Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Immigrant or Expat?

Am I an expat? It’s a question that has crossed my mind a lot lately. Expat blogs are some of my favorite to read. I love hearing how they’re adapting to the new culture and how they’re handling being away from loved ones. I am always curious as to whether they consider their new position...home.

An expat is defined as a person who is voluntarily absent from home or country. An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing.

So far....I fit the definition.
My sense of friends are my family proves my feelings that this is my home!

But that is where I start to become unsure. See, peeps, I definitely consider South Africa home. I knew it was going to be home the moment I boarded the airplane.

After this it gets quiet muddied. When referring to work...which I do, a skilled professional would be an expatriate where a manual laborer is an immigrant. But, I’m neither of these!

I work in a professional environment and have obtained certain skills through my work over the last few years, but am not a professional anything and I’m definitely not a manual laborer! Heck, I battle to get myself to do manual labor in my house alone! ;-)

So...this is where I sit...mentally that is.

I have posted and spoke about before how I’ll always be American. But honestly, I’m becoming more and more South African each day. I’m fully integrated and that only makes sense because I married a South African. Which makes me lean more towards the immigrant status.

Although the technical definition of an expat includes the terms of someone permanently residing outside of the country of origin...I still think I’m more of an immigrant than an expat.

However, I feel a relation with expats and a similarity with other expats in the sense that I’ll always be a little out here, America will always be my home.

So what do you think....am I an immigrant or an expat? Or a little of both?

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  1. I think about this often. I live in Dubai and love it dearly, but I also miss my home, Delhi. In the end, I'll decide where to live based on what's best for my son.

  2. Hubby and I say the same. We've never lived as a family in America and truly love our lives in South Africa...but you never know where life will take us! Heck....maybe we end up in neither and land somewhere like Argentina! Maybe at heart I'm truly a wanderer!!

  3. I found your blog in Bloody Mary blog hop. I used to live in Japan and I love expat blogs! I am hoping to return to asia someday and be an expat again.

  4. That's great! I actually don't talk about life here near as much as I'd like to lol But I hope you get the chance to experience Asia again!

  5. If you're actively integrating into the culture and have no intention of ever living in the States again, I would say immigrant.

  6. I agree Holly! But I still feel a connection to the expats....I think it's because I haven't completely closed the door on the possibility of going home!




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