People who choose to start up their life in another country come in all shapes and sizes, and relate to their home and adopted countries in different ways. Some of them call their parents every day and connect to friends from home for daily chitchats, and others living abroad only send a message when they need help with taxes or cooking. And we've likely all run across those who have two (or three) world clocks on their phones, or those who couldn't care what time of day it is back home (or anywhere else for that matter).
It has long been recognized that different expats have different needs when it comes to integration in their adopted country and staying in touch with family and friends back home. As an expat you can see for yourself: what kind of expat are you?
The Master Planner
We all know the type: organized, well prepared, maybe a tad compulsive. Master Planners see the world as their home – and need every detail of it in place. In the same way they plan out every trip, they also plan their life abroad thoroughly. Before moving countries, the Master Planner will have read up on the history of his new country, has a detailed knowledge of social norms and knows the fastest way to the nearest Starbucks in his new hometown.
The Lifer isn't really an expat. Not anymore. She’s gone native, is fully integrated in her new environment and is happy to never go ‘home’ again. Home? This is home! The downside of course is that, with friends and family still far away, there can be a struggle with expectations from family and friends.
The Tourist may be living abroad, but she’s not planning on staying forever. Her current home will always be a foreign country. You can spot The Tourist by the way she is always converting currencies and comparing habits and prices with those from back home.
The Free Spirit
The Free Spirit hasn't really decided why he’s in a new country, or how long he’s staying. It’s all about exploring, wandering and enjoying life - no strings attached. He might be a progressive parent, a happy-go-lucky student, or simply an eternal optimist always in search of new adventures.
The Global Citizen
The Global Citizen is constantly on the go, but not necessarily for business – mostly just because. Global Citizens love eating breakfast in one place and having dinner in another, and dashing from one activity – and country – to the next. They enjoy being on the move, diving in novelty. With contacts all over the world and a life full of fun, they are all about smooth transitions.