16 August 2013

The Observing Expat

One thing I enjoy doing is seeing/reading about how other expats do things while they're overseas. There are the integraters whose goal is to be mistaken as a native; there are the people who stick with other expats; a subset of that group are people who stick with expats like them (business, government, missionary, etc); there are people who pretend they live somewhere else; and, of course, lots of other options.

Integration has never really been an option for me- no one would ever think I'm Kyrgyz, or Arab, or Mexican, no matter how well I speak any given language. Also, I never have and never will get the clothes right. I've never had an expat community of any type to hang out with. We've never had enough money to pretend we lived somewhere else, and I wouldn't want to anyway.

I've decided that I'm an observing expat.  I love to see how things are done in other countries and to figure out my own way of doing things. I don't really want to see how other expats do things, but instead I want to see how locals do them and use what works for me and skip the rest. And I love to just watch how the world runs in other places and learn as much about the country/city as I can.

Something that worries me about moving to Mexico is whether I'll be able to be the type of person I want to be. For the first time we will have a defined expat community and I'm feeling a little like I'm being pushed into being a certain type of person.  And that's not the person I want to be. We'll see how that goes.

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