How to Be an Entitled Expat in Brazil in 5 Easy Steps

Nothing irks me more than entitled expats in Brazil. These are the expats that live in their lovely little bubble of love and joy while wasting little time demeaning any other expat that does not see Brazil exactly as they do. To be clear, there are many expats in Brazil who have managed to make a good run at it, but at the very least they can recognize that life isn’t all roses for the majority here – this message is not directed towards them. I can actually respect their position. I have little love or sympathy for the entitled expat, though.

What does it take to become a part of this elite group, you ask?

Generally speaking, to be an entitled expat requires a dose of lack of empathy, mixed with a strong sprinkling of self-righteousness and perhaps just a dash of mental imbalance and asshole-ness. Below I have detailed how one puts these basic ingredients into action. Be sure to add your tips in the comments sections.

1. Pretend Brazil Is Not As Dangerous As It Is 

Brazil is the country in red.

To achieve this you must ignore that Brazil has homicide rates akin to war-torn countries. Ignore that tourists actually die when visiting one of the country’s landmarks cities, Rio de Janeiro. Ignore that nearly everyone you meet has either been a victim of crime or knows someone who has been a victim of crime.

After ignoring all these things and more, you must then have the mental fortitude to say Brazil is really not that bad and that it is just as dangerous in (pick a first-world nation from the bunch).

There is a catch, though. You can only make these bold statements under certain conditions.

One is if you live in a  compound with bars surrounding your house, apartment building, or front yard. You can also only take Übers and taxis to go everywhere at night.

Two would be that you have to live in a reasonably middle class or impoverished area and not mind dressing down so that people think you are just another favela resident, therefore somewhat avoiding being a target for crime.

Last is simply being lucky. It took a British friend of mine nearly 5 or 6 years of the nightlife in São Paulo before a gun was pointed at his face.

Whatever the case may be, your security bubble will bathe you in the light of righteous indignation when you hear another expat say that this country is an extremely unsafe and violent place to be in the majority of the cities where expats are able to find house and work. When your light shines bright you can then tell them they are wrong and stupid and should look at how dangerous it is in Chicago right now. Don’t forget to mention Brexit or Trump.

2. It’s All About The Benjamins, Baby


I can’t live without my dollars.


Come to Brazil with enough money to leave Brazil at any time – either because you are on a business contract or you simply rock that Master Card Gold.

While here, eat at the best restaurants, go to the best parks, live in the best housing, travel a lot, and have the option to go back to your home country at any time when the going gets rough.

Once that step is complete then please complain about other expats who complain about Brazil and who don’t have the same conditions as you do to simply pick up and go.

Also, make sure that you have a cosy home and job waiting for you when you get back to your home shores just to make your repatriation process all the much easier.

3. Keep it Solo and the Baggage Light


The fewer people you get to know the better life is.


Stay single, don’t fall in love, and make few friends and strong bonds that really matter. Once you have accomplished this feat you can yell at stupid expats who don’t leave Brazil by saying, “If you don’t like it that much then just leave!!!”

Make sure you enjoy the hell out of your stay in Brazil as basically a long-term tourist by also not paying taxes, not finding registered work, not trying to put a child through school, and certainly not dealing with in-laws. This way you can have a clear conscience when you decide to leave the country behind once it gets to be a little too rough for you.

4. Get on the Free Money Train


Nothing like getting paid for doing nothing.


Receive a sufficient allowance, whether from retirement, pension or other funds, in a currency other than Reais to keep you afloat.

Feel the power of your currency in your hand as the Real sinks into oblivion.

Then chastise expats who are barely scraping by with their salaries paid in Reais.

You can take this opportunity to rub in how things are actually cheaper in Brazil due to the exchange rate and that they should see the price of milk “back home.”

But most definitely use those foreign currencies to get yourself back into your own country when the government policies that you supported here, “to help the poor” start making even you feel the pinch. Please wave at us while leaving on your fast jet.

5. Be All Expat Be All Pride

Families that travel together leave the country for home together.


Come to Brazil with your foreign-born spouse and kids (make sure those kiddos are in the best private schools, by the way).

Once you make that sacrifice, you can feel free to get angry at stupid expats who won’t leave the country because their spouses can’t get a permanency visa back in their country of origin. Better yet, chastise the expats who are either separated and divorced whose ex-spouse won’t let them travel with the child or worse.

Live life in Brazil to its fullest while firmly holding on to you and your family’s “Get Out of Brazil” card. I am sure the rest of your family will be glad to see you when you get back.



