Risks, rewards and perspectives

Posted By on 12/09/2012

This is the seventh and final post in a series about one expat's experiences. You can read the previous posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.

In this series of posts, I’ve discussed arriving in a new country, teaching English, life’s developments after a while in a new place, cultural differences between countries, and the professional flexibility that can come with being an expat. I’m happy that the topics I’ve written about are mostly positive ones, since they reflect my mostly positive experience as an expat so far.

Of course, being out of place comes with challenges, some of which I wrote about in an earlier post. In addition, there are risks to life anywhere in the world—as well as the risk of something truly unexpected happening, no matter where you are.

I don’t believe that being an expat is inherently riskier than remaining in one’s native country. After all, good and bad things happen everywhere. As an expat, you may be targeted, or you may end up victimized or otherwise suffer from lack of local knowledge. But bad things can and do happen to people in their own countries, and the upsides to being an expat—greater professional opportunities, more and new life experiences—show that remaining forever in one’s own country is itself a risk.

I’m glad I avoided the risk that I’d live forever in my native country. By moving abroad, I accepted certain risks, and I’ve had some negative experiences. But overall, my life is better for the risk I took by moving abroad.

Though many Expatistan users are expats themselves, I’m sure many other Expatistan users are not. But, presumably, anyone who takes the time to enter prices in the Expatistan database is at least interested in the phenomenon of expatriation, interested in being an expat or meeting expats or learning what it might be like to be an expat in one or another country.

These blog posts have been a new way for Expatistan to explore expat life. Of course, the site remains focused on the data you submit and the Cost-of-Living Index. But we hope you’ve found something interesting in this series, and that you turn to this blog regularly for a different perspective, or some non-data information, about different aspects of expat life. As much as we care about the CoLI Index, we know it can’t tell as many stories alone as it can with this blog. So keep checking back here, and keep inputting prices into the database, for constantly fresh, diverse information about life in cities and country around the world and what it means to be an expat.