 years to our FI goal!) Another move (to the UK) is also possible so we have a couple of options at the moment. The UK move is about family and culture and access to Europe rather than savings but just as important in my humble opinion. Lots to think about!

Daleth

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2014, 07:46:52 PM »
I'm saying fear should never be a reason to stop you from doing anything. ... Fear should never stop you.

Fear stopped me from hitchhiking by myself when I was a cute 20-year-old woman. Are you saying I should have hitchhiked alone anyway? I will tell that to my friend who was raped while hitchhiking alone. I'm sure it will make her feel better that you think she was right not to let a perfectly reasonable fear of being raped stop her. For the record, I've been to more states and countries than she has, and I've gotten to some of them by hitchhiking--but never hitchhiking ALONE; always with a boyfriend.

arebelspy

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2014, 07:51:39 PM »
I think it's just semantics we're discussing, because we both agree there are cases when something should be done despite the fear, and there are cases when it's not worth doing something you're afraid of.

Yes.

But not because of the fear.  It may not be worth doing, but the fear shouldn't be the thing stopping you.

I'm not cartwheeling to work daily, and it's not because I fear doing so - it's because I have no rational reason for doing so.  If I had a rational reason to do so, I should do it.  In spite of the fear. Which is the former case you say.  I'm saying there are no cases of the latter - when it's not worth doing something you're afraid if there are more rational reasons to do something than not.

In this case, I personally wouldn't move to the Middle East even if it hastened my journey to FI, but I accept that other people's sense of adventure or risk tolerance would make it a great opportunity for them.

And it's fine to not move there due to not wanting to be there, liking where you are, whatever.  But if you have rational reasons to move there (speed up your FI), and you had no rational reasons for not moving there (you didn't care where you lived, it wasn't actually dangerous, etc.) 'but were just afraid, then you should do it.

Fear should never stop someone from doing something.
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Gerard

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2014, 08:38:01 AM »
Here in Newfoundland, we have a lot of people who work highly-paid jobs in oil/gas or English teaching in the Middle East for a few years, and then come back to retire early. Most of them aren't what you'd call mustachian; they just earn so damn much money that they can't help saving a bunch.

Qatar seems to get better reviews than Dubai. People here who aren't sure whether they can handle a highly materialistic, competitive, ethnically stratified, car-centric, extreme-climate place sometimes ease into it gradually by first going to northern Alberta or Texas for a couple of years.

At a more personal life-style level (after I apologize to Albertans and Texans for the cheap shot), a lot of the negative feedback I hear comes from people who can't imagine restrictions on their consumption of alcohol. Again, maybe this is somewhere that mustachian types can benefit from enduring a "hardship" that's not really all that hard?

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2014, 09:13:19 AM »
Here in Newfoundland, we have a lot of people who work highly-paid jobs in oil/gas or English teaching in the Middle East for a few years, and then come back to retire early. Most of them aren't what you'd call mustachian; they just earn so damn much money that they can't help saving a bunch.

Is the cost of living in Newfoundland super cheap?  Because teaching in the Middle East doesn't pay that much.
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iwasjustwondering

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2014, 10:09:45 AM »
Quote

Fear should never stop someone from doing something.

This is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.  So if someone wants to pay me $20 to lick a flagpole in -20 degree weather, I shouldn't let fear stop me?  Arebelspy, have you ever actually lived in another country?  It sounds like you haven't.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2014, 10:38:14 AM »
So if someone wants to pay me $20 to lick a flagpole in -20 degree weather, I shouldn't let fear stop me?

Absolutely you shouldn't let fear stop you.  You should let the rational reason of your tongue getting stuck make you say no, or ask for higher compensation.

Why should it be the fear stopping you, and not the rational reasons?
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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2014, 10:55:40 AM »
Here in Newfoundland, we have a lot of people who work highly-paid jobs in oil/gas or English teaching in the Middle East for a few years, and then come back to retire early. Most of them aren't what you'd call mustachian; they just earn so damn much money that they can't help saving a bunch.

Is the cost of living in Newfoundland super cheap?  Because teaching in the Middle East doesn't pay that much.

