Pros and Concerns Of Living And Working Abroad

Living away from home

TAKING the decision to live in another country is often a step not taken lightly.

Whether it’s done willingly or grudgingly, it does help to broaden your perspective of life beyond your comfort zone.

For the panellists commenting on the WED WEB CHAT — Living Away From Home, their reasons for relocation were varied.

Hamish Brown is a well-known radio personality and deejay who decided to retire from the hustle and bustle of Singapore, to discover other islands in the region. He moved to Koh Samui in Thailand, and more recently decided to up sticks for Penang.

Nicole Chew started out in the hospitality industry in Singapore, working with brands like Meritus and Marriott before deciding to venture abroad. She is now the Area Director of Marketing Communication at Minor Hotels, based in Bangkok. She has learnt to become more accepting of other cultural norms.

Mark Fourie grew up in South Africa before venturing to Dubai in his role in the energy sector. He was headhunted to helm the global sales team at Trelleborg Marine & Infrastructure, based in Singapore. He loves to chat with his neighbours.

John Chapman-Fortune, a UK PhD science graduate, spent two years on an A*Star scholarship in Singapore. He returned with his Singaporean wife and is a strong supporter of coffeeshop beer.

These are the ongoing adventures of this group of adventurous folks who decided to experience new lands with their unique cultures and practices while trying to assimilate. Hear what they have to say in the videos below.

The full discussion is at the foot of the article.

When In Rome…

Moving is more than a physical experience. It requires emotional involvement and a deeper appreciation of how a new culture and society functions.

While Singapore offers seamless systems and easy online connectivity, Nicole Chew found her meetings in Thailand required a different approach, and an appreciation of the Thai phrase “sabai-sabai”.

Travel Tales

The importance of travel insurance, handling medical issues and coping with living costs are part and parcel of the adventure of living abroad.

Being Neighbourly

When Hamish Brown moved to Thailand, his neighbours made him feel welcomed. When he moved to Penang, the same thing happened. In the four years he lived in a condo in Singapore, he didn’t know who his neighbours were.

When Mark Fourie wanted to throw a street party for the residents in his cul de sac, there were concerns that the appropriate permits were not sought. The party carried on nevertheless.

Why The Grass Is Greener

When you live in Dubai, all that sand eventually gets under your skin. Then you move to Singapore, where the grass is literally greener. That was Mark Fourie’s experience. But everywhere he’s been, the gregarious South African has made friends and thrown parties.

Where Is Home?

You may live abroad, but where is home?

All the panellists ultimately felt they didn’t have to lose their identity and sense of belonging to their respective countries of origin. 

They believed they were proud ambassadors of their home countries. 

Watch the full discussion of WED WEB CHAT — Living Away From Home below.

Watch our previous wedwebchats:

If you have a topic that is of interest, or have someone who would make a good panellist with a thought-provoking perspective on a subject, please email with your details and a short summary.

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