The rise of the “Flexpat”
Gone are the days when expats lived in small communities in one, established part of town in one, established foreign country. For Brits this has traditionally been Hong Kong, New Delhi, Tokyo or Johannesburg – you would follow a well-trodden path and set up, often for many years, in one location.
But the rise of telecommuting, online entrepreneurship and a new understanding that long-term travel and life abroad can be balanced with maintaining life and connections “back home.” Here are five of the top reasons people choose a “flexpat” lifestyle:
They want an itinerant lifestyle but a secure income
Setting up in a company that promotes remote working is the ideal situation for a flexpat. As long as you can keep focused and work in a non-office environment, this is the perfect deal. There are added problems of time differences, finding secure internet connections and good work environments, but a can-do attitude and a bit of research can fix any minor hiccups.
They want to keep their house
You might have found your dream home but if you have a desire to go travelling, you don’t necessarily have to sell up as many expats do. Options like house-sitting, AirBnB or short-term rentals are perfect for people with medium-term travel plans. You can come back when you’re ready and enjoy your property until you get itchy feet again.
They are a multi-national family
A very compelling reason to become a flexpat is if a couple comes from different countries. Each may want to maintain a connection to their homeland, family and friends, so coming up with a flexible living arrangement is often essential to keep everyone happy. Plus, it leads to lovely up-sides such as chasing summer all over the world.
They want to work for themselves
A major proportion of those who are self-described flexpats are self-employed. People are realising that they can usually administer their business from anywhere in the world and so once they set up a service or product, many find themselves following their noses to places with cheaper living rates and a better quality of life – but keep options open at home should they wish to return at any point.
Sounds pretty enticing. Who’s up for adopting a flexible lifestyle?
Vivienne Egan writes for Now Health – http://www.now-health.com/ He