Not in Newfoundland, but Nova Scotia (by the ferry going to NFLD). Yes, housing in this part of Canada can be super cheap, but other things such as gas, oil (mostly for home heating) and food can be expensive. But, I do think that for the most part many on the east coast live a more modest lifestyle. When people on MMM talk about their cheap car being a Honda, around here that would be one of the nicer ones. You will rarely if ever see a high end car, the highest maybe a Lincoln.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2014, 11:03:11 AM »
I'm saying fear should never be a reason to stop you from doing anything. ... Fear should never stop you.

Fear stopped me from hitchhiking by myself when I was a cute 20-year-old woman. Are you saying I should have hitchhiked alone anyway? I will tell that to my friend who was raped while hitchhiking alone. I'm sure it will make her feel better that you think she was right not to let a perfectly reasonable fear of being raped stop her. For the record, I've been to more states and countries than she has, and I've gotten to some of them by hitchhiking--but never hitchhiking ALONE; always with a boyfriend.

Two different things.

I don't want to hitchhike because there is a risk I may get raped. I don't want to hitchhike because I fear being raped.

One is a possibly reasonable approach to analyze something. Weighing risks and determining for yourself which ones you are willing to accept or not.

The other is your monkey brain screaming at you. That may come off as disparaging towards monkey brains but I'm rather thankful for mine because it can do so many more useful things other than screaming at me.

arebelspy

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2014, 11:08:59 AM »
I'm saying fear should never be a reason to stop you from doing anything. ... Fear should never stop you.

Fear stopped me from hitchhiking by myself when I was a cute 20-year-old woman. Are you saying I should have hitchhiked alone anyway? I will tell that to my friend who was raped while hitchhiking alone. I'm sure it will make her feel better that you think she was right not to let a perfectly reasonable fear of being raped stop her. For the record, I've been to more states and countries than she has, and I've gotten to some of them by hitchhiking--but never hitchhiking ALONE; always with a boyfriend.

Two different things.

I don't want to hitchhike because there is a risk I may get raped. I don't want to hitchhike because I fear being raped.

One is a possibly reasonable approach to analyze something. Weighing risks and determining for yourself which ones you are willing to accept or not.

The other is your monkey brain screaming at you. That may come off as disparaging towards monkey brains but I'm rather thankful for mine because it can do so many more useful things other than screaming at me.

I missed that post, thanks for catching it match.

Yes, perhaps there are valid reasons you should not hitchhike alone.  I don't disagree.  Fear is not one of those reasons.

Note that you said of your friend:
Quote
I'm sure it will make her feel better that you think she was right not to let a perfectly reasonable fear of being raped stop her.

(Emphasis added.)

It is the reasons behind that "reasonable" that make it why she might not want to do so. The fear is not the reason why.
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LibrarIan

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2014, 11:13:19 AM »
I'd pass. I like living near my family too much.

Daleth

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2014, 12:18:52 PM »
So if someone wants to pay me $20 to lick a flagpole in -20 degree weather, I shouldn't let fear stop me?

Absolutely you shouldn't let fear stop you.  You should let the rational reason of your tongue getting stuck make you say no, or ask for higher compensation.

Why should it be the fear stopping you, and not the rational reasons?

That's just a semantic argument. You seem to be assuming that fear is never rational or never makes sense. I disagree; sometimes fear is perfectly rational. A reasonable fear is to me a valid reason not to do something. I think we agree on that basic point, so let's not split hairs over your personal definition of "fear."

arebelspy

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2014, 12:27:52 PM »
So if someone wants to pay me $20 to lick a flagpole in -20 degree weather, I shouldn't let fear stop me?

Absolutely you shouldn't let fear stop you.  You should let the rational reason of your tongue getting stuck make you say no, or ask for higher compensation.

Why should it be the fear stopping you, and not the rational reasons?

That's just a semantic argument. You seem to be assuming that fear is never rational or never makes sense. I disagree; sometimes fear is perfectly rational. A reasonable fear is to me a valid reason not to do something. I think we agree on that basic point, so let's not split hairs over your personal definition of "fear."

If the fear is rational, the reasons should stop you.  The fear is irrelevant.  You should not do that thing whether you are afraid or not.

