Why Locals Hate Expats!

Locals in many countries are FURIOUS with us immigrants!

Well, not really, but it got your attention, didn’t it? 😁

Although most people welcome foreigners with open arms, we often receive comments and complaints about expats.

In this blog post, we’ll reveal the top 10 reasons why some locals think expats are ruining life for everyone else. And make sure you stick around until the end, as we hear #1 on a daily basis!

Here are the top 10 reasons why locals hate expats, starting with:

#10 They don’t learn the language

Why Locals Hate Expats

Many expats wonder if they can get by without learning the local language. While it’s difficult but doable, it’s also disrespectful.

Failing to learn the language makes communication harder, limits your experiences, and hampers your ability to integrate into the culture. Moreover, it’s harder to make friends and become part of the community.

#9 They drive up the prices

There’s some truth to this claim, as landlords and service providers in expat hotspots may charge more and hold out for gringos.

This causes animosity due to the culture of favoritism, as seen in Mexico City’s gentrification. It’s essential to know the cost of things and barter to prevent this issue.

#8 They think everything should be cheap

On the flipside of #9, some expats are so worried about gringo pricing that they refuse to pay fair value for goods and services.

#7 They live in an expat bubble

Many expats only socialize with other expats, live in small areas, eat at expat-oriented restaurants, and engage in tourist or gringo activities.

Locals feel like expats are recreating their home country in another location, taking advantage of lower costs and improved quality of life without participating in the local culture or becoming members of society.

#6 They think the laws don’t apply to them

Expats must remember that being from another country doesn’t give them a free pass to misbehave. Mexico, for example, is cracking down on its party culture.

Overstaying tourist visas and disregarding laws can make locals extremely angry.

#5 They act superior

Arrogant, patronizing, or cocky behavior doesn’t sit well with locals. Some expats disrespect individuals and service providers and even threaten lawsuits, which are unlikely to succeed or even reach a courtroom.

#4 They complain about the culture

Culture shock can be challenging, but different countries have their own ways of doing things. Locals expect expats to learn and adapt. If you don’t like it, they believe you should go home.

Over time, you may even embrace and prefer the cultural differences.

#3 They want to change things

Some expats think businesses and service providers should adapt to their home country’s practices, which is a flawed approach.

As a guest in another country, it’s your responsibility to adapt; not theirs.

#2 Nationalism

A small percentage of people don’t want foreigners changing their culture, getting special treatment, or using public services, regardless of how immigrants behave. This sentiment is happening globally.

#1 They call themselves expats, not immigrants

Many people complain about this distinction, as the terms can carry a double standard or be seen as imperialistic.

We use “expat” for search purposes, but it’s essential to recognize the sensitivity of the issue.


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Tips & Tricks to Not Be “THAT” Gringo

If you want to be liked by the locals, here are five simple things you can do to make a good impression:

  • Be nice & respectful – practice patience and compassion.
  • Accept that things are done differently – embrace the culture shock.
  • Make friends with locals – join clubs, attend events, and talk to your neighbors
  • Try to speak the language – use an app like LingoPie or Babbel to learn and practice with people.
  • Pay the going rate / negotiate the price – don’t pay for favoritism.

Final Thoughts

Frustration can be a two-way street between locals and expats. Understanding the reasons some expats are leaving countries like Ecuador can help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Expat etiquette is NOT overrated! Think of yourself as an ambassador of your home country and do your best to make a good impression so the locals don’t despise all of us.

By respecting local customs, learning the language, and participating in the community, you can foster a positive relationship with locals and fully enjoy your experience abroad.

Watch Our Video About Why Locals Hate Expats



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You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Toolkit, which we created to help jumpstart your dream of living in another country.

Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

2 replies
  1. Barbara Hill
    Barbara Hill says:

    Thanks so much for your videos and points of view/experiences. You guys are great! I am also a vegetarian (not really a vegan) and so want to make the changes you have. But I am 76 and just retired from nursing/nurse education. Am really healthy and well traveled. Not even Grey yet. So thanks! Lots to consider.


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