Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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The Expatriate

An expatriate (Expat) is someone from one country who resides in another country. By permanently leaving their home country, a person becomes an emigrant. By entering a foreign country, that person becomes an immigrant. Then, by residing in that foreign country, the person becomes an Expat. There are many reasons why someone becomes an Expat. The Expat might be fleeing prosecution for a crime/alleged crime that he or she committed in his or her home country. Or, he or she may hate their home country, their family, or their lifestyle, so by uprooting and moving to another country, that person attempts to restart their mortal life (a do over) elsewhere.

There are also positive reasons why someone will become an Expat. Meager savings or retirement income may support a better lifestyle in a third world country. The new country may be an exotic land, a place and lifestyle long cherished that finally becomes reality for them. The new country may be central in a region to which the person wishes to travel and experience, such as Austria, which is central in Europe. Perhaps a job offer in the foreign country, one with generous benefits, becomes the deciding point in a person’s decision to become an Expat there. For whatever the reason, if the new country has a community of Expats that welcomes others like themselves, the temptation to do it quite often becomes a decision to move there.

My choice as an example of where I might travel to become an Expat is Penang, Malaysia. Web search “Penang Expat” to find and enjoy a superb Expat You Tube video titled “The ExPat: Penang, Malaysia.” In the video, see how the producer/narrator sets a financial benchmark (cost of living not to exceed). Then, he immerses himself in the culture of his target (Penang), to experience the costs of eating, traveling, transportation, housing, and entertainment, by meeting and speaking with other Expats there, locals, and tradesmen, all the while tallying the costs so that he can make the prudent decision to stay within budget.

Why does Penang interest me? Penang, is an island as well as a Malaysian State, and I am specifically interested in that state’s capital, George Town, as a location. On the island, south of George Town, the Penang International airport is a gateway to all of Southeast Asia. From that airport, I can travel inexpensively on Malaysia Airlines to see about 25% of the world, and the trips will be short. Equally important to me, the history of Penang is compelling. To live there is to have the chance to deep dive into the exploits of the 15th century Chinese Ming Dynasty, which launched naval expeditions to establish a foothold there. In the 18th century, the British East India Company established diplomatic relations with the Malay Sultan of Kedah to base in Penang, and that put the company in direct conflict with both the Dutch and the Portuguese East India Companies. Many trials by diplomacy and by combat between ships and company armies of these three companies happened in the area. East India Companies, forerunners of modern Corporations, endured a long history before they learned to replace bloody confrontation with political cooperation in order to get business done, profitably.

Take a look at Penang on Google Maps. Scan out to see the Strait of Malacca, a stretch of constricted water that has been a crossroads of seaborne trade since the 15th century and is more so today. Pirates conducted ambushes in this area. Penang is located on one end of the straight; Singapore is on the other end. During WWI, a German Cruiser sailed into George Town, sank a Russian Cruiser, withdrew, then sank a pursuing French Destroyer. In WWII, the Japanese, who conquered Malaysia, signed a pact with Germany to arrange for a German U-Boat force (Monsun Gruppe) to operate out of George Town, alongside a Japanese I-Boat Group.

Did you know that you can find details about an Expat sent by God? Web search Hebrews 11: 8-19. The book of Hebrews is located in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. By traveling to and residing in the land of Canaan, Abraham became an Expat. He went there because God, in whom Abraham had faith (deep trust, rooted in spiritual belief, rather than physical proof) told him that it was a land that would become the home of his heirs. Expats Abraham and Sarah (his wife) had no children and they were very old when they went to Canaan, well beyond child-bearing age. Yet, by their faith, a new and great people (the Hebrews) and nation (Israel) arose. Bill Barrick researched their story in-depth. His article, “Abraham: A Bible Expat,” is well-written, and it includes supporting Biblical scripture.

Source by Tony A Grayson



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