Top 7 Perks of Expat Living

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Top 7 Perks of Expat Living

There are so many incredible advantages to being an expat, but sometimes we forget about them and wishing ourselves back home. Print out this list and keep it in a prominent place for when you get down on your choice to be an expat.


1. You get to reinvent yourself.

With each move, you get the chance to rediscover who you are. You have the power to be “the athletic one” or the “bookish one” or the “crafty one.” You can leave personality traits you don’t like behind in another country.


2. It’s almost impossible to have a lot of stuff.

When you’re an expat, you’re usually moving frequently or think you’ll move sometime in the future. You don’t have a chance to accumulate extra furniture, boxes, and other junk in your basement or a storage unit. Instead, you’ve probably gotten really good at paring down exactly what you need and living a clutter-free life.


3. You’re really close to your nuclear family.

When you’re separated from your usual network of friends and extended family, you naturally gravitate towards your family that’s with you. Relationships between siblings can become closer as can the relationship between parent and child and between spouses.


4. You have the perfect excuse to not take part in cumbersome obligations.

Let’s be honest, it comes in handy to say “I don’t speak native Spanish” when someone is trying to get you to volunteer for something you don’t want to do. “I live in Switzerland” is the perfect reason to RSVP “no” your second cousin’s child’s wedding. It’s tougher to get pulled into family drama when you don’t live in the same town.


5. You probably travel a lot more than you would at “home.”

If you’re an expat, you travel a lot more than people who live in your home country. Part of it is your desire to travel, but another big part is wanting to take advantage of the place you live as an expat, which may be temporary. You want to go places every weekend because who knows when you’ll get the chance to live in Germany/Japan/Brazil/South Africa again?


6. You’re forced to be creative.

Even if there wasn’t a drop of creativity in your body before you went overseas, you’re one of the most creative people you know now. You figured out how to make deep dish Chicago-style pizza with ingredients found in Ecuador. You know how to make your own Greek yogurt or bagels or cheese that you miss and have considered selling your creations. You’ve sewn (or asked someone else to sew) your design for your child’s Halloween costume because they don’t sell it in your country. You’ve organized a bocce ball tournament in your backyard for 50 people because there wasn’t anything else to do on that boring Malawi weekend.


7. You’ll always be the interesting one.

Even if you’ve only lived outside of your home country for a year or two, you will forever be the interesting one. People in your adopted country want to talk to you because they want to know more about the “foreigner.” Even when you go back to your home country (if ever), you’ll be “the interesting one” because you used to live “overseas.” Once you became an expat, you left “boring” behind forever.



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to: regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.

Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant


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