Elite or the Hired Help?


As an expat, are you the elite or the hired help?

Every expat knows their answer. The answer is different, depending on the country. In fact, it depends on two factors: what country you’re in and what country you’re from.

Depending on where you are, and from where you hail, you rank higher in social status or you rank below others.

In one case, your job is something that very few if any native citizens can fill. In the other case, they assume you fill a vacancy which no one locally wants.

In one case, native citizens assume your salary is much higher than theirs. In the other case, because you’re not local, you probably earn a pittance.

Why? In both cases, it’s because you’re an expat. Let’s look at some examples.

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International Moving Checklist

Check, cheque, Czech
Check, cheque, Czech

Moving anywhere, whether across the street or across the ocean, requires considerable planning. The below checklist was written by Kathy Dorf of Clements International as a helpful international moving checklist for moving overseas.

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Lose the Routine – Live Abroad!

what am i doing here?
what am i doing here?
Most people live theirs lives day to day, by a routine.
Waking, working, eating, sleeping – by the clock. Sure, some people extend their daily routine with weekly or monthly ‘extras’ (swimming practice on Wednesdays, book club on the first Monday), but those quickly become routine life, too. Days, weeks, even months pass – we become robots in life -and we look back at a year asking yourself some questions:

    Where was the added value? What will I remember about this year?
    How would I do this year over again? Is it too late to do it now?
    How will I possibly find my one, true love?

After a couple years of asking yourself (or your friends/partner/spouse) these questions, you feel a growing desire to make a change. “I need a Big Change in life.” Your answer below.

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Tipping in Different Countries

Tipping - extra or mandatory?
Tipping - extra or mandatory?
If you’re from the US, you likely tip. Not just any loose change, but a healthy 15%. You may even believe that 15% is mandatory and extra good service warrants a bit more.

Fact #1: Only in the US do we tip 15-20%.

Fact #2: Tipping is not expected in all countries. In fact, not in most countries.

Fact #3: In many Asian countries, tipping can be insulting.

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“How Can You Just Move …to another Country?”

You're an Expat?!?We hear this question from friends, family, friends of family and some family of friends…
Anyway, the point is, there are people who are amazed a person would become an expat (or want to become an expat). I do understand why there are such people. And that’s one of the big reasons for this website – to inform you why, and more importantly how you can be an expat, too.

So, How Hard Is It? Will I Fail?
The hardest part is not doing it. I will tell you that Regret is a bitch. It’s a whole lot easier to just try. Regardless whether you live abroad for 1 month or 10 years, there is no failure in becoming an expat. If you uproot yourself and live abroad for 1 month, you have still lived abroad – hence, Success.

But the real rewards are in living and adapting.

Why Be An Expat?

runlogoNeed a reason to become an expat? Here are the most popular:
• “I have no job. Now what?” – There are countries begging for English speaking workers.
• “I want to retire cheaply.” – Go retire for cheap in a country with a low cost of living.
• “Looking for adventure and whatever comes my way!” – Plenty of adventure abroad.
• “Wanted by the Man.” – “I understand extradition from Rio is very complicated.” (Fletch, 1984)

Other popular reasons for US citizens:
• Broadening children with new cultures, new languages, new sights.
• Making your first $92,000 tax-free from the US government (for 2009 tax year)
• Speaking of taxes, you get an extra 2 months to file. April 15th – No. June 15th – Yes!
• Finding that special someone.

Hey, if these reasons aren’t quite enough, how about 100 reasons more? Enjoy!

What is an Expat?

The definition
The definition
“What is an expat?”
This is a fair question to ask, isn’t it? After all, we had better know who we’re dealing with before we set off talking at length about it.
Quick definition: An expatriate, or simply expat, is a person who moved away from their native country and adopted new residence in a different country.
Examples can be a Canadian teaching English in Korea, an American executive working in Czech Republic or a German retired in the Philippines.
Most importantly, this can be You. Any expat would agree – the experience makes for a more exciting, meaningful life. Visit here often and you will expat yourself.
For more definitions, Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster are glad to help.