A friend who put in about 10 years as an expatriate once shared with me that 3 "M"s can be used to describe the personalities of those who choose that lifestyle. He spelled them out -
Missionary: you do it because your heart's in the cause, because you truly believe in it.
Mercenary: the money's great, so you make a killing plus stipend in some foreign place.
Misfit: you are an outcast at home anyway, so a remote spot is just as good.
Another friend who I have mentioned before, JT, recently took a job in Hilo, Hawaii. "Howlee" bombs will be thrown at the new CEO of the local mental facility in Hilo. Apparently that's a racial slur thrown at Caucasians from the continental states there. It doesn't phase him.
He 's leaving Mansfield, OH -- a town where you might stop to get gas on a road trip, and never look back as you jump back onto the I-70 entrance ramp. His flight is tomorrow morning. On the eve of his departure I find myself wondering which of these "m"s applies to him. Maybe he's 33.3% of each.
Bon voyage, my howlee friend! Please stay in touch early and often so that we can talk shit on people.