50 shades of expat... Which one are you?

(66 Posts)
Salbertina Wed 28-Nov-12 20:06:37

So theres the overstayed the extended holiday/ sabbatical and could never leave version

Or the "Gone native" - moved overseas as married a local

Or the Expat queen packaged to the hilt (I seem to know lots --and am jealous as hell--)

The "worthy" aid worker type on contract

The "grass is always greener type" who just
keeps relocating in a relentless search for the perfect place to live

The retired seasonal "swallow" who lucked in with the pension and property market enough to be able to follow the sun

All slightly tongue-in-cheek at such stereotyping by the way... No offence meant...

Must be many more types... If anyone wants to play... Must be bored...

Salbertina Wed 28-Nov-12 20:08:12

Think I'm partly grass is always greener, part overstayer.. Should anyone be interested wink

CaliforniaLeaving Wed 28-Nov-12 20:46:22

I'm an old moved forever, birthed raised the kids abroad, but changed her mind and wants to go home now.

NotMoreFootball Wed 28-Nov-12 23:45:20

I'm an Expat Queen but I think I've found the place for me where the grass is much much greener than anywhere else I've known. Slightly scared at the thought of 'going local' though and having to be responsible for my own life without the luxury of always having 'don't worry, the company will sort it out' for everything from kids school text books to needing a new house!!

ripsishere Thu 29-Nov-12 00:37:54

I don't think I fit into any of those categories.
I'm a 'Oh, that's a new place and the traveling will be easy and cheap' sort of exprat.

mortimersraven Thu 29-Nov-12 00:56:11

grin exprat!!!! I know a few of those!

Longdistance Thu 29-Nov-12 01:04:19

I'm on my dh business visa, expat.

TanteRose Thu 29-Nov-12 01:06:24

I'm a "gone native" expat, married with kids, and part of the local community.

almost all of my friends here are the same (something in common)

HOWEVER, I will never be seen as a proper local, however long I am here, however well I speak the language, and even if I took Japanese nationality (which I would never do, as it would mean giving up my British passport), I will never blend in, like I guess expats in Europe/US/Aus etc can do, to a certain extent.

After 21 years, I guess I'm used to it...

vvviola Thu 29-Nov-12 01:08:14

I'm an "itchy feet" expat. I go away for up to 3 years at a time (often on assignment for work), come back home and say "that's it, I'm done travelling for now. It'll be nice to settle down at home and be permanent somewhere".

18 months later a job opportunity comes up somewhere and it's "ooh, wouldn't it be great to live there for a while" grin

Next move hone will be the last though. Really. Maybe

Smorgs Thu 29-Nov-12 01:11:30

Exprat! Hilarious - think I'm one of those. Used to be an overstayer when I was in a different place about a decade ago. Now probably more expat queen, although our package isn't as lucrative as many I've heard of. Maybe I'll turn into a 'grass is always greener' type hmm

SavoyCabbage Thu 29-Nov-12 01:32:06

I'm an immigrant.

Sibble Thu 29-Nov-12 04:03:57

Gone native!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 29-Nov-12 04:15:36

I'm a new category- "Expat-lite". Only do postings where I can speak English, there are international schools and there is a clearly defined expat population to hang out with so I don't have to spend 2 years trying to infiltrate friendship groups that have existed from school whilst speaking German grin

Dubai- tick, Hong Kong- tick. Next stop Singapore??

londonmoo Thu 29-Nov-12 05:13:47

I'm a fledgling, just hopped off the branch, not entirely sure I can fly but giving it a go, steering clear of mangy cats, trying hard to blend, enjoying tasting new kinds of seeds but aware that I'll probably always return north for winter. Or west.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 29-Nov-12 05:24:53

Not really an expat, more of a migrant (the difference is in the package slight envy there).
Serial, gone local in the UK, but moved all again as a family. None of us is born in the same country. Still living where DD2 is born but probably not for long. It is not the grass is greener, it is more about sizing the oportunity.

