I have been an ex-pat for over 30 years. There are many reasons why people become ex-pats and for many of us, we become long term ex-pats. I am a great believer in being an ex-pat at least once in your life can be a life changing experience.
The main 8 reasons to become an ex-pat are 1) sense of adventure, 2) experience other cultures, 3) it is a great lifestyle. 4) open your eyes to the world. 5) can find a great community, 6) can help develop your career, 7) there will be opportunities you will not get otherwise, and 8) it has become easier to be an ex-pat.
Even though I love being an ex-pat I also know it is not for everyone. Not everyone’s situation will allow them to become an ex-pat.
Thoughts About Being An Ex-pat
I understand that not everyone can handle being an ex-pat. Not everyone does well living overseas. I have seen many couples where one partner loves living overseas and the other partner can barely get out of the house and is miserable.
In almost every single case, the family had to go home or there was a break-up or divorce. In some cases, the husband who was overseas for his work had to change jobs as his wife or children just could not handle life overseas.
So the first question you need to be asking yourself is why you want to be an ex-pat? If you are single and going overseas on your own, this question is a lot easier for you to answer
But, if you are married or have a family or are in a serious relationship., then you must ask yourself if your partner can handle living overseas? The truth is if your partners cannot handle it you will probably be as miserable as they are.
Also, some children who have special needs or difficulties, being overseas may not be the best place for them. It really just depends on where you will be living and what services they offer. And other children who are in a special sport may find that living overseas they cannot do the sport or activity they want to do.
I want to point this all out, since even though I feel like living overseas and feel it is a great lifestyle, it may not be for everyone. Or it maybe something you want to do, but for other members of your family or those who mean a lot to you, it would be devastating.
If you are interested to find out more about different kinds of ex-pats you can read our blog on What is an Expat or Expatriate? What You Need To Know by clicking here.
Here are some of my 8 main reasons to become an ex-pat:
1 – Sense of Adventure
If you love adventure and love to try new things, then being an ex-pat maybe the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle. There is a real sense of adventure in being an ex-pat, especially if you choose to live in a third world country or underdeveloped country.
I know for me I love this sense of adventure. Riding a canal boat to work when I lived in Thailand and I would have to jump off the boat onto a rickety old pier. Or, riding my motorcycle around the streets of Hanoi. I love this sense of adventure that is part of my daily life.
2 – Experience Other Cultures
Living overseas is a great way to experience the culture of another place and people. These are usually experiences and things you would never experience otherwise. And these experiences in turn can change your life for good.
As I have been an ex-pat one of the joys is about learning and discovering about other cultures and people. You learn to enjoy their food and their traditions that you would never have discovered otherwise. And you learn to take the best of their culture and incorporate that into your own life.
For example, during my time in Thailand grew to love Thai food. I also appreciated how kind and gracious the Thais are. I try to remember all these things from my time in Thailand.
3 – It is a Great Lifestyle
Most of the time, living as an ex-pat is a great lifestyle. Many companies if they send you overseas will also give you some extra perks.
If you live in a country that has a reasonable salary, chances are you can afford some full-time or part-time help. This means that you will have someone who can help you with things like cleaning your home, food, taking care of children, and helping you take care of your personal needs.
This will free-up time so that you can do other things that you may choose to do such as sport or hobby.
4 – Opens Your Eyes To the World
Living overseas will open your eyes to the world. Most ex-pats when they live overseas have a lot of opportunities to travel either around the country where they live or around other countries near-by. Many of them will also travel back to their home countries at least once a year.
If you love to travel, living overseas and being an ex-pat will give you a lot of great opportunities to see and experience the world up close and personal. You are no longer just a person who is traveling to a place for a few days, but you are living there so each day you can see and experience new things.
5 – Can Find a Great Communiy
In all my years overseas, one of the things I have enjoyed is the community of people and like-minded friends I have met overseas. You form a bond and a community as for most of us we are away from home and away from our families so many times, our friends become a surrogate kind of family.
Many of these same friends you will keep in touch with long past when you have all left. I know of several groups of people who were overseas with someone and they became very good friends so they still contact each other and check up on each other. I also have several of my ex-pat friends I consider to be life-long friends.
6 – Can Help Your Career Development
If you are going overseas for your career, there is a very big chance that you will experience and learn things overseas that you would not be able to learn or experience any other way. You could also be given career advancement opportunities you would not get at home.
And you will experience a new way of working that you maybe did not know before. And this in turn will help you with your future career, especially as the world continues to get more global.
7 – Opportunities You May Not Get Otherwise
Besides just career opportunities there will be other opportunities that will also await you as an expat. Opportunities such as being able to travel, see the world, experience a new culture and even learn a new language.
Many of these opportunities you could maybe get at home but it would not be the same as living overseas. Living overseas is usually filled with opportunities, especially if you look for them.
8 – It Has Become Easier to Be An Expat
It has become easier to be living overseas. Besides the time difference, with technology today you can contact your loved ones at home on FaceTime, Skype, or an IP Phone. I have an US IP Phone called Ring Central that I use to call home to my parents twice a day most days. You can find out more by clicking here.
It used to be very expensive and difficult to communicate with your home country or your loved ones at home. But with technology today it is very easy. And this makes living overseas and staying connected at home so much easier than it used to be.
I have loved being an ex-pat and living overseas, but I also understand this lifestyle may not be for everyone. But those people who are considering becoming an expatriate and think they will enjoy it – I say welcome to the wonderful club of being an ex-pat and experiencing life overseas.
What You Should Know Before Traveling Alone?
Traveling alone to explore a new destination is an amazing experience. But before you travel there are things you should do such as doing your homework to know all about your destination. You must also check out all the legal and visa requirements to be sure you have no issues with your travel plans. And finally, have at least the first few days of your travel planned out.
What Are Some Ways Travel Will Change Your Life?
Travel is a life-changing experience for most people. Travel will help you to discover new life experiences, give you fresh horizons, allow you to see poverty in a whole new light, so you realize your life is not so bad after all. Travel also gives you a chance to be a cultural bridge to the world and to understand that experiences in life are more important than collecting material things.