Business traveling used to mean time away from family and friends without any real communication. Today, with social media tools, blogs and conference calling abilities, every expat can maintain a social atmosphere. Whether reaching out to employers or checking in with loved ones, social expats have enough online outlets for connecting that they no longer need to feel away from home.
Some people update their Facebook statuses and post Tweets about their day-to-day activities, checking in at local restaurants, complaining about the office, and sharing pictures found online. But social expats actually have something interesting to add and everyone from close family members to distant friends will stop in and check out what intriguing adventures expats have to share.
Not only does social media give social expats some extra attention, it motivates them to stay active with exciting experiences. People can finish their day’s work, sample new creative foods, take pictures of foreign city landscapes or far off mountain ranges and hear back from their friends and family within minutes. This instant ability keeps social expats in the moment, anticipating what they might find the next day to share back home.
What better way to fully immerse in global adventures than to chronicle them in writing and photography? Social expats are finding that blogging about their lives in foreign countries not only connects them back home, but with the rest of the world. A social expat that ventures from one nation to the next not only learns a wide array of customs, but can teach them to readers intrigued on how the formalities of one culture can mean the opposite in the next. Besides issues of etiquette, social expat bloggers can discuss an enormous range of topics from cuisine options to tracking down independent bookstores.
Getting in Touch
Most important for social expats is communicating with their business. While email and social media outlets allow employees to check in and keep up to date, verbal communication is a must for maintaining business relationships and delving into discussions. The advances in conference calls have made this as easy as having an Internet connection. Workers do not need to check in at a certain office or remote facility, they can be anywhere at any time and connect back home. Businesses that don’t have their own conference call services can go through companies like OnConference, providing no cost access for workers.
Making New Friends
It has never been easier for social expats to find other travelers from back home or connect with foreign workers away from their homeland as well. There’s a whole community of these workers who understand what it means to work abroad and how important it is to stay connected. The more active expats becomes online with social media and through their blogs, the more networking connections they can make. Not only can this bring new friends, it also opens up business opportunities. Shelter Offshore reports a whole networking world for women expats, helping them connect and stay social. But there is a niche for everyone to find whether based on gender, interests, geography or industry.
In addition to all the social outlets available for expats, there are vast resources of information to answer any question about world locations. Some websites like Social Expat are entirely dedicated to providing resources to abroad workers. Not only are there location guides but articles and tips on important medical information, international customs and what to expect from foreign weather. The more social expats share their experiences, the bigger these resources are becoming.
Sending Them Off
While in the past some companies hesitated to send workers away, new technology continues to keep employees engaged with their business and social life. It might not be an infinite vacation for social expats, but their lives are filled with a lot more excitement in their day-to-day work and after-hours entertainment.
About the author: Zach Buckley is a freelance writer based in the Midwest. He enjoys exploring developing trends in education, technology and culture. When he isn’t reading or writing blogs, he enjoys sampling good music and good food. Follow him on Twitter! @Zach_buckley