Monday, 4 November 2013

Expatirate.

I am an expatriate.

I have found that when using the language of those who live abroad some are confused when I call myself an 'expat' or 'expatriate,' so just to clarify - I believe an expat is a person who willingly chooses to live away from their home country in order to experience another culture and way of life. So, by being an 'expat' you are choosing to live, breath and thrive in a different culture.

I am still a proud Canadian.

There are many things about Canada that I miss, and although it may appear that I live a jet-setting, glamorous lifestyle that is not entirely the case. Yes, I have many more opportunities to travel around the globe because I am an expat. One of the main factors is proximity - have you seen how far away Canada is from everything? Plus it is HUGE! You can spend your whole life travelling and never leave Canada - another is the benefit of an international contract. I do however work hard for the money that I bank and I believe that I earn the special trips that I am privileged enough to take.

I love living in Kuwait.

I believe that I have embraced a lot of Kuwaiti culture and have experienced a lot of what Kuwait has to offer. No I am not just talking about restaurants and shisha café's, but those are pretty great too. I made sure to make local friends. This is very important when becoming an 'expat,' you need to know how the other half live. My students have taught me a lot about their culture and continue to surprise me daily. Their unique perspectives are breadcrumbs, that I hungrily gobble up.

I have experienced Kuwait.

For the most part, if someone asks me how to get somewhere, or where something is I am able to direct them. I spend a lot of time 'out' exploring the small country. A lot of my time spent out is in the bigger cities further north but  I have also driven across the country to the Iraq border, gone south to the Chalet area and have gone west into the desert to camp. I think it is a shame that there are some people who live here from other countries that NEVER experience Kuwait. They stay in their apartment, go to work, come home, eat, sleep and repeat. They have ideas about Kuwait that are completely false, and inaccurate and subsequently keep to themselves.  Kuwait has a lot to offer you, but you have to actively seek it out.

I live abroad.

To me this is the difference between an 'expat' and simply 'living abroad.'  To be an expat means you are choosing to embrace and settle into a new lifestyle, rather than spending your time how you spend it at home - in another country.

I am an expatriate.


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