If the fear is irrational, you shouldn't let it stop you.  Again, the fear is irrelevant.

Fear should never stop you.
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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2014, 12:41:04 PM »
I would do it in a heartbeat. I would never be able to convince my husband.

In your situation, have you researched what it might take to hire a driver? Maybe you could negotiate it into your spouse's compensation package.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2014, 01:15:36 PM »
I lived in Honduras for 2.5 years as a military contractor.  It is considered very dangerious, and I don't speak Spanish and lived off-post.  It worked out.  I do tend to stay to myself anyway.  This kind of worked against me, as the culture there has very few women out alone.  So, not only did I stand out as North American because of the way I acted, I stood out as being alone.  I spent the first 18 months learning what I felt comfortable doing.  I lived in a hotel (it was nice) and took taxis.  I then moved to a small town the other direction and got an apartment and rented a car and started driving.  The people in Honduras have ... lets say, independent... ideas on driving customs.  I found that is was a lot easier to drive than it looked like it would be from riding along as a passenger.  There is a flow you get used to.

The large prison fire that made the international news and was so horrible.  It happened about a mile from where I was living.  I didn't know about it until I got to work.  Not a lot of sirens in the small town.  It was truly horrible.  I'm sure some of the prisoners escaped into the town.  It didn't impact my life at all, other than listening to the stories of the soldiers who helped with the cleanup.

I took my time to learn the culture.  I didn't flash jewelry or act arrogant (I don't think) or give anyone any reason to hassle me.  I had no bad situations, and I also was very lucky.  I didn't tempt fate, and it didn't mess with me.  I had a good life down there.  I was ready to head back to the US.  Living in a country isn't the same as the CNN/Fox news stories of the area.

If I were to make any suggestions, it would be to go for awhile and see how it is.  I think in the contractor world it is not that unusual for workers to get somewhere and decide for whatever reason the place isn't for them and they leave.

Oh, I'm a late 50's female, if that makes any difference to my story.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #81 on: April 10, 2014, 01:25:08 PM »
My brother had to sign a year contract. Of course his family could have left at anytime on their own dime.  I see all this discussion around "fear" and the book "The Gift of Fear" is excellent.  It discusses how sometimes your fear is your intuition/gut telling you something is not right.  There were a lot of good stories about after people were raped/kidnapped/etc they knew immediately before  it happened that it was a bad situation but the person played on their desire to be a good person etc and talked them into something they did not want to do. Hard to explain-but one instance was a man convinced a woman to let him carry her groceries up to her apartment-she did not want to but did-he raped and tried to kill her. 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #82 on: April 10, 2014, 01:26:20 PM »
I'd have no problem doing this at your stage of life.  I lived overseas for a total of five years and it was great.  I thought about going to the ME but decided against it because I went back to school instead. 

I say anything that offers a pretty good quality of life, the chance for interesting travel, and significantly jump starts your financial situation at an early point would have been worth it to me. 

As for the driving and exit visa issues, I don't know about that but worth some more research to mitigate the risks. 

I personally couldn't care less about being treated differently because of being a foreigner and/or a woman.  I've experienced this in many countries to my benefit and detriment - so what.  It exists and it is up to you to manage what you cannot control.  Or, if it bothers you to a great degree don't expose yourself to it and stay home.  My best guess based on my experience is that it will not impact you to a great life-changing degree or on a daily basis if you live in an expat community. 

People talk down about hanging out with other foreigners and not locals when you live overseas but some of my best friends were made overseas with those experiencing similar cultural adjustments and lifestyles.  I would love to be put in this situation again (except I don't want to travel much anymore... darn) because it is a lifelong gift.  I count my blessings that our family will be off to Hawaii next year to visit a dear friend made while we were both living overseas. 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #83 on: April 10, 2014, 01:37:16 PM »
I'd have no problem doing this at your stage of life.  I lived overseas for a total of five years and it was great.  I thought about going to the ME but decided against it because I went back to school instead. 

I say anything that offers a pretty good quality of life, the chance for interesting travel, and significantly jump starts your financial situation at an early point would have been worth it to me. 

