[Estimated time to read: 5.5 minutes]
...no, life's not always a beach - even when you're at the beach...
Due to the positive response we received to a recent post about expat struggles - also known as first world problems - we thought we’d share some of the amusing things we as expats are tired of hearing!
We're pretty sure you can relate to at least 1 or 2 of these - if not all of them!
Feel free to share your own in the comments section below.
1. “Your life must be amazing, you're on holiday ALL the time!!”
We expats are generally considered to have an amazing life, with all our days spent sunbathing on the beach with a Piña Colada in hand!
But whilst the expat lifestyle is of course great - (why else would be abroad) - it’s not always that amazing!
Yes, we spend our weekends on the beach or at the poolside, but as we all know, it’s far from being on holiday all the time.
Moving to a new country doesn’t mean our problems have melted away. For some people, worries can become bigger – a high cost of living, job or visas security concerns, falling outside our old home country's social support system – to name but a few.
The good thing is, as expats we also have financial opportunities perhaps our peers don't have, and it's up to us to embrace them to offset some of the concerns that would otherwise keep us from enjoying our lifestyle.
So next time your friends and family tell you that your life's a beach, just try and see it from their point of view as they look out at another rainy day!
Yes the expat life can sometimes be tough, but there's more we can do about it than we could before we moved!
Never forget, we're just a phone call away if you want to get your financial matters sorted, so you can forget about money matters and get on with your amazing life!
2. “Why aren’t you fluent in [insert foreign language here] yet?”
Just because we’re expats in a foreign country doesn’t mean we’re fluent in its language!
Do you any idea how difficult it is to master a foreign tongue?
Of course, it’s always great to get down with the locals – it helps with integration, it helps you get more out of your time abroad, looks good on your CV and gives bragging rights...
But if you want to embarrass us, ask us this question!!
3. “Do you know [so and so]? They live in [insert name of massive country/continent] you live in too!
The chances of me knowing this person are slim to none!
4. “We're coming to visit!!!!”
As an expat you'll be amazed how popular you become! It's because everyone you know loves the idea of a free holiday and tour guide!
Don't be offended though - use it to your advantage...and get them to reciprocate so that when you want or need to go back home, you too have a free bed and taxi service!
5. “Did you hear about [latest news from home]? Oh I guess it doesn’t matter to you, being an expat and all.”
Leaving our home country to work abroad does not mean we don’t care about what’s going on!
You might be surprised by how knowledgeable expats are of national current events, even if they haven’t set foot in their old home countries in years. They might even be more aware of those issues than those who never left.
What's more, as international people, we have a broad and fresh perspective - so, go on, ask us what we think, and we will tell you!
By the way, as an expat you can probably retain your voting rights in your old home country if you choose to.
For Brits, you can register to vote online.
6. “Please! It can’t be that bad!”
No one can run away from themselves, their life or their problems...
And a problem isn’t less of a problem just because the sun is shining.
When talking about life's challenges with people back home, you often see eyes rolling!
Of course, life abroad is amazing at times, but it's also real life, and as expats we leave our network of friends and family when we move abroad - so if you're back home, try and be supportive of your expat friends, because we value your friendship!
7. “When are you coming home?”
Almost every expat gets asked this question, but most of us don’t really know when – or even if we ever want to!
Home is where we lay our hat.
What's more, once you've lived abroad it can be really hard to feel at home 'back home'...
As an expat, do you relate to these anecdotes?
Share your thoughts with us through the comments box below!
Finally, if repatriating is on your agenda - today, tomorrow, one day - we have a great free resource for you...
Written 2015: updated 2017.