You see, it’s really not hard at all to be an entitled expat – it’s about as easy as being a jerk.

With little practice, you can almost start believing your own bullshit and your entitlement bubble will only expand – reaching out to other entitled bubbles. Once this happens, you can all live happily while completely ignoring the actual difficulties that hundreds or more expats living in Brazil (who may actually even like the country a lot) face on a daily basis.

Ignoring their hardships because your life is sweet only makes their life that much easier. And since you have it all figured out you certainly are under no obligation to try to help them figure it out too and can instead high-horse your bullshit from your little respective bubbles.

To all the expats that have made it work here in Brazil, I congratulate you. I consider myself one of those people. As much as I would love to get back to the United States at some point, I am not sure what I would be going back to at this point for being away so long.

I have some job security, family, relative safety and a dog, which keep me from completely jumping the Brazilian ship. That said, if the stars are perfectly aligned, Philadelphia is still my heart and my home.

Like me, I hope that you who have made it work never stoop so low as to denigrate an expat who is going through hell here. I hope that you do all that you can to help theses expats while here and give them all the moral support when it comes time for them to get out.

Brazil is a tough country, even for some expats I know who have lived in war-zones, and the chances of things going wrong as opposed to right are high. Helping one another is par for the course – that is unless you live in the comfort of whatever bubble (and escape-Brazil mechanism) you have imposed or constructed for yourself.

P. Ray

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7 Responses to How to Be an Entitled Expat in Brazil in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Ken Wortley says:

    i was nervous from the title of this article to the very end. I love Brasil and yes i will retire here, and live a good life, while the majority suffers, does that make me a SHIT HEAD…..yes i worked hard for 28 years in the usa for my money, no i will not be a jerk, i have many friends in small Barras that i share my wealth freely, face it MOST americans will be rich in Brasil….I apologize for being born. but thank GOD every day for Grace

    • p. ray says:

      Why would you apologize for being born.

      I suggest rereading the article and realizing that I am not angry with people like you, but the sort of people who live inside a bubble and are incapable of any sort of empathy towards expats who may not have the same great experience down here.

      As I stated below, I am doing pretty well in Brazil and have no plans to leave in the near future. I don’t judge anyone else’s experience here, good or bad, based on that, though. I think that is wrong, rude, and lacks empathy.

      If you do not fall into that category of expat than congrats! You are a winner. And don’t ever apologize for being born – make yourself a better person if you feel that terribly.


      And thanks for reading.

  2. pugard says:

    Wow – angry detector reads overload! After 12 years I absolutely love Brazil and I certainly don’t fall into your definitions nor do I see Brazil through rose-tinted glasses. You clearly have some personal issues that need to be resolved. After having travelled to 62 countries there is nowhere I would rather live that Brazil and I’m very pleased and proud to now be a permanent resident for ten years.

    • p. ray says:

      Pugard thanks for reading.

      I don’t understand all your outrage when you so clearly described yourself as exactly not the type of expat to whom I was referring in the article. I even made the point to create a distinction between expats who love it here and are jerks and expats who love it here but are realistic. I did this at both the start and end of the article.

      I have zero problem with you enjoying Brazil (I enjoy it too at times) and I congratulate you for not wearing rose colored glasses. Unfortunately, not every expat is like that and they are quick to jump down the throat of anyone whose version of Brazil is lesser or greater than theirs. —

      P.S. We all have personal issues, don`t we? Thanks again for reading.

  3. Raph says:

    Well, I am from Brazil and the truth is that this behavior also holds for Brazilians in a different way. Pointing fingers at our problems is easily seem as an elitist attitude. I had the following conversation with my girl friend several times:

    – Brazil is one of the best and most important countries in the world – Her
    – Well, in my opinion Brazilian cultural influence in the world is very peripheral (we are not so relevant). Also, Brazil has a lot of problems – Me
    -But Brazil is a paradise, we do not have hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc – Her
    – Ok, but we have 60,000 murders per year. How many people died from natural disasters last year? – Me
    [The conversation usually ends here]

    Also, there is another myth that Brazilians also belief: people here are warmer and foreigners are colder

    This is very funny because as you go to poorer places the myth increases. I lived for many years in Belém (PA) and then moved to São Paulo (SP). When I see a friend from Belém is usual to hear something like: “What I do not like in São Paulo is that people here are colder”

    Just one more comment (about the Brazilian inability to accept criticisms): try to critic our cuisine, or just say “feijão com arroz is not so good” and prepare yourself to be seeing as a incarnation of the devil. Brazilians are food nazis.

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