As for the driving and exit visa issues, I don't know about that but worth some more research to mitigate the risks. 

I personally couldn't care less about being treated differently because of being a foreigner and/or a woman.  I've experienced this in many countries to my benefit and detriment - so what. It exists and it is up to you to manage what you cannot control.  Or, if it bothers you to a great degree don't expose yourself to it and stay home.  My best guess based on my experience is that it will not impact you to a great life-changing degree or on a daily basis if you live in an expat community. 

People talk down about hanging out with other foreigners and not locals when you live overseas but some of my best friends were made overseas with those experiencing similar cultural adjustments and lifestyles.  I would love to be put in this situation again (except I don't want to travel much anymore... darn) because it is a lifelong gift.  I count my blessings that our family will be off to Hawaii next year to visit a dear friend made while we were both living overseas. 

This.  I had Japanese people bend over backwards to help out an outsider.  I also entered places and been told "no Americans" and worse.  It wasn't pleasant or comfortable, but it was an interesting life experience and I think I'm better for it. 

Obviously if the "different treatment" includes significantly increased risk being a crime victim, or something of that nature, it's a different story.  But just having someone be mean to you or deny a service based on your race or nationality?  I think it can actually be an enlightening experience and an opportunity for some healthy perspective. 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #84 on: April 10, 2014, 03:02:39 PM »
Thanks all. It's so interesting to read of your experiences of living and working abroad. It does, for the most part, seem to be what you make it. Shadowmoss you are a good example of that!

Hiring a driver is a possibility, I'll look into that.

Just to clarify, I don't mind being looked down upon by the locals should that be their wont, it's my race being privileged over say an Indian person's that makes me uncomfortable. I should say though that that experience was in Dubai, I don't know how it is in Doha.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #85 on: April 10, 2014, 03:54:21 PM »
There is definitely a hierarchy based on your ethnicity in Doha too.  Generally speaking, Bengalis, Sri Lankans, Nepalis, etc are at the bottom, then the Indians, then the Filipinos, then other Arabs (depending on which country it varies where in the hierarcy), then westerners, then other GCC Arabs.  If you're a white westerner, then you will be treated preferably over others below you in the heirarchy. 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #86 on: April 10, 2014, 06:31:45 PM »
I saw a beheading in Riyadh. 

southern granny

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #87 on: April 12, 2014, 08:54:52 PM »
Nope.  Wouldn't even consider it.  Actually, I wouldn't consider anything north of the Mason Dixon line.

arebelspy

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #88 on: April 13, 2014, 08:18:57 AM »
I saw a beheading in Riyadh.

That must have been some culture shock!

Nope.  Wouldn't even consider it.  Actually, I wouldn't consider anything north of the Mason Dixon line.

So you're good to go then.  Most of the Middle East is south of the Mason-Dixon line (at 39.7 degrees N)!  You could go to Baghdad, Iraq (at 33.3 degrees N), for example.  ;)
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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #89 on: April 13, 2014, 08:58:22 AM »
OP, it sounds like you are taking a reasonable and measured approach to examining the issues here.

I wouldn't necessarily do it to help my finances . . . I will do it some day, probably in about a decade, as part of my "see the world adventure."  At that point any financial aspect will just be a bonus.

Meanwhile, I am working on controlling when I exercise my big mouth, because over time I have realized that my progressive, rabble-rousing, treat-people-fairly persona is not always appreciated by those in power.  This just means subversion is sometimes the way to go . . .

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #90 on: April 14, 2014, 04:02:36 PM »
Extremely racist place for a person of color.I was born and raised in the middle east, specifically UAE.  Most of my extended family lived there for decades. I would never go back there if given a choice!

One other thing I would like to mention is that if you happen to be on wrong side of the law( pretty easy there for law abiding citizens as well), it is very difficult to navigate through their legal system. There will be no communication with the accused for weeks or even months and the trial could take years with absolutely no transparency. I have seen many families shattered due to false accusations of theft or getting into the bad books of any 'Sheikh'. But people who haven't got into that quagmire will never know of it and will continue to lead normal lives!

