Expat Stereotypes: 7 People You're Guaranteed to Meet When You Move Abroad
Arguably holding one of the world’s most important jobs in nurturing young minds, teachers are easy to find in foreign climes. Despite expats already being categorised into ‘teacher’ and ‘all other expats’ – the teachers will further subsector themselves into those who work at schools with PGCEs (real teachers) and those who work in language centres with a TEFL at max (English teachers).
Thanks to their long holidays and often tax-free earnings they are begrudged by all other expats whose comfort in holding a ‘real job’ is shortlived when the smug Facebook photos come out. Will certainly be able to tell you the best happy hours in town, the city grinds to a halt when it’s school holidays.
The digital nomad
He has a beard, a beater, a battered Apple Mac and plays songs about his new hometown at local acoustic nights. Everyone’s an entrepreneur these days and the digital nomad is making a killing coding, marketing or writing all from the comfort of a coffee shop.
Ask at your own peril how he made the step to go freelance and move abroad, he’ll direct you to his catchily named blog: ‘I work one day a year and the rest of the time I’m on the beach, here’s how you can do it too.’
All wise eyes and copper bracelets, the charity worker had big dreams. Always the most interesting person at the party, this guy’s seen the parts of the world no one else gets to. If you can make friends with anyone, this is the one to get on lockdown.
Recognisable by his cock-pit pics on Tinder, this guy swipes right in every port. You’ll find him holed up in a gated expat community with imported whiskeys decorating his executive pad. He may have physically been all over the world, but it’s unlikely he’s seen it.
The retired couple
The pair hit Thailand or Mexico as soon as their pensions kicked in to make the most of the hot weather, cheap massages and excellent golf facilities.
Thanks to their new cool exotic location, they’ve never been more popular with the grandkids who love to visit (if in part for the relaxed drinking laws).
Spot them in their matching khaki shorts, nursing a Bloody Mary over lunch saying: ‘We should have done this years ago.’
The cultural appropriate-r
If asked will say they are from their new location and will appropriate local style and dress no matter what the occasion. To be admired for their dedication to embracing new cultures (especially the language) it can perhaps get a bit too much when the accents and unusual bathroom habits make an appearance.
The yoga instructor
Has she found herself? She’s too bashful to say, but ask yourself this; ‘When did you last truly feel something?’
She’d like to think she can help you get there mentally, but in all honestly the first thing you’re probably going to feel is your back as you salute the sun from her rooftop bamboo studio.
A slight thing who survives only on lentils and chakkras, she left a high flying job in PWC to give back to the world and only sometimes misses the lunchtime dash to Zara.