Home is where the money is

by Chris Lang on April 11, 2011

Passport stamps I’ve stumbled across an article in the Business Spectator and just couldn’t keep this to myself. There were two interesting things about it.

How often do you read a piece that talks about … you?

As many of you know I wasn’t born in Australia, I migrated here after a long history of traveling and living in several countries in Europe. And every time people ask me “Chris, what’s your background?” – I have trouble defining it. Surely some of you can relate to this situation.

It is best demonstrated by Oliver M Hartwich (the author) when he describes his doctor, who was born in Zimbabwe but to a Greek family, and grew up in South Africa before moving to Australia. He holds two passports, Greek and Australian, and would have held a third, but South Africa doesn’t recognize triple citizenship. What does this make him? A Greek? A South African? An Aussie?

So finally … there is a definition for people like me, and it’s called “transnationals”. It’s a new term invented by sociologists to describe people who “country-hop” – migrate from country to country in a search for a better life. They are not exactly guest workers – because migrants of this type do not wish to return to their home country. But they also don’t migrate from their home country to another for life – at any stage they are willing to re-evaluate and re-consider their choice if a better opportunity comes along.

The other interesting thing in this article that I’d like your opinion on is that national loyalty has become rare. It says that the majority (two-thirds) of Australian migration is temporary, meaning these people are likely to stay for as long as Australia is considered a good place to live and work, but as soon as a better opportunity comes along – they are likely to jump on it.

I, for one, consider Australia my new home, and don’t intend to keep country-hopping – but it would be really interesting to find out what other transnationals think.

So what do you say, is home really where the money is?

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