Yes YOU’RE An Expat

A friendly argument that’s been running around for quite some time now, is whether or not a foreigner living in Bucharest should consider themselves an “Expatriate”. The reason we decided that now was a great time to post this article, is because we almost (that’s a very strong almost) decided to switch our name away from Bucharest Expat to something different. This was a tough decision to weigh. On one hand our website has evolved over the years to become much more streamlined. As it turns out, the majority of viewers seeking “news” are already to subscribed to feeds from prominent international media outlets. There’s no need for us to “regurgitate” news stories. We don’t need to be another BBC or CNN. What our readers ARE looking for is more travel related articles and information that’s geared towards Bucharest, broadening out a bit to Romania as a Country. On n the other hand, we thought “hmmm… maybe pulling the term “Expat” out of Bucharest Expat might be a good idea”.

For the time being, we’ve decided to remain as Bucharest Expat. Here’s why; We’ve been here for a long time, and we have a well established brand locally, regionally, and nationally (of course its’ also a brand that “travels” across borders as our readers do). Bucharest Expat is instantly recognisable and is a term/phrase that is frequently searched by a lot of people.

We’re written and created primarily by expatriates (expats). Our readers are aware of this, and value this because the content and information provided within our site comes from people with similar lifestyles and mindset. We offer a unique perspective that a local (a Romanian) just cannot offer. A Romanian’s perspective is equally valuable, but only when compared and contrasted to an expats point-of-view. Our apologies if this sounds harsh – but it’s true. For example, when you read through the comments of many pro-Romania/Bucharest articles scattered around the internet, how many negative and derogatory comments do you see from Romanians? The number is usually astoundingly high (the psychology behind this we’ll discuses in a future article).

This brings us to our last and final part of this article…

You’re probably an expat whether you like it or not. We’ve noticed in a lot of cities (enough so that it’s probably a “given” for nearly every city) that there is always a relatively small amount of expats that have decided that for some reason they’ve stepped “beyond” the realm of being called an expat and should henceforth, be referred to only as a “local”. Talk about arrogance. At what point in ones existence on earth to you go from human being to supreme being? Alright, we “get it” that you love your newfound city – and the people within it enough that you wish to “become one” with the area. Surely others must be embarrassed to tell people they’re from places like the U.S., and rightfully so, so this may also drive the desire to tell one “this is my home and I’d never consider myself an expat”. But, what it all boils down to is that people want to be individuals – as more and more people become expats, more and more people will decide that the term “expat” should now define someone other than themselves. If you’re confused about how this works, then please refer to the group of people that walk around in spandex jeans and non-prescription thick-rimmed glasses that now wish to call themselves “hipsters”.

Expats can act as locals, associate with locals, merge with society, even become a “local” themselves in every literal sense of the word. Of course. No one is arguing that.

But you’re still an expat. Theoretically though, we could have changed our name to something more egotistically satisfying for the aforementioned demographic in denial, but doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

The Webster Dictionary clearly defines the word “Expatriate” as follows: to leave one’s native country to live elsewhere. No matter how hard we searched, we could not find a definition that places a definitive timeline on ones’ existence as an expat, nor whether or not performing certain duties whilst “on the ground” as an expat would disqualify one from being an expat. If you need further research, feel free to look up the word expat or expatriate on Wikipedia. We did… just in case.

So here we are as Bucharest Expat – an online resource created and written by Expats, living and working in Bucharest.

Stay tuned for our upcoming article on “Re-Pats”.