With the onset of travel blogging, working in virtual space, and plethora of anecdotal information available on the perils and excitement of travel, coupled with the fact that anecdotal evidence is normally presented in a positive, over-simplistic tone, it is in the best interest of an international company to act as a facilitator in this process and accentuate relevant and critical success factors of adaptation.
Bill Bryson (2001) In a Sunburned Country – expatriates moving to Australia may find this work useful as it establishes baseline tacit understanding of the place.
BLACK, S., J. & GREGERSEN, H. B. 1991. Antecedents to Cross-Cultural Adjustment for Expatriates for Expatriates in Pacific Rim Assignments. Human Relations, 44, 497–515.
LYSGAARD, S. 1955. Adjustment in a foreign society: Norwegian Fulbright grantees visiting the United States. International Social Science Bulletin, 7, 45-51.
Here is the link to an enormous database of meditations by Tara Brach.
“To see the psychic importance of work, one need to look no further then people who Travel the world on family money. Sometimes referred to as “trustafarians“, these folks are among the most visible and least happy wanderers in the travel milieu. Draping themselves in local fashions, the flit one exotic travel scene to another, compulsively volunteering in local political causes, experimenting with exotic intoxications, and dabbling in every non-Western religion imaginable. Talk to them, and they’ll tell you they’re searching for something “meaningful” what’s they are really looking for, however, is the reason why they started travelling in the first place. Because they never worked for their freedom, their travel experiences have no personal reference–no connection to the rest of their lives.” p. 14.
“work is how are you settle your financial and emotional debts–so that your travels are not an escape from your real life but a discovery of your real life.” p. 15.
“seeking simplicity doesn’t require that you become a monk, a subsistence forger, or a wild-eyed revolutionary. Nor does it mean but you must unconditionally avoid the role of consumer. Rather, simplicity merely requires a bit of personal sacrifice: an adjustment of your habits and routines within the consumer society itself… On a basic level, there are three general methods to simplifying life: stopping expansion, reining in your routine, and reducing clutter. ” pp. 29-33.
“… Cultural awareness is often the positive product of rather negative experiences–no amount of sensitivity training can compare what you’ll learn by accident. After all, the very concept “cultural sensitivity” is something we understand through the liberal, democratic, egalitarian taint of our own culture, and these very assumptions might actually be offensive to some ways of thinking. The point of travel, then, is not to evaluate righness or wrongness of other cultures (after all, you could stay at home to do that) but to better understand them.
Thus, the secret of interacting with people in foreign lands is not to fine-tune your sense of political correctness (which itself is a Western construct), but to fine-tune your sense of humor. Most comedy, after all, is simply a displacement context… On the road, a big prerequisite for keeping a sense of humor is to cultivate a sense of humanity” p. 111.-112.
On women and travel:
“Your gender, for example, will affect how people react to you. Indeed, while most everything I say this book applies equally to men and women, cross-cultural social interactions are the major exception. This is because women travelers more frequently tend to be the target of curiosity, harassment, and double standards.” p. 117.
Hello fellow expatriates,
I have been an expatriate in Dubai for almost 8 years and now doing my doctorate on global mobility and expatriate adjustment. I am now looking for participants for the data collection stage. If anybody is interested to participate and have a sneak peak into the qualitative research process here is how to do that.
If you wish to participate, here is the scheduling link:
The interviews are anonymous, you may wish to provide your secondary/spam email as I am obviously a random person on the internet. The schedule indicates the available slots in your time zone. It is a 30-45 min remote interview. The main criterion is that you should be a professional expatriate in the GCC and stay here 3 years or longer. Previous expatriate assignments are great.
You can pick my brain about the UAE/Canada/doctoral research process in return.
Here is my list
updated March 27, 2017