Seriously, what does expat mean? I should know that! I’m an expat psychologist and coach, and I’ve dedicated the last seven years of my professional life to help expat women adapt and cope with the challenges of life abroad.

However, when someone asked me that question on LinkedIn a few days ago, it got me thinking: What about my community? Do they feel identified with that word? Do they even know what I’m refering when I say “expat”?

And that has been on my mind for a while…

What the heck is an expat?

expat woman what does it mean

This is my answer:

An Expat is a person who goes to live in another country for different reasons and duration. It can be for work, love, adventure, retirement. Is short for expatriate, which means “out of your home country.” Some people living abroad don’t identify with this term (they prefer nomads, migrants, internationals, global citizens,etc.). I use expat as a middle ground because, in my opinion, it says what I want to say: away from your home country.

Watch the video I recorded for an Instagram Live. I talked about what does it mean, other words to identify people living abroad and, above all, what does Expat imply for people who moved to a different country (or even within the same country!)

You’ll find interesting insights about the word and how people identify themselves abroad.

And you’ll see that, in the end, it doesn’t matter how you call yourself, as long as you are comfortable with your decision to move abroad!

Contact me. Now. Don’t waste another minute being overwhelmed and stuck on the hamster wheel. Click here and let’s start the road to the expat life YOU want to live!

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By your side,


Gabriela Encina - Psychologist & Expat Coach

Gabriela Encina is an online psychologist specialized in expat women and supports them with the guidance and tools they need to feel confident, make the best decisions for their lives, build and maintain meaningful relationships and prioritize their well-being.

Her approach is practical, solution-oriented and focused on the present.

Gabriela offers counseling to expat women in Spanish, English and German.