Expat Friendships: Urban Tribes Abroad

My husband and I had guests from 19 countries at our wedding, which took place in a tiny Highland village in Scotland. As we sat at our table for two and watched our guests laughing and sharing stories with one another, we were both in awe of how easy it had been to bring everyone together.

But that’s expats for you.

One of the unsung delights of living abroad is the incredible friendships that occur. It’s easy to overlook things that might divide people back home – age, socioeconomic status, culture, politics, family status – and welcome people into your life whom you might not otherwise meet.

Life abroad often seems like a heightened reality, especially in the first months. The buzz of everyday life extends to friendships, which can blossom from the smallest of chance meetings. Often it is the English language that bonds expat groups, and the intensity of adjusting to a new life forms a bond that lasts for many years.

We’re starting a series on Expat Friendships, featuring stories from men and women around the world who count the friends they made abroad as a highlight of their experience. We hope their stories help you understand daily expat life a little better, and perhaps inspire you to spend some time abroad!