This hasn't become a major problem, but I'm seeing it creep into some of our initial questions. Part of it is just the usual breadth that initial questions take, where folks are equally focused on creating content as they are asking specific questions that they have. This tends to come out in the metaphorical wash as a site continues, but there's something I'd like to ask everyone to specifically avoid:

Qualifying questions as on-topic only because an expat is asking, or that aren't specific to an actual issue that you face.

Yes, things that many people take for granted as simple things tend to become very complex for people residing abroad - everything from renting a home to giving birth takes on many interesting twists.

A question like:

How do you deal with depression as an expat?

.. is too broad. What, specifically has you down? There is almost an infinite number of actual underlying causes here that could be greatly exacerbated by residing abroad:

  • You grew up having four seasons a year, now you have two, or one
  • You gave birth abroad without the support of 'your side of the family'
  • Your family doesn't get as much input as your spouse's family when it comes to how your kids are raised
  • Many, many more.

Medical, occupational, life & family, all kinds of things are going to be topics here, but we need to make certain that we firmly state the sort of 'expat twist' that this particular community can excel in speaking to when answering.

As I said, not a huge problem yet, but I'd caution everyone to watch out for it - if unchecked this early on in the beta, we may find ourselves closing quite a few posts in a week.

  • 4
    Also I'd like to point out the difference between a lot of travel questions and expat questions. There's some specifically already saying 'I'll be on holiday and I want to know.....' - this would be better on topic on travel.se - if we can keep it strict in the beta stage, it'll be better in the long run, no?
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 13, 2014 at 10:16
  • 2
    @MarkMayo Yes. If your question starts as "I'll be on holiday" then you're traveling. If your question starts as "I'll be living in .." then you're in expat territory.
    – user100
    Mar 13, 2014 at 10:53
  • 2
    This is becoming common enough that I'm considering adding it as a custom close reason to be more informative.
    – user100
    Mar 20, 2014 at 4:11
  • definitely! A constant sight.
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 20, 2014 at 4:14
  • 4
    But I can ask about programming on a boat as an expat, right? Right?
    – Pekka
    Mar 31, 2014 at 17:28
  • I personally hate "How to deal with X" questions on any site as going against the no-subjectivity policy, but travel.SE has tolerated them for years \-: Apr 1, 2014 at 8:27
  • 1
    Travelling internationally when you're an expat can have special issues that non-travelling expats or nonexpatriated travellers don't have. For instance your visa rules might impose limits on the time you spend outside the country. Apr 1, 2014 at 8:30
  • 1
    Why should we not beware the slopes of narrowing the topic so much, that the site will die in one year?
    – user41
    Feb 11, 2015 at 10:23


You must log in to answer this question.