ExPats — by Pat Garcia

To live abroad will change your ways of perceiving things. You become an ExPat, a new person just as the patriarch, Abraham.  ExPat is not a meltdown.  He or she does not submerge him or herself into a different society and lose their personality. Becoming an ExPat is not some kind of fusion process where you amalgamate into a new culture; it is a cohesion process that moves the ExPat into the periphery of objectivity as it strengthens the experiences acquired.

Stretching processes take place that transport the ExPat beyond his or her own borders, and give him or her the ability to see, to grasp, to understand, to empathize, to discern; this evolution of evolving birth results into the new person––the ExPat.  Any ExPat that refuses to allow this process of change to occur migrates into a community that is nebulous to him or her and becomes a hanger on that walks outside of the culture where he or she resides.

The ExPat stands on the outskirts of culture and looks within, examining the hypotheses and premises that make up a society. It makes him or her a stranger to the country of their birth.  No wonder Thomas Wolfe could write through the eyes of his character, George Webber,  ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’ so eloquently. He had found out the price of change that the true ExPat pays.

ExPats are people who defy the norms and reach for the stars: people who have been given the yearning to move outside of the borders of their birth. They are a restless set of people who find their contentment anywhere in the world where there hearts say, “I am at home.”

However, not everyone who goes beyond his or her own national boundaries is an ExPat. Some people go abroad because of their careers.  They work in a different country, but they tend to connect with the clusters of people that are from their homeland.  They amalgamate.  These are not citizens of the world but citizens of their country representing their country’s ideals.  After their stint of duty, they return to their homeland.

Most of these people are also not language proficient in the language of the country they are residing in:  they do their job, complete their mission and go home; whereas, one of the dominating characteristics of an ExPat is his or her language proficiency. They move through cultures learning how to communicate with the people around them

An ExPat does not claim a specific state or country as home; in their eyes, the world has become a village. Comfortable with wherever their hearts call them, they see the world as a place to explore—and they do it. This urge to travel, to see beyond their own borders can be considered as a nomadic experience. ExPats are the nomads of the world.

ExPats, people who dare to look over their own plate and broaden their view about the smallness of our planet.  Their experiences, their wisdom, their understanding expand the horizon of any person they encounter.

ExPats season the earth.

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