1016 Ex Pats

Pernais from Jamaica and Doron from England talk about life as an Ex-Pat, people who live away from their country.


Doron: So, we are both expats. We both left our home countries. Are you going to go back, do you think? And live in Jamaica?

Pernais: I will. I will, eventually. I think Jamaica is the only place that I could actually settle down in. It’s the only place that I would really consider home, because so much of who I am is dependent on my culture.

Doron: Your roots.

Pernais: Yes.

Doron: Do you have a lot of family back home?

Pernais: I do. I do. Yeah, that’s the biggest part of home for me, my family.

Doron: So when you say you will go back, when are you thinking? Like soon or in 20 years when you finish looking around the world?

Pernais: That’s it. I want to see the world first, but I need to be home at least once a year to keep that connection with my family and with my culture really.

Doron: Hooray for air travel, right? You can always slip back. I’m the opposite, I think the one place I couldn’t settle down now is probably England.

Pernais: Really?

Doron: I’m the same as you, I think I have to see the world, but I think the world is just too big to ever settle in one place. One of my goals -- I like to set myself targets -- and one of them is to see every country in the world. And I thought I’d been to quite a lot but I counted a few weeks ago. I’ve only been to 30 and there’s at least 6 or 7 times that many, so it’s going to take me awhile.

Pernais: Hopefully, you’ll get it all done.

Doron: Yeah, I do have family at home of course in England and I miss them and I see them every couple of years but I think I’ve got travel in my genes ‘cause my mom left home when she was 17, my dad has moved all around the world, my brother now lives in America (he was born there), so I think our family just loves to travel. How about your family, are they all back in Jamaica?

Pernais: Not all of them. Actually a lot of my relatives live outside of Jamaica and it’s always good to go home for Christmas because everybody comes back home and it’s just like this really nice family atmosphere.

Doron: Where do they all live now?

Pernais: Mostly in America and Canada.

Doron: Have you been to visit them?

Pernais: I’ve visited a few of my cousins in the States in Florida and New York, but I haven’t been to Canada. I’ve been to Quebec but not to visit family.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

settle down

imageJamaica is the only place that I could actually settle down in.

When someone speaks of settling down, they are usually referring to getting married, having kids, and living in the same place for many years. Settle down also means to be become calm after a period of high energy. See the examples below:

  1. He was wild when he was young, but he has settled down considerably.
  2. Settle down everyone, I need to make an announcement.


imageHooray for air travel, right?

Hooray is used to express happiness or a feeling of being thankful. In the example above, “hooray” could be replaced by “Thank God”, as in “Thank God for air travel.” See the following examples:

  1. Hooray for vacation! I need a break.
  2. Christmas is tomorrow! Hooray!

in my genes

imageI think I’ve got travel in my genes.

Genes, and genetics, refer to physical and personality traits that are passed from parents to their children. When someone has something “in their genes” it means that the parents and the children are similar. Notice the 2 examples below:

  1. Everyone in our family has blue eyes. It’s in my genes.
  2. My physical looks favour the genetic background of my mother more than my father.


imageIt’s a really nice family atmosphere.

One meaning of atmosphere is the air all around us. Another meaning is the mood or the feeling of a particular place. A restaurant may have a romantic atmosphere or perhaps an energetic atmosphere. Study the examples below:

  1. The food is good but the atmosphere is so old-fashioned.
  2. The atmosphere of that school was like a prison.

The States

imageI’ve visited a few of my cousins in the States.

“The States” is a common way to shorten “The United States of America”. It is also common to just say “The US”. Notice the following examples:

  1. I’m from Tennessee in the States.
  2. When I lived in the States, I never rode on a bus or a subway.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Learning

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
settle down • hooray • in my genes
atmosphere • the States
  1. Hip, hip . We won.
  2. Music is . Both my parents play instruments.
  3. The was sad after we lost the game.
  4. I want to and have a family.
  5. I am from but now I live in Thailand.