Sunday 23 November 2014

Happy birthday expatliv!

2 years ago today I published my very first blogpost. A handful of people read that one, mostly family and friends (who I think felt that they had no choice really)..

During those 2 years lots of things has happened and my baby has grown into a more confident and mature 2 year old. But still a 2 year old...You know how they can be like...:-)

  • has 264 blogposts
  • has 98 859 pageviews
  • has 3374 published comments
  • has most readers from India, USA, Norway, France, Germany and Russia
  • 's most read blogpost is Expat Epidorpio
  • 's most commented blogpost is D for Disneyland
As I have mentioned before, the wonderful side effect of blogging is the network of friends, fellow bloggers, writers and others I have connected with all around the world through my blog. Sharing excitement, laughter, tears and anger through comments and communication has been wonderful. I have loved writing and receiving guestposts

More and more expatliv has turned into a global fusion blog... where people, music, culture, food, idea, thoughts and philosophy travel across borders of countries. I think that has become the essence of me and my blog. Know your roots, but be open to new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking. There is always something new to learn from another person. And a new friend - can pop up from anywhere. That's what I believe anyway. 

So, dear reader, a warm Thank You for coming along so far. I hope you have enjoyed the ride, and do stay tuned for more. Let's see where that two year old will take us next...:-)



Saturday 8 November 2014

The World Through Expat Eyes

Once you leave your home country, you become a foreigner. Did you ever think about it that way? No matter where you go, are you a visitor, an explorer, a tourist, a traveler, an expat or a foreigner? Not a native anymore? Maybe you have more than one home country? Perhaps you are a global soul, feeling at home anywhere, because home is where the hearth is? After many years abroad, maybe you have that sense of belonging to more than one country? Is your home country your native country, the place where your roots are?

For an expat, all this can be confusing, whether we are talking about a serial-expat, an expat who only feels at home in one country or one who belong in several.

I think I have always enjoyed seeing places through different perspectives, and through eyes other than my own. I love finding out What does an Indian think about France? What does a Chinese think of India? How do you find the food, culture, festivals, literature, art, sports, nature and the people? And when the answers come, I can say to myself: Hm, I never thought about it that way....

New perspective, dear reader, new perspective.. to open your eyes and broaden your mind.

So, I was curious when I saw that Internations just published a new report called The world through expat eyes. They have asked 14000 expatriates from over 160 countries questions about their life living abroad. They have been asked to rank different aspects of their expat life, such as: general quality of life, working abroad, family life, settling in, leisure and making friends, international romance and relationships and personal finances.

The Top destinations (based on the indexes: general quality of life, ease of settling it, working abroad, family life and personal finances) are Equador, Luxembourgh and Mexico, meaning that those countries have a overall high score in many of the indexes. My countries ended up as no 18 (Norway), 55 (India) and 59 (Greece).

Because the indexes vary a lot, it is interesting to dig a bit deeper. For example: some countries score really high on personal finances but soooo low on making friends with locals. And vice versa.

India score high on financial situation for expats, while Norway score high on balance work life - life (expats in Norway work less hours than in most country and enjoy life outside work). Greece score high on making local friends. The Scandinavian countries score high on family life.

I especially enjoyed the country reports where you can read more detailed info about expat life in some particular countries. Here are the headlines for presenting some of them:

Can you guess which country they are talking about here?:
1. "Cold Weather- Warm people"
2. "Work, rather than pleasure"
3. "Warm climate, empty accounts"
4. "Hit the ground running"
5. "Big hearths and instability"
6. "Opportunities and cloudy skies"
7. "Leisure lovers at home down under"

So, which one seems most appealing to you?

To me, that was the funny thing about this report. It made me wonder: If I could choose freely, what factors would be the most important and how would I range them? For example would an easy settling - in be more important than good money (and living in an expat bubble)? And what about the weather? Family life? Friendly and welcoming locals? Education? Work hours? What would be most important to you?

Do you want to read more? You can find the report on: InternationsExpat Insider

As you may have seen, I have been looow on the blogging lately, and the inspiration has been rather non-existing. But I am planning some changes on the blog, so stay tuned dear reader. I will be back:-)

What? You want the answers to the headline - questions above? Ok. Ok. Here we go: 1.Canada. 2.China. 3.Italy. 4.USA. 5.Turkey. 6.UK. 7.Australia (where else?) But still - check out the reports, interesting read.

Enjoy your weekend. Take care.