Labootin Thu 29-Nov-12 05:33:44

Expat lite :Dubai

I buy my groceries in waitrose FFS.

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 05:38:11

Well if I had to pick one from your list I'm afraid I only fit in to the Expat Queen category. grin Although I am reluctant to see it quite as you do! It is a nice life though - can't deny it.

WhatSheSaid Thu 29-Nov-12 06:51:21

I'm in the overstayer category (arrived in 2001 for a year, never left) but think of myself more as an immigrant/migrant than an expat.

amyboo Thu 29-Nov-12 06:58:28

I don't fit into any of those. I guess I'm a bit of an overstayer too, although I overstayed my student placement rather than a holiday. Came with DH (boyfriend at the time) for 12 months as a way to use my languages degree in 2002, to take up a graduate scheme place. I got offered an amazing job the following year, DH finally found a job, and we've never gone back. We're now in the "moved forever" category with kids in local schools, good jobs and a house to our name.

legalalien Thu 29-Nov-12 07:03:28

Homing pigeon. My parents moved me 12000 miles away as a baby, 28 years later I moved myself back and have been living a few miles from my birthplace for the last decade and a bit despite not having family here.

FeijoaVodkaAndCheezelsDude Thu 29-Nov-12 07:06:25

I'm a gone native expat, to the extent when funds allow I'll become a proper local with passport.

Part of me is still a grass is greener, want to rejoin the brain drain expat (like I was before meeting DH while in working holiday).

pupsiecola Thu 29-Nov-12 08:54:11

I've only just lost my ex-pat virginity - am a first timer. Still feeling a tad delicate but can see what all the fuss is about ...

NotMoreFootball I am keen to know the place you speak of as being much greener!

Gone native! I couldn't imagine living anywhere else now smile

Alligatorpie Thu 29-Nov-12 11:57:07

Grass is always greener - or maybe just have itchy feet!

PetiteRaleuse Thu 29-Nov-12 12:00:58

Gone native...

Overstayed (well, got a job following student visa and then one of the old highly-skilled migrant visas to go with it). And then went native. Really, really, really hoping I can move the family back to the US someday, but that is a long way off for several big reasons. DSD goes to local school, and any future kiddos of ours will likely also go to the neighborhood school.

Also envy at the expat queens in town that can send their kids to the swish international school with its music programs in Primary and extra-curriculars galore. In another life...

An over-stayer gone native, I think, although not married to a native as DH and I came out together.

Definitely not an ex-pat queen! I don't think we could afford to move/ go back even if we wanted to. But then again, I like it here. smile

NotMoreFootball Thu 29-Nov-12 14:55:10

Pupsiecola - we are in the US which I totally understand isn't everyone's cup of tea but the place we live in is like a scene from a Christmas movie! We're on a street that looks like Wisteria Lane (desperate housewives!), the locals are the friendliest people I've ever met, there are fancy malls and independent stores, swimming pools for the hot summers and nearby mountains for winter fun! Our county is ranked has having one of the highest standards of living in the US and if I could stay forever I'd be a very happy bunny!!

Frosch Thu 29-Nov-12 17:26:11

Gone native... although I will never actually be accepted as a native. Several times a week, complete strangers stop me and point out my non-native behaviour and how I ought to correct it. hmm I do believe they see me as some sort of project. Well, as long as it keeps them out of mischief...

nemno England Thu 29-Nov-12 17:32:31

Was an army brat, became an expat queen and now home thank goodness. It was all great, wouldn't change it, but not getting on a plane again.

Needabitofsunshine Thu 29-Nov-12 19:15:39

Cross between expat queen and expat lite, although do also have itchy feet...

MerryChristMoose Thu 29-Nov-12 19:23:44

Came out here on a work permit. Now have Permanent Residency and a little Canadian to care for!

