ExPat Fatigue


This is my second winter in Casa de Campo and I am just realizing I may be experiencing Expat fatigue. Is there anyone out there that has encountered this situation? Do you have any advice. I will be here for a total of 7 months this year.....


Is there a group of Canadians or Americans that get together every now and then to socialize and talk?

what exactly is expat fatigue? what are the principal characteristics?

Welcome to the forums honey.  I understand exactly what you mean. It happens on some level to almost all of us!

Not sure about your area in terms of get togethers!   Here in SD there are some of us who meet up occasionally.   

We are going to plan a get together in Punta Cana if that is of interest. OR, if you come to the capital, let us know.

North shore, Sosua/Cabarete are planning regular meet ups. have had them a couple times a year.  loking to increase the frequency of them.  Welcome to the island & to the forum.

Happens a lot - I'd say

My cure is the airport....

I guess it was something similar to that what I first experienced during a contracted spell in Providenciales, TCI, some years ago. Initial same group of contacts, mainly expat,  living similar connected lives within a confined area.

Solution was to detach myself and spend my leisure time in one of the local communities (Blue Hills) and avoid the expat niches.

In DR I don't have that problem. I know very few expats here personally and I am as free as a bird in terms of getting out and about throughout this wonderful island.

My advice is try and get out of that very nice but inhibiting resort complex. I have met some good people in the past from La Romana.

I  think  that one of the things you may need is someone or someones to bounce your ideas and complaints and feelings off of. To assure you that what you are feeling is quite normal.  To offer you feedback on ways to cope. To just listen when needed!

Do you get out of the area much?  Have you explored this country? 

When I get frustrated or fatigued by things here I vent!  I have some people I can vent with depending on the topics!  Once I vent it out, I feel much much better.

IF there are specific things getting to you and you are comfy post em here!  We will give you feedback and alternative strategies.

And honey, you are definitely not alone in this. After 15 years here it still happens to me too.

AND FYI,  my  fatigue also happens due to expats, not just locals or local situations.......

Fatigue seems to be self imposed.  I thought the definition of fatigue, suggests being tired.  So I am confused.

Does fatigue have a different meaning in the Dominican Republic? 

There are so many things to do here.  I can't understand anyone not being able to keep busy doing something different every day.

Fatigue can also canote weakening, such as metal fatigue.   It may also be construed as over-load of simulii, as in cultural impact changes.  What ever the cause, get moving to cure it.  Possibly also tired of , "It ain't  like this back home".   A good laugh & a couple of R/Cs can alter that mind set. We probably have got the meaning all wrong.  Eat some beef liver, build up the red cells, might just be a little anemic.  Drink some ginger 'bush tea'. works wonders.

We have been in Las Terrenas for a month now and I am starting to get a little antsy. So to overcome that I just booked a 2 day get away for Santiago next week. Still have another month before we head back to the States ( and hopefully, not the cold). But this feeling happens to me no matter where I am. I just can’t stay still.

The symptoms of Expat fatigue include feelings of isolation, anxiety, confusion, an overwhelming desire to leave, flipping out over relatively minor incidents, road rage, refusal to learn the language etc. I am not experiencing all these symptoms but I am feeling some of them.....

It is a pleasure to see the responses I received on this forum. There are actually Canadians out there who remain connected thru the web! Expat fatigue is cultural fatigue. The physical and emotional exhaustion that almost invariably results from the infinite series of tiny adjustments required for long term survival.

Thank you "planner" for suggesting I find someone to vent / talk thru these issues. I guess I am the only one out here on the south east coast.

NO honey you are not alone, there are others. Just maybe not yet chiming in.....LOL

Thanks for defining what this is, that always helps.

I made assumptions about what it was and was not far off.  Living here can be absolutely exhausting sometimes.  Its not always paradise for us.  The culture differences can be huge and weigh heavy on us. 

Get your butt to Santo Domingo!  I am happy to listen to you vent and swap horror stories. Then I will tell you some  good stories to chear you up!  I am also good at hugs should you need some!

And I will share my personal sure fire way to get rid of all of it - I dance. I will go dance for 3, 4 or 5 hours!  Its physically exhausting yet so much fun. I get rid of all my stress and reconnect with one of the main reasons I live here. The joy of dance and music does it for me!

I will definitely be heading to Santo Domingo this month to see the zona colonial. I will be in touch....

You will love the Colonial Zone honey!

Agreed - we all get 'worn down, short tempered.. fact of life in the 3rd (OK 2.5) world

But then, when you least expect , along comes a nice pick-me-up

I had one this afternoon

needed the annual oil/filter change and tire rotation... ordinary stuff
I have a man in RSJ who does mine - Javier by name... fluent English

You would have thought I was Jackie Stewart in an F1 race...
In/Out in 15-20 minutes.

Oil/Filter/Labor 1400 pesos
Tires flipped 200
Done like dinner

Not even time to fetch a beer across the street

Sometimes life's easy here

As we often say in my group -
The impossible things are easy
The easy things are impossible

Upside down world

Are you still in real estate?

I  will send you a PM and can try and link you up with a European friend who is an Architect living there who has been involved in properties in Casa de Campo..

Yes I am still in real estate. It would be nice to talk with your friend......

I am looking to move to the area and visiting in December. Is there a calendar or something which posts get-togethers for expats in the area?

