Last year I became an expat for the second time of my life and moved to the UK. Four months in now, and things are still as awesome as ever and for those like me, we find ourselves thriving in different environments, learning new ideas and making new friends. Many stick around for a year or two, others remain long term expats, however I know that all of us have one thing in common – our expatriate experience defines us, our travels shape us and as a result, our lives become pretty awesome.
Expats Are Gurus Of Their Countries
“You are the guru, the go to person, relating to all facts, figures and all interesting information about your home country to everyone you meet in your new country.” ~ Luke Robbins, Managing Director of Chad Harrison International (Aussie expat in the UK)
Who doesn’t like to feel special? I know I do, and lately I’ve been feeling it. I am the only Australian in the office at the moment and I get to be the person they ask if anyone ever needed information about Australia. Of course, that means at international events I am my own team, but hey, that is not necessarily a bad thing, the Aussies beat the crap out of England today, and guess who was the only one cheering? :)
Expats are Gurus of Their Host Countries
On the other hand, when those at home wants to know anything about the country you are currently residing, we become the go to person for your host country as well. We become so good at promoting it (we did choose to move here after all) that I think tourism boards should pay more attention to what expats are saying!
Expats Can Deal With Change
Our world is constantly changing, and change is inevitable for progress. It’s the universal truth that many people choose to ignore, but expats can deal with change like we change our clothes, we take it as a fact of life, change and then move on. We become less stressed about change and can maintain a more positive point of view; some of the changes might have been initiated by us!
“I chose to leave my home where I grew up, to leave everyone I knew and move around the world. On one hand, I’ve met so many amazing people who’ve touched my life in such a short amount of time. On the other hand, I keep moving and have to say goodbye! However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’d rather have met these friends and know that they’ll always be a plane ride away.” ~ Stephanie Galavodas (American expat currently in South Africa)
Expats Know There Are More Than One Way Of Doing Things
Expats are more flexible, and know there are more than one way of doing things. Just like how we embrace change, we also embrace the fact that people do things differently, and it is okay to pick up some new habits and drop a few old ones. The way we used to know isn’t always the best way, and we are okay with that.
Expats Have Expanded Global Perspectives
“Our Global perspective makes us awesome! (It’s also what isolates us from friends back home who are more concerned with footy scores than with global trends.)” ~ Michael Perre, music teacher (Aussie expat in Qatar)
Wait a minute, I hear you say, but travellers have global perspectives too!
True. Being a traveller I do not argue that at all, but expats have different global perspectives. Expats have to deal with things that travellers don’t have to, things as little as opening bank accounts and dealing with immigration. Depending on where you live, there are also different issues each country deal with which also affect our daily lives.
From our expat lives we learn that the world goes beyond our immediate surroundings and beyond the national borders. We don’t just know about the issues, we have to live with the issues.
And it looks like I am not the only fan of the expat life. Read the Expat Explorer blog on Why Expat Life Beats Being Tourist.
Are you an expat? What makes you feel awesome everyday? :) Share your thoughts with us!