Travel Tuesdays-The Five Types of (Obnoxious) Expats You'll Meet


When you live abroad, you'll no doubt run into a fairly sizable expat community. Many of these people are going to be awesome resources and turn into some great friends. However, there are some expats that grind on my gears, and here are a few every expat will most undoubtedly meet on his or her path:

The "My Country is in the Gutter" Expat

This expat has left their home country behind and was exhilarated to see the backside of it. They have made it clear that they are never going back because no matter where they're from originally, they can make it sound like it is worse to live there a war-torn country that was just hit by a famine. Even if you're from the same country, if you're together, they'll speak up first to explain their experiences and how they're universal. Have a positive experience in your shared home country? They'll slam it down. Their country just can't do anything right, from employment to food to healthcare to immigration. And they're desperate to marry someone in their expat country or exploit some loophole that will allow them to stay indefinitely. No way they're going back to that rat-infested gutter of their home country, even if it is as innocuous as Canada. 

The "Why is Everything Different Here?" Expat

This expat maybe shouldn't have left home in the first place. They'll be the first to complain about why everything is shut on a Sunday, why you don't get ice in your soda and why the locals look so grumpy (even if it isn't a thing in the host country to smile at people as you pass). They're the opposite extreme from the expat above, and they can't wait to get their one way ticket home. If they're in a foreign country for a program like teaching abroad or study abroad, they'll either leave halfway through or be counting down the days to their imminent departure. They're never looking back and will be kissing the ground of their home country the second they land.   

The Returned Expat Who Can't Let It Go

This expat lived abroad for 3 months in Spain during their junior year of college, but they're still the foremost expert on the subject. Got a question about how to obtain healthcare? They've got you covered (or so they think). Have a complaint? That's funny, because they've never experienced anything like that (and thus can't imagine how anyone would). They regularly write statuses about how much they miss the country or certain dishes. Careful...anything you say about living abroad is countered heavily with their very one-sided experience. 

The Never Been Expat

This person is not an expat and never has been, but is obsessed with a specific country. Sometimes it can be particularly weird if it is the country you live in. They may have been once or twice, but despite the fact that they've never lived there, they've got serious opinions on the food, politics, film, television and celebrity gossip. They spend their weekends in specialty shops searching for that elusive candy bar they had on vacation to the country of their obsession once.

The Partier 

This person came abroad for two things: booze and sex. Whatever job or study program they're in is just secondary to getting loaded and sleeping with as many different people as possible. They'll always try to drag you out to the latest club, even when that is so not your thing. They've also never been to or heard of most of the museums or cultural centers in your town because they'd rather not waste a minute on something that isn't to do with partying and sex. Who was that famous composer and author your city is known for? They have no freaking idea, and they don't even care.

What other kinds of expats have you met on your time abroad?


3 comments

  1. This is so true! I have certainly encountered all of these types of people in my time. Thanks for such a great, funny post :)

    Shannon xx | http://lotsofloveshannon.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Haha I'm glad you liked it. I will go check you out. xxx

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  2. Haha I've come across all of these expats. Your post got me thinking. What type of expat am I? When I first got here I was the 'everything is amazing' expat but now I just feel like this is home x

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