Author Topic: What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?  (Read 2537 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline thaiga

What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?
« on: June 27, 2015, 05:59:54 PM »
What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?


The original expat, American writer Ernest Hemingway, shown here at a Spanish bull-fight in Madrid.
Central Press/Getty Images

Long before glitz and glamour came to accompany corporate packages, Ernest Hemingway likened expats to addicts: “You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed with sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafes.”

The accusations have stuck, with a few updates through the ages. According to critics, today’s expats are adventure-junkies who live like royalty outside their home countries. They’re hooked on domestic helpers and padded salaries. A heady cocktail of money, status and adrenaline is their drug.

But is this really the nature of the expat “addiction”? Are expats a shallow group roaming the globe with fat wallets in search of the next challenge high? Or does the lifestyle offer people something more attractive: a quality of life that satisfies the desire to feel like a self-determined individual?

It is impossible to make a sweeping statement about the thousands of expats around the world. Some go abroad to escape poor economies, while others want international experience on their resumes. Some are backpacker-like explorers of culture, and there are the opportunists after the corporate package and domestic staff. Motivations, lifestyles and tenures mix and match so much it almost renders the word “expat” meaningless.

However, across all walks of expat life, many foreigners are united in their hesitation to “go back,” a description that often means more than just going home and implies returning to a previous state.

It isn’t about the money, says Natalia Timmerman Blotskaya, a Belarussian expat of more than 20 years who has lived in the Middle East, Europe and Asia on both local and corporate packages. She says the moment people become expats, they enter a whole new state of mind.

“It’s like becoming a Switzerland, neutral – politically and emotionally – and experiencing a culture without having to be involved with the internal affairs.”

This is where the buzz of the lifestyle begins. Set apart from familiar external influences, some expats stop worrying about pressures to mold and keep the people around them happy. The challenge of living in a new place lets them see themselves as individuals rather than citizens of a specific country or members of a culture. This gives them a whole new internal perspective.

“In time away from your ‘home’ environment, you can step away from all those things that have influenced your whole life and reflect on ‘who am I?’” says Nicola Boughton-Smith, a Briton who has spent 7 ½ years abroad, with time split between North America and Asia. “You can deconstruct the things that have made you who you are.”

For many, this process is liberating. Free from responsibility to family, culture, social pressures and history, they feel more in control of their own identity. This can lead to the arrogance and selfishness that sparks most expat stereotypes. But it can also lead to more tolerance and empathy.

“I’ve changed so much as an expat,” says Linda Eunson, a Canadian who has spent 21 years in Singapore. “I’m more tolerant, have adopted different ways of doing things and am much more open…I feel like a citizen of the world, a jet-setter and that feels pretty cool.”

The effect snowballs. The more open and comfortable an expat becomes, the more he’s able to network and make friends.

“The ability to just randomly meet people is addictive,” says Todd Middagh, a Canadian who has lived in Asia for 13 years. “There is no fear, no problem talking to people.” Soon, one’s group of friends can stretch around the globe.

Being part of this international community also can give expats access to new opportunities and ideas, and can help them feel more confident, both professionally and personally. Living temporarily planted can also soften fears of failure. Foreigners are sometimes granted unspoken permission to try things that might be discouraged in their home countries. The combination can lead expats to take more risks.

“No matter how sour or discontent your previous experience was, the expat life always offers another chance to make it all different,” says Ms. Blotskaya. “You can make amends with the mistakes you’ve done or miscalculations and start anew.”

The more challenges many expats overcome, the more they enjoy the adrenaline of feeling themselves grow. After awhile, this becomes the new normal and makes life “back home” seem boring in comparison.

Which is why so many expats – regardless of financial or social standing – resist giving up the lifestyle. Abroad, they feel free, independent, adventurous, curious, valued for their skills and self-aware. “As an expat, I have the ability to live in a foreign country and just be left alone to do,” says Mr. Middagh.

In other words, a distilled sense of oneself in relationship to the world is the real expat “drug.” But this isn’t toxic, most expats argue. It’s a fantastic way of experiencing life.

blogs.wsj

Is this true. “You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed with sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafes.”

Are expats a shallow group roaming the globe with fat wallets.  :uhm
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 08:59:23 AM »
I'll post to that after watching the movie "The best Exotic Marigold Hotel". By what I read it might give some insight.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer Official [HD]


They keep running it every few weeks on UKfilm4. I got it on my recording list now.
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

Offline thaiga

Re: What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 11:51:45 AM »
How many life's can we have

Video below

Seven elderly Britons, to get a variety of factors, respond to a web-based ad and travel to Jaipur, India, exactly where they discover run-down hotel having a young, exuberant, and optimistic host. Evelyn, newly widowed, wants low-cost encounter, Graham seeks a long-ago like, Douglas and Jean have lost their pension in a family investment, Muriel requires inexpensive hip surgery, Madge seeks a rich husband, and Norman is chasing ladies.

putlocker.ms/watch-the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel-online
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline sowhat

Re: What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2015, 11:45:28 AM »
i enjoyed that,may i be one of the first to say thanks for the links "Marigold Hotel"

did anybody else think it was entertaining
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 08:24:24 PM »
I've just finished watching the sequel "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". Was it entertaining? I would say, it is a lot more than that! In the first movie the necessity for "outsourcing old age", the reasons for many to become expats in a developing country is portrayed, the second movie focuses an the fulfillment octogenarians can find there.

I for myself found lots of parallels to expats around here in those movies. The movies have not only become famous for the stars and their acting, but the topic of "outsourcing oneself" from the hustle is finding more and more interest. It's combining lots of things. There are a couple of businesses or better initiatives like that in Isaan as well.

Now, "What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive?" Is it an "addiction' or rather plain "openmindedness"?
 
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

 



Thailand
Statistics