True horrors only American expats will understand

Moving away from the good old U S of A is awesome, but all American expats will at some point face these ATROCITIES.

1. Having to PURCHASE water AND drink refills at restaurants.

WHAT??

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Top 5 Struggles of Life as an Expat

1280px-Sad-pugThere are many reasons why being an expat is the best life ever (check out my Top 5 reasons being an urban expat is the best), but living abroad also comes with a fair share of struggles and sacrifices. Here are my picks for the top 5 struggles of expat life.

1. Being so far away from family and friends

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Trending American expat destinations

Today, the urban destinations of American expats are numerous, and expanding. In addition to the more traditional destinations (Mexico, Canada, Israel, Australia and many countries in Europe), in recent years we’ve seen new currents of American migration, especially towards Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. They tend to choose these destinations for a combination of personal, cultural, linguistic, educational, professional and economic reasons. It’s also important to mention that many Americans are also heavily influenced by their family and social networks, and often choose their host country, and city, accordingly.

Above all, the trend of American expatriation to urban destinations is the most notable, especially to “global cities” where they find international lifestyles, cultural opportunities, diversity, excitement, and of course growing urban expat communities.

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Emerging urban expat destinations

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Top 5 reasons being an urban expat is the best!

Moving to a big city abroad is an an exciting adventure!

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  1. You meet people from all over the world. As a foreigner in a big city it’s just natural that you fall into the international social scene and meet other amazing urban expats.
  2. Freedom and independence. Living abroad is essentially living outside the box and as a foreigner you generally aren’t held to the same expectations as locals, which means a life of independence and freedom from society’s rules and expectations.
  3. Freedom from a boring life. Everything is new and different: new language, new culture, new food, new friends, new customs…
  4. You increase your intelligence. Yes, all these new and different experiences, new language, new culture expand your mind in ways you never thought possible.
  5. You also learn a lot more about yourself and grow and change so much just by getting out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

BA expat predicament: my expat friends always leave

The Revolving Door of Expat Friends

The good, the bad and the ugly of the transience of the expat communities in global cities. 

expat friends leave

The revolving door of expat friends when you live abroad

Most of the participants in my case study of Americans living in Buenos Aires claimed to have more foreign friends than local ones, and in many cases, those friends are English-speaking or American friends. In this context, many commented on the “revolving door” of expat friends in Buenos Aires due to the typically temporary nature of American expatriation to Buenos Aires.

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Is it easier to make American friends abroad than it is in the States?

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making American friends is easy when you’re abroad!

Meeting other expats when you’re living abroad is actually really easy if you live in a global city. In fact, in my personal experience and those of other expats, making new American friends is way easier abroad than it is in the States.

Why?

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