Most of the Middle Eastern countries made money very quickly(due to oil) and as a result even though their tastes for expensive things(unmustachian) and the infrastructure has developed, the people are very primitive/close-minded in their opinions.

One last thing I would say, is that if you love the outdoors, ME is not the place for you! Every time I would make a visit back to my home country from UAE, I would be mesmerized by nature's beauty!

Pretty obvious difference between USA/western world and the Middle east--> Democracy v/s autocracy!

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #91 on: April 14, 2014, 04:28:55 PM »
I would go in a heartbeat.  A great opportunity to max out your savings and broaden your worldview.  Most of the responses in this thread show how narrow-minded many Americans are.  I spent some time in Qatar on work and there are many aspects of that culture and political environment that I much prefer over the USA.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #92 on: April 14, 2014, 05:22:40 PM »
We worked for 6 months in Ireland and it was awesome.  Obviously Ireland is not the Middle East but the change in environment and experiencing a different culture was awesome.  It helped that the company paid for the flight, apartment and a food stipend.

I would try the Middle East if a similar deal was offered. 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #93 on: April 14, 2014, 05:46:08 PM »
I'd do it for sure, assuming A) the increase in pay is worth it - I'd want at least double what I get here, and B) its temporary (2-3 yrs max).  Heck in 2-3 years alone I'd nearly have enough to retire! 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #94 on: April 14, 2014, 06:00:42 PM »
Will the Muhammad's let you get your drink on, or do you have to spend the next few years sober.    You know they're the only people worse than the Mormons with alcohol laws.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #95 on: April 14, 2014, 06:03:15 PM »
Will the Muhammad's let you get your drink on, or do you have to spend the next few years sober.    You know they're the only people worse than the Mormons with alcohol laws.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #96 on: April 14, 2014, 08:10:35 PM »
Will the Muhammad's let you get your drink on, or do you have to spend the next few years sober.    You know they're the only people worse than the Mormons with alcohol laws.

Yes, there are places where you can drink alcohol, pretty much at authorized hotels.  If you know the right people, embassies.  And then there's always the black market and what not.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #97 on: April 14, 2014, 08:46:22 PM »
Will the Muhammad's let you get your drink on, or do you have to spend the next few years sober.    You know they're the only people worse than the Mormons with alcohol laws.



You know that was slightly sarcastic, still...   I don't trust a lot of the laws in the middle east.    There have been some crazy judgements against foreigners even in Dubai for things like adultery.   

I'll be the first to say that America is far from perfect.   But when it comes to rights, there's no place like home.

PS, I still don't trust a culture that doesn't drink, allow pornography, or thinks that seeing a woman's bare head will turn men into savage rapists.   Misogyny isn't just a little cultural difference.

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #98 on: April 15, 2014, 12:35:45 PM »
Will the Muhammad's let you get your drink on, or do you have to spend the next few years sober.    You know they're the only people worse than the Mormons with alcohol laws.



You know that was slightly sarcastic, still...   I don't trust a lot of the laws in the middle east.    There have been some crazy judgements against foreigners even in Dubai for things like adultery.   

I'll be the first to say that America is far from perfect.   But when it comes to rights, there's no place like home.

PS, I still don't trust a culture that doesn't drink, allow pornography, or thinks that seeing a woman's bare head will turn men into savage rapists.   Misogyny isn't just a little cultural difference.
But calling them "Muhammad's" is still worth a facepalm or two. 

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Re: Would you move to the Middle East to help your finances?
« Reply #99 on: April 15, 2014, 05:18:31 PM »
We will be moving to the Middle East this summer (Bahrain).  We are military, so we didn't have much say in the matter.  We did have the option of DH doing 1 year unaccompanied or 2 years accompanied.  We chose the latter and will be moving with our 3 kids.  My advise - read as much as you can.  Look on FB for any pages or groups associated with Qatar.  They should provide you with good info.  Personally I am looking forward to the opportunity to experience a different culture and to traveling to places we probably would never be able to travel with 3 kids.  Of course the military provides perks in this area (Space A flights to Spain, Sicily, and Crete, etc are easily accessible).   And being Mustachian, we are looking forward to banking some extra pay to put towards our retirement in a few years.