The Advantages of Being an Ex-pat

38428504_lEx-pat as in ex-patriot, not as in ex-sexually ambiguous Saturday Night Live character.

An expatriate is someone who resides in a country other than the one in which they have citizenship. For many people, the thought of living anywhere but on their native soil is inconceivable, but this is only because they haven’t given it some serious consideration. And why would you, when you are busy with more important things in your life, like taking a selfie of your awesome abs, sending mean letters to pregnant meteorologists, and creating a color-coded excel spreadsheet to help you stop wasting your time.

Here are the advantages of being an ex-pat: 

Legitimate Excuse To Avoid Family Get-Togethers

After years, nay decades, of attending family get-togethers that end with Aunt Mavis dancing atop the table with her pants on her head, calling the cops to break up the fisticuffs between Uncle Harry and your nana, and begging your boss to schedule you on all national holidays, it’s time to try something new. Living in a whole other country, especially if you’re in a different time zone, allows you to skip the familial WWF SmackDowns and send a card instead. And if your Mother’s Day box of chocolates arrives late, opened, and smashed up? Blame it on customs.

Get Out of Jury Duty

Few people enjoy jury duty. It’s like being in the CIA but without the cool gadgets. You’re mysteriously and unexpectedly summoned, sequestered from the rest of the world with no TV and Internet access for weeks, are paid a whopping forty bucks a day, and the summons always seems to come just as you are finally getting it on with the cute new hire at your company. Okay, maybe it’s nothing like the CIA. But still—it’s a royal pain in the assets. Solution? Move to a new country and use your lack of citizenship with that nation as your get out of jury duty free card.

Downsize Your Personal Inventory

There’s nothing like moving abroad to force you into a little spring cleaning. Declutter your home, declutter your life! Get some extra large moving boxes and write “Take with me” or “Throw away” (i.e. “Store in parents’ garage”) on them. As you go through your closets and drawers, simply toss items into the appropriate container. Trust us, when it’s a decision between carefully packing up your glass-embalmed baseball card collection, entire Harry Potter series (hardcover and paperback), and all twelve pairs of different-colored Crocs, or deep-sixing the pathetic reminders of the life you never had—you’ll find that sentimentality is highly overrated.

Vote Yourself Off the Island

Whether you consider voting a right, a privilege or an act of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and yet each time expecting a different result), the fact is sometimes you just can’t seem to bring yourself to check that box (or punch that chad) next to any of the candidates. But if you have a conscience—or a guilt-inducing parent/spouse/friend—you’re going to find yourself in a dank church basement or cramped school room once again. Living in voluntary exile is the best way to give yourself a break from voting. Unless of course you vote in absentia. Jeez, what are you, some kind of model citizen? Stop making the rest of us look bad.

You see? Fleeing the motherland is not nearly as unthinkable as you previously believed. The advantages of being an ex-pat are numerous, and to really spice it up, tell your new coworkers in your adopted country that you are on the lam and watch your popularity at the office sky rocket.

Selena Templeton

Selena Templeton is a writer and editor who sees the world through Giggle Glass, a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display plus false nose and mustache. It reveals the absurd, amusing, and inappropriate goings on of daily life and displays it in a lap top-like hands-on format, from which she posts to various blogs such as Self Storage Finders, Romantically Challenged, and As a former professional organizer and a current Virgo, she is a self-diagnosed authority on storage, packing, organizing, and general neat freakishness.

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