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Thread: The expatriate thread: who else lives in another country?

  1. #26

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: North of everything
    I think Demagogue phrased it better than I could. Maybe I shouldn't even have used the word expat to begin with. I just started this thread to hear people's stories about living in another country. I'm sure we'd all have some similar experiences, but if you read my first post, I asked a lot of questions, opening up for a wider scope than just my own.

  2. #27
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    Your intentions were good, but I do feel iffy about the word as Iíve had seen it often use as a clear divider between class/race, for starters. Sorry if it got a bit political, but I wanted to test the waters to see what page most of us were on. The same, it seems. And since my original question has also been adressed, Iím good. I may even partake on the thread later on.

    Carry on, citizens. <3

  3. #28
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    That's the only way I understand expatriate. I mean historically people liked to only apply it to middle class whites living the high life in some other country, whereas if people were brown and particularly if they were moving from their native developing country to a developed country for work
    I used to be an old school expat, in Africa, just how you imagine it, Out of Africa style (scenes from that movie even look like places we frequented).

    It was the "high life" relatively speaking because expats got paid in £ as if they were working in the UK, but the cost of living was really low. We had servants (hired help) that cost next to nothing to hire, yet were on great pay for locals. It was really odd and we did analyse the morality of it all the time.

    But really it was my parents that were the expats.

    I know this because I've never felt fully settled in the UK until the last 5 years, and I don't think expats kid's feel like they are going home when they get back to wherever. I grew up in Africa, it was home. I felt like a foreigner here for so long and now I just feel comfortable being a bit international. I travel to Europe a lot for work now and it's almost natural.
    Last edited by SubJeff; 3rd Jul 2018 at 18:21. Reason: Edited for clarity and a little update

  4. #29
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    Why did you move to a different country? Was it for work/love/money/study/safety/survival? Was it your choice? How do you feel now about the country you left? How do you feel about the country you moved to? What's different? What's the same? Is it better or worse? Do you want to go back? Can you go back? Do you have fellow countrymen in your new home, or are you the only one? Did your family come with you? Have you made new friends? Do you speak the language? Questions, questions...
    I did the expat thing for a while, living in Sydney, Australia for a few years, and then the South of England for a bit. Prior to that I had spent periods of time in Japan but never moved there. I've been back in the US for a few years now.

    I moved away from the US mainly because I was looking for a life change. Why Australia? Active lifestyle, for one thing. Language, for another. I knew my wife would hesitate to move someplace where she couldn't get by with English. Also, a former colleague had taken a senior position at an Australian company a few years prior. As soon as I sent him an email inquiring about job prospects, the company started trying to recruit me, which made finding a job easy.

    What's different? History, government, cultural experiences that Australians shared growing up that I didn't, colloquialisms, holidays, work/life balance, better food, generally newer & better infrastructure and transport, higher cost of living, more optimism. But the differences were not large. Culturally, I felt more at home in Australia than in a lot of the US, and it didn't require any acclimation period to get comfortable there.

    The hardest part was being without my wife for the first year. As soon as I arrived in Australia, I found out the company I joined wanted me to move to the UK to deal with a problem project there. That hung over my head for a year while my wife held onto her job back in the US.

    I really liked living in Australia, and wanted to stay permanently. However, when my wife got pregnant with our first child, her homing instinct turned on and she insisted on raising her kids closer to family in the US. So here we are.

    I also spent some time living in England, and splitting work time between greater London and Weymouth. The summers were lovely, the winters not so much. There was lots to see and do, and Dorset felt very homey. But I didn't have an easy time meeting friends outside of work.

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