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 19:24:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lavenderhoney Thu 29-Nov-12 21:22:01

I too am expat-litesmile I love waitrose, labootin, i pretend I am in the home counties on bad dayssmile

Ex-prat is funny, know a few of those. And expat queens. They aren't much funsad

FloralWellies Thu 29-Nov-12 21:27:50

DP was a downshifter ("retired") in his mid-30's; I came to visit for a long weekend 5 years ago and stayed....
I would say we have "gone native" / emigrated as we have added to the local population (DS is2) and bought property

I had gone native where we used to live... But then DH decided he no longer liked it (partly he felt uncomfortable that he wasn't as settled and integrated as I felt)

Dutiful wife that I am I moved with him and two years on it's starting to feel like home.

pupsiecola Thu 29-Nov-12 23:45:15

NoMoreFootball. Sounds very appealing! We are considering the US or Canada in a couple of years for the long-term. Trying not to think about it too much as need to ensure we enjoy our time here in the meantime. But it's def our plan... neither of us feel motivated to go back to the UK.

alexpolismum Fri 30-Nov-12 12:36:23

Gone native, married to a local. Although I already lived here when I first met him, I didn't come here for him.

I don't actually have any English friends at all here.

Shanghaidiva Sat 01-Dec-12 03:52:38

Expat queen - my driver takes my shirts to the laundry for me ;)

CleansLate Sat 01-Dec-12 04:09:24

Grass is greener! Oh for a driver!

Though I would put forward a new category of 'trailing spouse' (flailing spouse in my case).

FellatioNelson Sat 01-Dec-12 04:25:31

Oh yes - Trailing Spouse is definitely the tag for me. thank goodness I don't have to suffer under the Expat Queen label any more!

deXavia South Korea Sat 01-Dec-12 04:56:51

Grass is greener sort of - Hong Kong where we are currently, drives me insane there is too much English! But if I'm brutally honest a bit expat lite in that despite it driving me mad I still live in the expat bubble

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sat 01-Dec-12 05:15:09

Expat Queen but would rather be in Fulham. Basically

thelittlestkiwi Sat 01-Dec-12 05:20:04

Overstayer. I think I fell a little bit in love with NZ.

Bertrude Sat 01-Dec-12 05:33:21

Expat lite tinged with expat queen. I'm the bread winner with the mega package deal so the husband has his sights set of becoming a Jumeirah Jim if I'd let him

TheSandstoneCat Sat 01-Dec-12 05:35:11

Trailing spouse turned native since getting a job here. Foot in both camps - expat/local and a new urge to put down longer term roots in the UK.

Labootin Sat 01-Dec-12 06:39:18

Bertrude : i'm a Jumeriah Jane i would blush but us JJ's are blatant and really don't care grin

[tramples over thread in a 4x4]

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 01-Dec-12 10:44:13

grin at "flailing spouse" Brilliant

Vagndidit Sat 01-Dec-12 12:15:03

I'm the "long suffering wife of international academic who gave up career HER to follow HIS" type. All the joy and expense of expat life without a flashy expat package.

We go where the job is---currently the U.k.---but would be back to the U.S. in a flash if the right university came calling.

PeshwariNaan Sat 01-Dec-12 12:19:35

Gone native. And I much prefer living in the UK to the US (but I lived here for a few years off and on - student - before DH and I married). I don't think we'll move back to the US, though I miss family and friends.

GoldMyrrhAndNonsense Sat 01-Dec-12 15:39:40

Expat brat gone native. Dubai winds me up more and more though the longer we live here. Trying to convince my lovely, feet-planted-in-the-sand DH to take me and the DC away!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 02-Dec-12 12:23:22

Goldmyrhh So you've lived in Dubai your whole life?? Wow- you must have seen A LOT of change. You should write a book or something

admylin Sun 02-Dec-12 13:09:57

I'm the same as Vagndidit (it's so nice to see that there is someone else im my situation!) but also an over-stayer gone native as we've been in Germany for a long time but have moved cities 3 times for work.

fussychica England Sun 02-Dec-12 16:10:42

Was hoping to be a swallow but the market crashed and we were just up the Amazon without a paddlesad.
Just become an EX expat as finally sold the housegrin after having gone native for 8 years.
Fancy being an expat Queen but it will never happen but we will probably get itchy feet again and try to find the greenest grass we can after a year or two as homing pidgeons.

evilhamster Sun 02-Dec-12 16:18:43

I'm the overstayer. Lived in Iceland, met Israeli DH, had two kids, and decided to go on a visit to Britain. We went back- to arrange a transfer for DH's job and get our stuff. We now live in Wales. Not exactly overseas for most people, but for us two (and the DCs), we're expats.

