There was a great article by Andrea Martins, co-founder of ExpatWomen, in the Telegraph about a year and a half ago about how some expats become addicted to the overseas life. Her reasons in a nutshell:
Money and Lifestyle
No Incentive to Repatriate
I can relate. Here’s how:
Money and Lifestyle: Money? Who are we kidding, I’m a writer. But the lifestyle Switzerland offers is amazing. Most families in Switzerland can and do survive on one income alone (thanks, husband!) and I’ve got hiking trails right outside my door, ice skating rinks and swimming pools ten minutes away, and a grocery store right across the street. Oh yeah, and the country is so clean that even the garbage cans shine. Plus there’s a medieval clock tower and castle ruin outside my window so I always feel like I’m in Disney World.
Excitement: I can’t say I’m jumping up and down, but living abroad and reinventing myself has been an amazing experience. Almost every day something happens that leaves me thinking, “huh?” (like the time my neighbor spent several hours cleaning out my gutters). So there’s never a shortage of things to write about.
Challenge: I live in a country with four official languages, not including English. Enough said.
Elevated Status: It depends. Some Swiss love Americans. Some just stare at you and say, “George Bush, huh?” But either way, the minute I open my mouth, people know I’m a foreigner. This can be both good and bad.
Great People: I can’t tell you how many “Blogger Blind Dates” I’ve had where I show up at a café after a reader emails me, “I read your blog, let’s meet.” I don't know that I'd go out and meet so many random people in "real life". But expat life isn't exactly normal, so a lot of these people turn into good friends. Expats make friends fast and they’re usually interesting and intelligent people who have lived many places around the world. Even more satisfying is making friends with the locals.
No Incentive to Repatriate: True. Because then I wouldn’t be Writer Abroad anymore. And I’m not in the mood for another identity crisis. At least not yet.
How about you? If you’re an expat are you addicted yet? Why or why not?