Today is the start of month number 3 for us in Las Terrenas. 

We are currently renting until our apartment is finished and have met some very nice Ex-pats in the rental community.  When we are out wandering our little town, I keep eyes and ears open for ex-pats and am fairly forward initiating dialogue with any ex-pats we cross paths with.  Some live here full time or come and go quite a bit.

I have also discovered several ex-pat forums and have begun building friendships with the members.

One group had a lovely dinner with about 18 ex-pats who are all located in the general Las Terrenas area.

My suggestion, if you haven't already done so, is to find the ex-pat forums specific to your area and either attend gatherings or host a gathering yourself.

I know that there is a weekly card (poker) game at one of the restaurants in town.  My husband hasn't attended yet but could just be a matter of time.  So that could be something you could set up or look for.

Another suggestion is to visit other parts of the island, where you know other ex-pats live.  Set up a weekend of sharing some meals or common interest activities and shake off the ex-pat fatigue.

When we finally get in our apartment (fingers crossed for a walk through in the next couple days) we will have a guest room for those who might need a change of scenery (and common language).  Our door is open to all.

Good to know that ex-pat fatigue is a real thing.  I will definitely be looking for any signs that we might be experiencing it and will take steps to address it.

So gald you are settling into LT.

In my opinion it is a friendly and laid back town without the commercialism that distorts other tourist areas.

You will find that there are small communites in Playa Bonita and Coson too and it is almost like going to a different resort. Lunch at Luis on the beach at Coson will bring you into contact with many expats as will dinner at Atlantis hotel including diplomats up from SD for the weekend.

You can easily expand your knowledge of DR firstly on the peninsula by going to Samana and La Galeras where you will find similar ambiance. It is hard to get lost on the peninsula. And later explore to Nagua and onto Cabrera which is not far away.

I suspect you won't suffer from expat fatigue there.

That's funny, at first I thought they meant by the term 'expat fatigue', that the guy was tired of hanging around with the type of gringo he would have nothing to do with at home, but is sometimes stuck with here.   Instead, it seems like he means a sort of culture shock fatigue thing, from being in a third world country.    But no matter where one is in the dr, there are always a few gringos around to go out drinking with.

No wonder he gave fast serivce, twice the speed, for twice the price.

I know people here in Canada that suffer from "retirement fatigue" as their lives change so dramatically and they become bored with all of this free time. For someone retiring and moving to a new country, as I plan to do, I'm sure it can be overwhelming? I imagine the trick is to set goals, stay active, stay busy, try to contribute to society and try to get involved socially?
Hoping to find great tips and advice on this.

I'm leaning towards Cabarete as it seems to offer several water activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving. Staying active would be key for us I believe?

Great post Tracy,  I have not been to LT in many years. Let me know when my room is ready..... :D

Oh,  I always bring wine!!!!  Just in case you need it.....

You get good wine in French owned Supermercado Lindo in Las Terrenas which isn't suprising. And La Cave a vin (if it is still open) is nice for wine and tapas.

There is/was also a very good Spanish owned  place for tapas on Duarte, La Hispaniola Bar Tapas.

And Gerard (owner and reknowned chef) always has a good selection of wine to compliment his food at Atlantis Hotel.

Oh my, I was not inferring there was no wine in LT. I was inferring I am a really good guest.......LOL

I was pleasantly surprised with the wine selection at the Supermercado in LT. Good price points and selection. And not a bad selection of liquor. Not to sound "dependent", but I was very worried about the wine inventory when we first visited. Figured it would be a staple in retirement, if it isn't already   :D

Perhaps a thread on where to get ones wine and rum etc. in DR is on the cards?

One of the things I miss the most is access to reading material in English  i.e books, magazines etc. And I mean the paper type that I can hold not iBooks.

That is an ongoing challenge.  I used to get my books via two sources, other expats and hotel / resorts.  I had friends who would let me into the hotels to exchange books!

I would like to report my version of Expat fatigue:

I'm tired of not being an Expat yet..... LOL
Getting a little closer every day though.

Yes, that's what I keep telling myself. Hah. Tick tock.....

That would be the PRE expat fatigue..... LOL

Mark and Al,

If you google expat fatigue, you will understand the difficult nature of this syndrome. Exhaustion, isolation, wanting to leave, short temper etc.
It's real!

Following your advice.......

https://www.expatfocus.com/c/aid=5203/a … l-with-it/

Interesting read and probably acurate too.

I guess I'm one of the 10% ish. But i've been travelling and living abroad a lot and found this to be the answer for me.

Don’t isolate yourself from your host culture and live in an expat bubble. You don’t have to throw yourself into your new country wholesale and try to turn yourself into a local. Having said that, some people do go native in this way – they are known as ‘adopters’ and are estimated to be about 10 percent of expats. While you might not want to be an adopter, bear in mind that people who reject the host culture tend to be the ones who have the most problems; and they can find it difficult to fit in when they return home, too. Around 30 percent of expats are referred to as ‘cosmopolitan’ – adopting the most congenial aspects of the host culture, whilst retaining significant elements of their own.

Ultimately, moving abroad is a learning experience, so treat it as such and make the most of it!

Sorry if you thought I was making light of your issue. I just went back to the beginning of this thread and re-read your initial posts, no offense was intended.

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