An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.
Friday, June 01, 2007
From the looks of me in the above photos, what country wouldn't want to get rid of me? (Posing in Zacatecas, Mexico at left; on yak in Vinales, Cuba, at right)
So I was quite surprised --and honored--to be selected as the Expat Mentor for June at ExpatWomen.com
Actually I don't like the words expat or expatriate; there's just such a negative sound to them, you know, like ex-con, or ex-wife, ex-promqueen, even ex-millionaire.
Expatriate sounds as if I've been kicked out of my country, or I left it because I hated it, or I failed somehow, something bad, an exile, you know? It's even worse when it's mistakenly spelled expatriot, which connotes even more being against one's country, a spy or terrorist or something. If Paul Revere was one of our greatest patriots, who would be our greatest expatriot?
I guess I don't want to be an ex-anything.
I would prefer a more positive-sounding word to explain that yes, I moved to France, and to Mexico, and to Argentina to live. I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had to learn and enjoy other cultures and languages, but I still think the U.S. is the best country in the world despite its faults. Sometimes you have to leave it to appreciate it.
I know, maybe I'm a multipatriate! How does that sound?
And being a mentor in any case can be only positive.