Expatriate habits, the importance of being unique…Oh and Cake.

A few days ago the Guardian published a rather interesting interactive infographic and it got me wondering are exp

ats really as unique as we think we are?

Lets face it, the first thing that 98% of expats do when they arrive in their country of destination is find and locate the local expat “community”. But this in itself doesn’t constitute predictability, it  is to be expected, simply because having moved from somewhere that they have been comfortable to somewhere that, at the start, seems really quite different. In such a situation it is natural to reach out to some semblance of their old life so that they have something to build their new life from. So this little indulgence is regularly written off an acceptable compromise to our obviously unique lifestyle.

But are we really as unique as we claim? After all, if there is an expat community, then a significant number of people must have already done exactly what we’re doing, sure we may have chosen a different city, but that doesn’t constitute uniqueness, but preference.

“…eventually 1000’s start arriving every year and the invasion begins…”

So what does make an expat special or unique? For that matter what makes anyone truly unique?

Every year the UK exports hundreds of thousands of expatriates – perhaps so it can make room for all of the immigrants that arrive every year to fulfill the UK’s requirements for a low cost workforce, so that it can afford to support the Brits who refuse to work. //Presumably because the unemployed think that working as a garbage collector is “degrading” and yet for some reason being unemployed isn’t. – I’m rambling a bit here but you get the idea.//

The result is that we can draw clear trends from the data generated by the many thousand British expats. Trends ranging from where we chose to live to what job’s we are willing to make the big move for. The scary thing about having all this data is that the picture it presents is not a pretty one. You see not only are British expats predictable, but mathematically we are comparable to a viral plague. First a few arrive and make them selves comfortable then more come, until eventually 1000’s start arriving every year and the invasion begins.

So given this trend, how can we be truly unique? To this, however I would have to argue that my Husband and I have a relative uniqueness, by design, having not moved over by choice, per say, but that is where our individuality as an expats apparently comes to an end.

But why is it that individuality is important? Is it just me who holds this obsession to stand out from the crowd? Surely the human condition, as illustrated by Darwin’s theory of evolution, is to find the most efficient patten and then to repeat it many times over. This is a proposal that I can comfortably accept and yet still I have this yearning to be “One of Few” and not “one of Many“.

“Care to help me build Earth 2.0? It’s going to be shiny, and there will be lots of cookies (enough for everyone)… Oh and Cake.” 

Where does this desire come from? Perhaps it is little more than attention seeking, I was after all the youngest child in a fairly large family – Perhaps everything I do spirals from that early conditioning… //I guess that make sense, but it feels so much deeper than that.// Maybe it’s a genetic desire hard-coded into “would-be expats” like myself, but why? It serves no obvious purpose, surely it can’t be a survival trait how does throwing yourself into adverse situations help evolution? …Are only the survivors are worthy?

But in the end does the reason really matter?  The data suggests that I am not unique. The result – I will simply try harder.

I just hope the world is ready because I’m going to be making some big changes.

I don’t care about whether or not I’m famous, I’m not fussed by money (sure it’s nice, but as long as I have enough to be warm dry and have a good meal I’m quite happy) and I’m already in love and happily married.

I only thing left is to start making a better world – Earth 1.0 is dysfunctional and inefficient, therefore I will change it, if for nothing else than to be able to say “I made a difference, I am unique”.

Care to help me build Earth 2.0? It’s going to be shiny, and there will be lots of cookies (enough for everyone)… Oh and Cake. //I just made a Portal reference… Have I no shame?//

Speak soon,

The cake wasn't a lie!

The cake wasn’t a lie!

2 Responses to “Expatriate habits, the importance of being unique…Oh and Cake.”
  1. Bosmosis says:

    I’m more of the opinion that each person is inevitably unique. We can’t help it; it’s what we are. And if it ever seems like we aren’t, it’s just that we’re finding it hard to see past our similarities (which are important too, right?). My two cents. I enjoyed the post.

    • Thanks for commenting!
      I agree that there is a level personal uniqueness that each individual has, but sometimes the similarities between that person and the group are too strong and occlude the image of an individual making it appear as just another part of a whole.
      Having said that however, one could argue that all blades of grass are unique, yet in a field it is hard to identify any one individual from a distance.

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