What makes life so addictive for expatriates?
Ernest Hemingway, the Wall Street journal, likens foreigners to drug addicts: “you’ve lost contact with the soil. You are precious. The fake European standard has ruined you. You’re hooked on sex. You spend all your time talking and not working. Are you a foreigner? You wander around the cafe. “
The accusations have been renewed for several years. Today’s foreigners, according to critics, are adventurous enthusiasts living outside their home countries like royalty. They are hooked on domestic assistants and salaries. Their drugs are an exciting cocktail of money, status and adrenaline.
But is this really the nature of the foreigners’ addiction? Is the foreigner a shallow group looking for the next challenge and a fat purse roaming around the world? Or does this lifestyle offer people something more attractive: the quality of life satisfies the desire to feel?
For thousands of foreigners around the world, this is impossible. Some go abroad to escape the poor economy, while others want to get international experience on their resumes. Some are backpack-type cultural explorers, corporate packaging and domestic workers, and opportunists. Motivation, lifestyle, and the number of years of mixing and matching, almost make the word “expat” meaningless.
Natalia Timmerman Blotskaya says it is a belarusian expatriate who lives in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. ‘when people become foreigners, they enter a whole new mindset,’ she says.
British Nicola boughton-smith says: “in the far away from home, you can give up all the things that affect your life and reflect on” who am I? “Allocate time between North America and Asia. “You can deconstruct your own stuff.”
For many, the process is liberating. There is no sense of responsibility for family, culture, social pressure and history. They are more conscious of their own identity. This can lead to arrogance and selfishness, triggering most diplomatic stereotypes. But it can also lead to more tolerance and compassion.
“My expats have changed a lot,” says Linda Eunson, a Canadian who spent 21 years in Singapore. “I’m more tolerant, taking different ways of doing things, more open… I feel like a world citizen, a fight, and I feel cool.
Effect snowball. The more open and comfortable the foreigner is, the more he is able to connect and make friends.
Todd Middagh, a Canadian who has lived in Asia for 13 years, says: “the ability to interact with people at random is addictive. “No fear, no problem talking with people.” Soon, a group of friends can spread around the globe.
As part of this international community, foreigners can also get new opportunities and ideas, and help them feel more confident in their professional and personal aspects. A life of temporary cultivation can also alleviate the fear of failure. Foreigners are sometimes allowed to try things that might not be encouraged at home. This combination could lead to foreigners taking on more risk.
Ms Blotskaya says: “no matter how sour and resentful you’ve been, the life of foreigners always offers another chance to do it all. “You can make up for the mistake you made or the wrong estimate, and start again.”
The more challenges many foreigners overcome, the more they feel the joy of growing up. After a while, this becomes the new normal, which makes life “home” boring.
That is why so many foreigners, economically or socially, refuse to give up their lifestyles. Abroad, they feel free, independent, adventurous, curious, and value their skills and self-awareness. “As a foreigner, I have the ability to live abroad and do it alone,” says Mr Meida.