Although I'd described DH as a more grass-is-greener (or itchy feet) person. From Israel he went to live in Senegal, became an aid worker in Kenya for Save the Children, moved to France and then became a native, when he married me/an Icelander and lived there for years.

SucksToBeMe Sun 02-Dec-12 16:24:13

I would place myself between a native and the sabbatical,as i have married a south american but we live in uk for half the year then in his country for half the year. I am looking forward to eventually settling in his country though.

thanksamillion Sun 02-Dec-12 19:59:06

I'm a missionary so do I get my own category? I dip my toe occassionally into the expat scene and try to contain my envy at the very different lifestyles grin

hattymattie Sun 02-Dec-12 20:09:46

I'm a cross between gone-native - but will never fit in due to massive British accent and grammar mistakes - even though DH is French. And grass is always greener - no-one could by happier that M&S has reopened in Paris (well - apparently lots of people given the number of Brits that were in there the other day grin

nooka Mon 03-Dec-12 07:08:24

I'm in a 'hoping to go native' camp, not because I'm planning on marrying a Canadian, or indeed stopping being English, but dd and to some extent ds have become Canadian-English rather than the other way around. We are in the queue for permanent residence and will then go for citizenship (we can still be British too though). No real interest in going home, although we might move somewhere else for a while once the children are off to university.

sharklet Mon 03-Dec-12 07:23:46

Married Johnny Foreigner and followed him with his job after a lengthy stay in UK first. But don't see my self in any group, I'd say reluctant ex-pat. Hubby wants to come back too!

fraktion Thu 06-Dec-12 17:55:01

Overstayer, gone native but really a Forces wife married to a grass-is-greener-but-currently-in own country DH and therefore potential expat queen if he can find a nice package when he comes out the Navy...

AdoraJingleBells Fri 07-Dec-12 01:38:39

I'm an expat mirage. No one pays any costs for usenvy and having met quite a few Queens and listened to them complain about what wasn't paid for I gave up and plunged myself into the local school and local friends. See, mirage - we look like rich expats, but there's really nothing "expat" there.

Disclaimer, I know not all families on great packages behave like ungrateful children and I have met a lot of wonderful people of many different nationalities.

AdoraJingleBells Fri 07-Dec-12 01:45:24

Oh, but OH is a grass-is-greener expat. <tears own hair out>

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 07-Dec-12 07:16:05

Adora grin I might be a mirage too then!
I have met people who should be top of the Queens (including some ambassador's wives) who are truly wonderful, it does make up for the rest of them. I think most of them are depressed, insecure and a bit out of their comfort zone, not that it is an excuse to behave like arrogant tits.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sun 09-Dec-12 02:34:57

In my head I am Itchy Feet, in reality I'm on DH Visa too (kind Expat Queen but moved with an American company, not FCO or anything)...grew up the child of itchy feet expat parents, can't believe it's taken us this long to get round to it ourselves. Eventually want to "settle" back home but would like to go somewhere else in between. If DH doesn't get another job somewhere, we're planning a South American year long trip between countries anyway

AM just a bit gutted I've ended up in an Expat Lite destination (Southern California) having grown up in Sri Lanka and Nigeria!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sun 09-Dec-12 02:36:25

just read back and reaslied what an Expat Queen is - I'm not that! DH got a new job wiht a company in America, so we got a relocation package but other than that he is treated like any other US taxpayer

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now