One of the major personal challenges for an expat is coping with loneliness. If you relocated to North Dakota, it probably would not be long before you made new friends and felt right at home, but if you relocated to a strange new country that speaks a language you have not mastered, with new customs that are not easily understood, it is not easy to avoid loneliness. And loneliness can be the gateway to many other problems, including depression, despair and anxiety.
My home city of Chiang Mai is full of expats that have escaped the economic chaos and erosion of personal freedom perceived in Europe and in America, but it is not an improvement if you are alone in a new country with no one to talk with, share ideas and experiences. It is an essential part of our human nature to have this. In Thailand, I believe it is even more difficult with adult Western women that may be alone. The “dating scene” amongst expats (expat guys with expat girls) is just about non-existent, but one can develop expat friends with a bit of effort.