10 types of expats: which one are you?

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“¿Por qué Uruguay?” I asked the Armenian restaurateur why he had moved to Montevideo.

He winked at me and smiled. “Por amor.”

Clearly, he was a ‘Romantic’ as defined by InterNations in their second annual Expat Insider survey, updated for 2015. The expat organisation surveyed 14,000 of its 1.8 million members from around the world to assess the living situations and wellbeing of expatriates. With this wealth of quantitative and qualitative data, they defined 10 specific types of expats as shown in the infographic below.

10 lessons from ‘the world’s poorest president’

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Uruguay’s José Mujica, the ‘world’s poorest president’, lives in a 1-bed home, drives a Beetle and gives away 90% of his salary. We share his wisdom

I’ve always had a very specific idea about Uruguay. Crouched deep in the belly of the continent, it was in my mind an expansive plain of rolling hills, laconic gauchos astride thoroughbred horses and tall blades of grass bristling in the sun.

I’m sure my version of Uruguay exists somewhere but the one I found was vastly different. Instead of a South American Arcadia, I found a modern country with liberal views and impressively progressive laws.

6 things not to say to an expat

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As part of Internations’ Culture Shock questionnaire, people were asked to share what one thing they were tired of hearing from people, either in their old country or new one  and share they did. Here’s a list of recurring themes in words directly from the mouths of expats. If you have an expat friend or family member, you may want to refrain…

“You’re so lucky”

Yes, we understand that we’re in a sunnier country with friendlier people and better job opportunities, but reiterating how ‘lucky’ we are implies that courage, hard work and tenacity played no part. If you want to live where we live, you can but you choose not to. That’s not because you’re unlucky; it’s a choice you have made, just like my new country is a choice I’ve made.

13 days that shook the world

days-that-shook-the-world-berlin wall - 1Lear 21/Creative Commons

Our travels are shaped by history. It dictates where we can and can’t go and has done so for explorers of centuries past. Major events throughout history have changed and defined the world we inhabit and explore today. Here, we take a look at some of the days that shook the world, creating notable and lasting effects that are still felt and seen today.

16 fragile and failed states

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As we continue our trip around the globe, there are some areas of the world we are forced to avoid. Instability and unrest in these regions often make them unsafe or irresponsible choices for tourists.

The greatest myth in travel

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The greatest myth in travel is that everyone should do it; that if you don’t, you’re somehow less interesting, less cultured than the masses

Farhan is 32. He is smart, funny and confident. He talks intelligently and entertainingly on a wide range of subjects from South African politics to Formula 1 championships.

He has a job that sends him all around the world, a lovely house in Richmond and a beautiful wife and child. He is, by all measures, a successful product of modern western society.

World’s most divisive destinations: should you go?

most visited countries in the worldAtlas & Boots

We look at some of the world’s most divisive destinations destinations that continue to pull in the crowds

Should we or shouldn’t we go?

There are some travel destinations that no matter how picture perfect their landscapes or how much history steeped in their ancient lands, will always provoke a strong reaction in traveller circles. Whether it’s for political, geographical or social reasons, the world’s most divisive destinations will likely divide opinion for a very long time.

Below we look at some of the most contentious and divisive destinations that rightly or wrongly pull in the tourist crowds year after year.

The best decision I ever made

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I first came across the phrase ‘experienced wellbeing’ in Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. The psychologist and Nobel Prize winner uses it to explain some facts about happiness, the most intriguing of which is that a person’s level of happiness increases with the amount of money they earn – but only up to a household income of $75,000 (£46,000) per year.

After that, the increase of wellbeing in relation to increased wealth is, on average, zero.

6 excruciatingly awkward travel moments

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We’re all aware that travel is supposed to be about exploring the globe, meeting amazing people and finding yourself. The web is littered with blog posts about life-changing and eye-opening moments. However, it’s not all heartening tales and romantic anecdotes.

Join our travels

Join our travels

As our date of departure creeps closer, I find my nerves tingling with trepidation. I’m not the type of person that dwells on dangerous possibilities – after all, I’ve done plenty of foolhardy things in my time (jumping out of a plane, flying a plane, climbing Nevis Peak unguided and so on).

No, I’m not nervous about getting hurt. I’m nervous that I won’t last the course. I’m nervous about reaching a break point where not having a clean, comfortable bed every night or warm running water will wear away my zest for travel. I’m worried that I will miss my sisters with whom I’ve always shared a city.

Asian girl, English boy: travelling as an interracial couple

More than once, I’ve shaken off Peter’s affectionate arm around my shoulder or his hand in mine: in the crowded streets of Cairo, the empty aisles of Jerash and even the markets of Whitechapel right here in London.

I think it’s fair to say that I’m more attuned to the disapproval our relationship might trigger, so while he’s innocently reaching for my hand, I’m assessing who might see us, what they might think, what they might say, what they might do.

5 tips for talking to strangers

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As an avid traveller, teacher and part-time photographer, I’ve been lucky enough to meet lots of people from lots of different backgrounds. Some became lifelong friends while many more melted into the heap of faded friendships and acquaintances we all leave behind.

That’s not to say that these fleeting encounters are immaterial – even a short conversation can prove to be unexpectedly enlightening or, at the very least, thoroughly entertaining.

Return to India

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Six years ago, Peter retraced his parents’ footsteps on a return India to track down his father’s long forgotten friends…

When I was younger my father would write out my name in Hindi Sanskrit on scraps of paper. I thought it was some magical language from a fantasyland like Narnia or Lilliput and Blefuscu.

When I was older I would sit with him and my mother in front of the TV and listen to him exclaim at Michael Palin’s latest travels through the foothills of the Himalaya or the dusty roads of Rajasthan. “We have to go back,” he would declare with gusto, turning to my mother. “The smells,” he would say. “The colours,” my mother would respond. “We have to go back…”

5 pitfalls of long-term travel

5 pitfalls of long-term travel

We investigate the common pitfalls of long-term travel

So you saved for a year, quit your job and told all your friends that you’re off to see the world on your first ever long-term travel adventure. You bought your round-the-world ticket, subverted the naysayers and bid adieu to the prescripted life.

Now you’re several months in and you tell yourself that you’ve broken free; that you’re an iconoclast; that you’ve stuck it to the man. You think you’re having the time of your life, little aware that you’ve fallen into one of the common pitfalls of long-term travel.

Here, we list 5 things to ask yourself to make sure your trip is all you hoped it would be…