“It struck me already at that early age what a melting pot the World really is” — Eric
The Expat Earth Interview Series #2
I’m interviewing my French expat friend Eric in his apartment in Potsdam, outside Berlin. Eric is a true modern nomad. He was brought up that way. His wife Vero, on the other hand, had never moved abroad before their stay in Chile, but she too is now an experienced expat.
Expat Earth: Eric, tell me about your first expat experiences?
Eric: My family lived abroad for most of my childhood because of my dad’s job. We lived in Morocco, Jordan, and Senegal, with in-between stays in France. We stopped our expat life and moved back to France for good when I was 12 years old. At that time I knew exactly what I wanted: I wanted to be an astronomer and I wanted to live abroad! Guess I was born to be a nomad!
So when I was offered a position in Chile after my PhD, I was very happy. Vero was a bit skeptical because it was her first stay abroad, but I persuaded her, and we had a wonderful experience in Chile. After Chile we moved to California, and a few months ago back to Europe: Vero is working in Switzerland and I work in Berlin. We hope to have our jobs converge sometime soon, so we still lead a nomad life, not quite done moving yet.
EE: You’re a seasoned expat! Did your lifestyle and your habits change in the course of your moves as an adult?
Eric: Yes, our way of living has undergone big changes. In Chile I had a good job, a very good salary, and we quickly got used to not thinking about money – since we could easily afford whatever we wanted to do. So our standard of living increased, but at the same time we were losing sense of a “normal” life. That was the first time we ever had money, and we didn’t know how to handle it – we spent it without thinking. We dined at the fancy restaurants, stayed at the nice hotels, treated our parents to luxury when they came to visit us.
In California, I had a normal entry-level research salary, Continue reading