Pop my expat bubble: am I an IA Global Nomad or just an arrogant, elitist yuppy?

Nicole Kidman was recently criticized for breaking quarantine when she visited Hong Kong work on the TV adaptation of Janice YK Lee’s novel “The Expatriates”. Well, she plays an expat from Hong Kong so naturally she would get away with things that others wouldn’t be allowed to do – because expats (including me) are some of the most authorized people I have. know.

In 2011, my husband’s work took us from Boston to Hong Kong, one of the most cosmopolitan and expensive cities in the world. As a Global Mobility Analyst he had traveled and worked in over 500 cities around the world and our favorite after dinner games were “What’s the capital of (insert country name)?” or “What is the currency of (insert country)?”

Secretly – and sometimes not so secretly – we were proud of the fact that neither of us strongly identified with the countries of our birth or the cultures we grew up in – Singapore for me and America for him – and that we saw ourselves as floating and transcultural free-citizens of the world, detached from a single culture or a single country.

RELATED: I’m a Biracial Asian-American Latina. Stop trying to put me in a racial box.

Earlier this year my husband was fired. We decided to return to the United States where we figured the lower cost of living would allow us to stretch our savings until he found a new job. We chose Portland, Oregon for our return to American life.

None of us had been to this town before, but we had heard that it was progressive and bohemian, with impressive international cuisine. We also knew that being in the Pacific Northwest would give us easy access to the great outdoors, which we both love. So it was Portland.

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