Expat Encounters

Yesterday, an article I wrote about meeting expats in Malaysia was published on ExpatsBlog.com. You can read the full story here. Expats Blog was created by expats for expats, with their researchers traveling the globe looking for stories that would interest their fellow expatriates. It’s a pretty cool site for those living, or thinking about living abroad.

The story is less a how-to on the intricacies of meeting fellow expats in foreign lands, but instead about a rather unusual way in which I met not just a fellow expat, but one remarkably similar to me in pretty much every way from nationality to when our babies are due. Like I mentioned in the article, one of the perks of living abroad is getting to meet people from all over the globe who think and act differently than you, that challenge your worldview and get you to think more and embrace other cultures. However, in the midst of the often chaotic situations of living abroad, sometimes, it’s nice to have friends similar to you to have a little slice of home wherever you are.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

From the lush jungles of Costa Rica, to the fairytale-esque castles of the Czech Republic, to the mesmerizing deserts of the Middle East to the opulent malls of Singapore and everywhere in between, I have randomly bumped into people oddly similar to my past and present circumstances. Fellow alum from my graduate school, folks born and raised in my hometown, Americans with the same globe-trekking addiction (which, let me tell you, not all Americans are as open-minded, willing to adapt, and culturally curious as I)! And now to the non-American readers you are probably scoffing to yourself thinking ‘thank you captain obvious for stating that insightful insider piece of information about Americans – I knew there was something weird about them.’

…. So, I said all that to say this, sometimes meeting new people goes beyond the expat groups to the Internet, more specifically blogs. Simple research can yield folks with the same interests or circumstances as you. I know, I know, one of the main perks to living abroad is getting to meet and interact with people vastly different than yourself to challenge and adapt your worldview, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to have friends in similar situations to chat to, especially over coffee and chocolate cake…

You can read the full story here.



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