Expat Stories: Overcoming cultural differences becomes easier over time.

by Nasim Insari
(Cochabamba, Bolivia)

Nasim Insari

Nasim Insari

How did you first hear about Bolivia and/or become interested in Bolivia as a possible place to live?

I moved here for personal reasons, fell in love with the place and decided to stay.

Where are you from originally and why are/were you considering living overseas when you first took Bolivia into account as an option?

I am originally from Pakistan, however I moved here from the Virginia, USA.

Which languages do you speak? If you do not speak Spanish, has this made adjusting to, and living in Bolivia more difficult for you?

I speak English, Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic and some Spanish.

Did you come here as an individual, couple or family?


Are you planning to live in Bolivia short-term or long term?

I would like to live here, if all goes well.

Do you work or plan to work or start your own business in Bolivia?

I own a small restaurant called Hamburguesas de Arabia. Plus I do private dining events out of my home.

Is Bolivia the only country to which you contemplated moving, or did you consider other choices? If so, why did you ultimately choose Bolivia?

I chose Bolivia for personal reasons.

What steps did you take to research about Bolivia to prepare yourself prior to arriving?

I did prepare myself ahead of time, just came and stayed.

What do you miss most about your home country?

I can say my home country is the United States. And I miss many things, like a system which actually works.

What do you like/love/appreciate most about Bolivia?

I am based in Cochabamba, I love the weather, it is inexpensive to live here compared to the States.

Did you relocate on your own, or do you work for a company that relocated you to Bolivia?


If your plan is/was to retire in Bolivia permanently, how did you prepare financially, and in other ways to make that possible?

My background is in technology. I am still working with my clients in the U.S. It drives some income for me and makes it easier for me to live here in Bolivia. I have an MBA from George Washington University, with a major in Hospitality. I also own an IT company in Northern Virginia.

For those of you who have lived in Bolivia for at least 6 months, now that you are here, what have you learned about Bolivia that you did not know before?

That it is poorly structured country.

What special skills or attitudes do you think a person or family needs in order to ensure their stay in Bolivia is enjoyable/successful?

Well... for expats who are looking to live here, it is important that you mingle well with Bolivians, learn the language. In terms of making a living here, it is a bit tricky. But not impossible.

Is there any reason you would NOT recommend Bolivia as a place to live, work or retire?

Bolivia is not a bad place to retire. However to work here could be complicated, depending on one's skill set.

What is the most negative aspect about living in Bolivia in your opinion?

Poorly managed public services.

What are some of the most positive aspects about living in Bolivia in your opinion?

Inexpensive to live. Great ecotourism.

Have you faced any unexpected difficulties while living here? Were you able to overcome those obstacles? Are they serious enough to cause you to want to leave?

It is always tough to relocate to a new country. In my case I am still struggling with language and cultural differences. But it is becoming easier as time passes by.

For future potential expatriates who are considering living in Bolivia, what advice would you give them (how to prepare, what to bring or not bring, etc.)

Language is a must. Prepare yourself before arriving, and again, be socially active with locals.

What are some of the things that were most difficult for you to accept or adjust to in Bolivia?

So far language.

Prior to moving here, what aspects of living in Bolivia would you have liked to know more about or have more assistance with? Is there anything anyone could have done, or informed you about that would have made your choice to move to Bolivia, the relocation process itself, or your initial adjustment period easier, less stressful, less frightening?

In my opinion if you are coming to Bolivia to live, make sure you look into immigration laws very carefully. Bring all the supporting documents with you. Perhaps it would be even better to speak to an immigration attorney prior to your arrival.

Hindsight is 20/20. If you could go back in time to the months before you moved to Bolivia, is there were anything you would do differently to prepare for living in Bolivia?

Yes, I would do few things differently. I was not totally prepared for the immigration ordeal.

Just for statistical purposes, had you heard of BoliviaBella.com or Expat Services prior to moving to Bolivia? If so, which parts of our website were most helpful to you? What information would you like to see added for future potential expats?

Yes, I visited BoliviaBella.com prior to arriving in Bolivia. I think BoliviaBella.com is a great source of information for expats. Great job guys.

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Feb 09, 2015
Nice Getting to Know you Better
by: Miranda Kay

Thanks for sharing about your story.

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