Are you a GNE?

In a recent article, Wallpaper magazine describes Global Nomadic Expatriates, or GNEs, as a new breed of "career expats" who move from country to country for short-term professional gigs, "with no particular loyalty to a home nation."

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In a recent article, Wallpaper magazine describes Global Nomadic Expatriates, or GNEs, as a new breed of "career expats" who move from country to country for short-term professional gigs, "with no particular loyalty to a home nation."

The magazine cites a Mercer study covering 232 multi-national corporations, stating that the numbers of GNEs have increased by more than a third in recent years and now outnumber traditional expats (who return home) and long-term expats (who finally settle in their new place).

For GNEs, home is where they're going to, not where they're coming from. They move on for the sake of moving on, always on the hunt for the better opportunity, the richer cultural fabric, the more exotic and adventurous experience. The immersion is temporary but the network grows exponentially (through the strength of weak ties). The other significant allure of the GNE lifestyle is that expats are usually welcomed into a city's cultural elite far more easily than natives, enjoying the foreigner bonus

And yet:

"The unhappiest people I know these days," writes Pico Iyer in The Global Soul, "are often the ones in motion, encouraged to search for a utopia outside themselves."

 

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