Expat vs Nomad: The 411 on These Lifestyles

Saying goodbye can be hard, especially if it is for an extended period of time. 

This is nothing new for seasoned expats and nomads. Although, at times, it can still be difficult for them. They are often able to deal with it better. 

Some people live outside of their country for personal or professional reasons. 

This year, I have lived in three countries - Mexico, Spain, and England. I am not in the military nor am I working in another country as an employee. I am an expat entrepreneur

Many people often use the terms, expat and nomad, interchangeably. While both terms have similar meanings, they are not exactly the same thing. 

Expat is derived from the word, expatriate. When you pronounce that word, you actually hear two words, ex and patriot. A patriot is defined as someone who vigorously supports and defends their country. So, an ex-patriot would mean the contrary.

Dictionary.com defines expatriate as a person who is a resident in another country. In other words, an expat is a person that has home ownership, a lease to a property, or work visa in that country.

Conversely, a nomad is defined as a person who continually moves from place to place. In other words, a nomad does not have a lease, mortgage, or non-tourist visa. 

So, what is the difference? Expats are actually residents of a foreign country, while nomads are perpetual tourists. 

Some people have a hard time relocating far away from their family and friends. It is definitely not a lifestyle that appeals to everybody.

I chose an international lifestyle because I prefer a lower cost of living, higher quality of life, and different cultural experience. Is it possible to experience those things in your own native country? Sure.

Although, if you compared a domestic lifestyle to an international one, the latter would offer a richer experience.

What if an international lifestyle appeals to you? You still need to determine which lifestyle would be better for you.

Do you want to live in a new country every month? Perhaps, you may prefer to live in a new country every year.

I have tried living in England for a month. I had a good time, but it is hard to form relationships in such a short period of time. 

I would imagine extroverts may not mind living that way.  They tend to have a lot of friends. Although, introverts tend to have their own definition of the word, friend. They have significantly less friends than extroverts.

I lived in Spain for two months, which gave me more time to form relationships with others. Two months is better than a month, but it is still not ideal - at least for me. Perhaps, three or four months would be more ideal for me.

This year, I have lived in Mexico for seven months, Spain for two months, and England for one month. Then, I will return to Mexico to spend the remaining two months of the year there.

Although, I would incorporate a bit of balance in my travels for 2017. I will aim to live in a new country every three to four months. 

Other people may consider moving to one country and spending the rest of their lives there. Typically, senior citizens make that choice to retire comfortably.  

Although, expat and nomad are terms that are commonly used interchangeably. Both terms actually represent a different lifestyle.

Which international lifestyle is more appealing to you?