12 Aug 2020
3 x 2 = 6
Many of our own Asian Tigers employees have walked in the shoes of our clients, undertaking international relocations themselves. This week we hear from Andy Marshall, our Chief Operating Officer based in Thailand, and learn about his own Expat Journey.
Leaving Essex in the UK for Thailand in 1993, did I ever imagine how significant that simple multiplication of 3 x 2 = 6 would have so much relevance to me? Absolutely not!
Like many, when I first went through the process of applying for my resident visa for Thailand at the embassy in London, I did not realise at the time that I was not only taking the initial steps towards my first international household relocation, but also to a life overseas and the eclectic mix of new life experiences that I was going to be enjoying along the journey.
I had spent the previous 10 years in international relocations, counselling prospective clients on how to move internationally. Now I was about to embark on my very own move and try to take my own advice! I certainly went through all of the emotions that our very own clients do, and the empathy that this quickly established within me was tangible. Now, at last, so much made sense!
As my expat journey has unfolded, I have been fortunate to live in three very uniquely different cities: Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai. In fact, I have lived in all three, twice. Three countries, two times each, six international moves and six solid opportunities for character building.
The Expat Journey is not for everyone. I would not for one moment suggest that we who embark on these expeditions are in some way special, because we are not. But there is undoubtedly a wanderlust inside of most of those that choose to live and work outside of our home countries.
Our chosen paths expose us to new cultures, smells, people, foods. And above all, it exposes us to the airports of the world too! There was a time that I travelled through Minneapolis airport so much, that one of the staff in the North West Lounge used to welcome me back! On more than one occasion, I met some of the same cabin crew on Emirates flights while I shuttled around the region endlessly.
These are all – for me – compelling parts of a life as an expatriate. They make the choices of deciding to pursue that first international move, and the decision to relocate for the very first time, so much easier to correlate when you happen to reflect on how relaxed you may have been in chalking up your initial contribution to your own expatriate journey calculation.
Be it 3 x 2 = 6, or 1 x 1 = 1, enjoy the ride!