February 19, 2010

Introduction by friend Winston Wu

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your interest in pursuing knowledge and understanding of the multi-national world, expanding your cultural awareness, and openness in allowing others to share with you what they’ve learned.

The following is a collection of intellectual dissertations, observations, comparisons, insights, wisdom, lessons and advice on international living and dating by my Advisor, an extraordinary expat, traveler and writer who goes by the pseudonym “Ladislav”, and whom I’ve dubbed “The Socrates of International Culture and Dating”. I’ve collected them from the many posts he’s made online throughout the years.

Having been to over 30 countries and speaking 10 languages (a phenomenal number), Ladislav has lived an effective life and lived his dreams at the same time, by combining the benefits and advantages of multiple countries in different areas of life. He is a firm believer that one country does not have it all, and may not give you all that you want and need. So the most effective path is to combine lives in multiple countries, a concept he calls “quilting your world”.

Throughout his years of travels and experiences, he has developed a multi-national scope of depth that few can ever touch, which is very evident in his writings, insight, analysis, and observations. Thus, I’ve often quoted from him in many parts of my Happier Abroad Ebook. His multi-faceted wisdom and insight in practical, sociological and psychological areas reflect a depth and broadness I’ve never encountered before. It is unparalleled and you will not find anything like it either online or in any other book. I can guarantee you that.

I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him in person, and I can say that the conversations I’ve had with him reminded me of the conversations between Socrates and his students chronicled by Plato in his works.

Ladislav does not even consider this collection, which he dubbed “Expatriate Observations”, to even be a book, but rather an unfinished neverending continuation of observations and insights he gains during his journeys. And as such, the reader will notice that the content is not organized or structured in any systemic way.

Thanks to his generosity of spirit, he has allowed me to collect what he’s written so far and put them together here.

Now I should warn you first, that there is NO political correctness at all in these observations – only truth, depth and insight. Therefore, if you are one of the many out there who filters the truth you see through “politically correct lenses” as I call it, you may be in for a rude shock. So be prepared. This caters to very open minded types who can see things the way they are, without any politically correct programming filter. So make sure you are willing to become such a type, before continuing on.

Please keep in mind that, as with my Happier Abroad Ebook, the dissertations and observations expressed here are only general guiding rules, not absolutes. Ladislav acknowledges that exceptions exist for every general pattern, and that such exceptions can be cited by others. Thus, absolutes are not claimed here, only patterns and tendencies.

Also please note that this is a collection of observations and experiences filled with insight and wisdom, not a guidebook telling you what to do. In fact, no one can rightly tell you what to do with your life. There is no magic formula or single path that is right for everyone or works for all people. Everyone has their own path, destiny and karma that is gradually discovered through progressive revelation. Thus no one person, no matter how brilliant or experienced, really knows what is “right” for another. To presume that they do would be foolish. However, there is nothing wrong with sharing one’s observations, experiences and lessons learned for another to consider, and as an aid for introspection or self-reflection. Taken in that perspective, this collection is quite a gem.

Therefore, I now present Expatriate Observations, and it is my hope that you will find the content as enriching as I have.

Winston Wu
Founder of HappierAbroad.com

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