Many people like to vacation overseas, but only the most audacious travelers would even consider living abroad. When you decide that the expat lifestyle has your name on it, you must determine where you want to go, and imagine what your life will be like once you get there.  Many questions will arise. Do you want to move to one destination, or would you prefer to be a serial expat a la Ernest Hemingway. The living abroad industry has become a big business, and many companies will gladly sell you 90-page reports about your desired destination. On the other hand, if you want the Cliff Notes version of this info, check out these 10 infographics about living abroad. They will help you whether you wish to retire or go to school oversees, or go global with your business.

1. The Expat Personality

St. John’s International School in Waterloo, Belgium conducted a survey which asked which three personality traits should an expat have in order to ensure success in a new country?     Here are the results

Being adventurous came out as the most important personality trait with 55.3%, followed by independent (52.6%) and optimistic (52.6%).

Next on the list were flexible (36.8%) and confident (34.2%), while traits such as assertiveness, a sense of humor, fearless, humble and trusting were deemed less important traits for making expat postings a success.

Flexibility, along with adaptability, are certainly important. Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”  If you have a global business, and you are thinking about hiring expats, think about these personality traits. Rudolph Young, of The Chronicle of Higher Education, writes

I recently received a call from a job candidate who refused to accept an offer to move to the Middle East unless his family was given an apartment with a view of the mountains. He was negotiating for a job in the desert, where there were no mountains. traits

2. Ernest Hemingway: The Author and the Expat

Hemingway was the classic serial expat. This infographic by William Cottrell shows an interesting pattern of his journeys, which often include a war, followed by a romance, followed by  a book. Then came a new relocation due to another war. A new romance ensued, and the entire incident eventually inspired another book.  The most creative expats do not always choose the safest destinations for living abroad. They gravitate toward places that inspire them.


3. The World of Expats

In 1960 there were 73 million expats worldwide. Today, there are 230 million. If all these expats formed  their own country, it would be the 5th most populated nations in the world. To live in one new imaginary country, it would be the 5th most populated nation on the planet. The figures in this infographic by Feedbacq Movers indicate that the times is ripe for going global with your business.


4. Study Abroad

In today’s highly competitive job market, college graduates must maximize their life experiences in order to make them more attractive as job candidates. This infographic shows that managers have many reasons to believe that  students who have studied overseas have better skills than those who have not.


5. The Gen Y Glomads

“Glomads!” That’s such an awesome word. Kudos to Stephanie of Move Guides, who created this infographic. She writes

In today’s world of global business, Gen Y millennials are choosing to move abroad for overseas employment opportunities and adventure. Young professionals are willing to accept overseas assignments for the experience and adventure, regardless of pay or location. In fact, this generation of global nomads are likely to accept a role working or studying abroad in destinations they know little to nothing about. All in the name of adventure and cultural curiosity.

It seems these globally adventurous “glomads” are becoming less of the exception and more the common trend. As globalization continues to expand and grow, we as world citizens grow with it. Individuals are increasingly defining themselves as global citizens. We continue to move abroad in earnest in order to achieve adventure, career opportunities, and an education.


6. Living Abroad Health Care

Affordable health insurance is a major reason for living abroad. This infographic compares the health care costs in seven international locations.


7.  The World’s Most Expensive Cities

Moving overseas does not always guarantee a lower cost of living. Check out the costs of a movie or a cup of coffee in these major cities.


8. Home Prices in Central America

Revel Real Estate featured this infographic, which shows the average price for a three-bedroom home in different parts of Central America. While it can serve as a reference  point, it was created in 2012. Prices might now be higher.


9. Really Stupid Stereotypes

A pre-conceived notion about the people in your new home country is bound to destroy your expat experience.


10. The Woe Is Me Expat

Although this infographic was designed for Brits, it can apply to anyone.



Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.