Thursday, November 19, 2015

The 3 Types Of Expats.


An expat by definition is derived from the word expatriate and refers to a person who is temporarily or permanently living in a country other than their citizenship. I am an American citizen presently living in Hong Kong.

In my limited experience, there seems to be three categories of expats. The first is the expat that remains in the bubble that is most familiar to them. They make friends with those who carry the same passport citizen as themselves. They seek out what is familiar and remain in what is familiar. This category does not branch out to experience what the local culture as to offer. I grew up in the Philippines and went to a school for missionary kids, and the same applied there. Many of the missionary teachers lived a very western lifestyle. 

The second type of expat dabbles in the local culture but does not fully embrace it. I fall into this category. I like to dip my toe into the water, and maybe go up to my waist, but I don't feel comfortable fully immersing myself. I enjoy our city in Hong Kong, where we only see about five Caucasians over the period of a week, but I still like to spend plenty of time in my comfort zone.

Finally the third category of expat is the one who dives in to the local culture head first. My husband would fall into this category. He doesn't blink an eye at walking into a local restaurant and ordering food simply by pointing and smiling. My husband has a more adventurous spirit in him than I do and tries to learn the local language whenever possible. He doesn't see the point of living in another country if you aren't going to experience its true culture.

One of the greatest things about Hong Kong is that no matter what kind of expat you are, there is something for you, and it is nearly all within walking distance.

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