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Aetna International, a foreigner health care insurance provider, has just announced its worldwide foreigner survey of 1,000 expatriates from six countries (UK, U.S, Singapore, China, Thailand and the UAE).
This latest report delves into the true difficulties of living in another country, from how foreigners feel to their adopted country to how locals believe they are being viewed. It also works with local foreigner views and on the effect of COVID-19 on ex-pat lives.
It was surprising to read that while social distancing steps to keep them from meeting friends and families should be adhered to, 56.3% of informants confirmed that, if they had the opportunity, they would choose to remain in their own country throughout the pandemic.
Interestingly, Thailand has the largest number of ex-pats at this period who would like to be home at 71%. The main results reported in the research cited Worldbackpackers.com, which classified Chiang Mai as a top-three city for digital nomads as a potential cause, writing, "It could be the case that younger entrepreneurs don't really set down roots, or take up families, and yet have fewer in-country support networks. Such people may be more likely to go home in times of trouble.
Interestingly enough, Thailand is the most impacted mental health nation with an effect recorded by 50 per cent of ex-pats. Considering that we have low COVID-19 death levels, this could be due to the fact that the economy of the country is heavily dependent on tourism which causes economic stress.
The positive news is that after the pandemic almost 60% of participants acknowledged eating healthier and just 21% consuming less healthy. Thailand takes the crown here with 80% of foreigners choosing to eat better. A record 43% of people are doing more physical activity and 27 per cent consuming less alcohol and only 18% more. Another knot tying for foreigners in Thailand is the reality that people are exercising more than before.