After interviewing a North American expat from a very different background than mine I had an “aha moment”, I realized that most long-term expats all over the world share something in common because of their experiences outside their nation of birth. There are events in their overseas life style that have caused a refocusing on life as a whole. Most long-term expats aren't ultra conservative. In fact, I found most tend to be more liberal than their nation-side counterparts. They are less judgmental upon encountering new experiences and cultural surroundings. The way the world is seen through their eyes has caused long-term expats I’ve encountered to analyze, refocus and develop something I will call “Expat Vision”. I define Expat Vision as a different way of seeing the world from the way normal short-term visitors, travelers or those who just go to places just to say that they have been there and done that.
People who have developed Expat Vision are those who have willing made a choice to learn and adapt to their new environment along with all the included and unpredictable cultural and physical challenges. Most of the time, the reasons for living abroad comes from a variety of personal goals which different from those who go abroad just because they were sent by their company or boss to do something that they really don’t care for or don’t want to do. Those willing to travel and live abroad for the long-term may not totally agree with everything they encounter in their new environment but have an open-minded attempt to accept the reality of their location and the customs without expounding on complaints, negative aspects of life or what they may perceive as a lower standard of living.
If you are an expat, please share with me how your worldview has changed and influenced your personal development and way of living.