Living Abroad: Are you addicted yet?

Life abroad

Living overseas in the Philippines

We go abroad, not just to teach, but reinvent ourselves.

Some of us want international work experience. Others to escape bad economies. And then there are those… who embark for a new country to break the boredom of life back home.

Regardless, we are all expats…

They say “once an expat, always an expat”. But, of course this expression can’t be taken literally.

It by no means implies that once you’ve lived abroad you’ll stay abroad (although a rare few do).

But, once you’ve spent significant time in a foreign land, navigating a different culture, learning a new language, and adapting to local work habits, you enter a whole new state of mind and you’ll NEVER be the same.

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.

The reality is… the majority of us do end up back home (eventually).

But, the experiences we’ve had overseas last forever.

The expat life can be summed up in one word…

LIBERATING….

Why?

Because it’s a special time in our lives when we’re free to learn a tremendous amount about ourselves through character development (just like actors).

Living abroad jolts us out of our comfort zones into situations where our our patience, discipline, and tolerance are constantly tested.

Being an expat allows us to escape the obligations of citizenship, the constraints of our own culture, and the societal expectations back home. Having a car, a 9-5 job, a significant other, children…. The list goes on….

For some of us living in a foreign country lets us write our own script and choose our character…

How about being a foreign actor, an English professor, a global executive, or even a digital nomad?

Best of all… there’s nobody around to tell us otherwise!

As an expat, we often get to experience hanging out with other expats, we would have never spent time with with back home.

Take a 25 year old English teacher and a 60 year old one living in an country like Thailand…

On a Friday night, they happen to be sitting on bar stools next to each other…

After initial small talk their conversation inevitably turns to the ups and downs of living as a foreigner, or their fondness for sharing travel stories alike. They have a lot more in common then they would have ever had back home despite the age gap.

In a nutshell, being an expat is an irresistible brand of escapism. But like any form of escapism, it can slowly but surely become an addiction.

And it’s definitely a drug you’ll NEVER find back at home.

Are you ready for REHAB? 🙂


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