There are a 101 reasons to join Expat Club. Maybe it has something to do with the amazing number of destinations, maybe because of how we bring people together, maybe because the trips are always well organised with interesting programs. Who knows! But today we want to be honest with you, there are also a dozen reasons not to join. We wanted to share them in case you have some doubts, too, and allay your fears.
Reason #1 – I don’t like clubs
You may be making assumptions about Expat Club based on your thoughts about clubs in general. We are not a fancy, exclusive, high-flying community of jet-setters. We don’t focus on one nationality. We don’t requiring members to show up at least x times per month to our events. We simply bring people together, regardless of their (international) background. There is no “in-crowd” atmosphere, high registration fees or dress codes.
Reason #2 – I don’t fit in.
Everyone fits in at Expat Club. A few years ago, a woman attended a rooftop social event with about 150 people. Large socialising events are not our primary focus because it’s not the best way to make everyone feel welcome and at ease. Well, fifteen minutes after arriving, the woman came back to the registration table. She wanted to leave because there were “only people working for the institutions and she was just a simple teacher.”
Wow, we were surprised. Teaching is one of the most noble professions, and we have many members of the educational community within our ranks. Yes, we do have members who work for the institutions, but the majority do not. Come to an event and you’ll most likely meet retirees, families, entrepreneurs, au-pairs, (graduate) students and academics, managers, nurses and doctors, writers, artists and the list goes on.
One of the guiding principles behind Expat Club events is to bring people together, regardless of their backgrounds. We do not focus on a specific age group. Quite the opposite in fact. The only age group we do not specifically focus on are students and young professionals as they generally want to party too much. So if you’re only looking for partying and single events, then Expat Club is not the right place for you.
Reason #3 – I’m too old / young for Expat Club
Nonsense. We don’t focus on a special age group. We are truly intergenerational and welcome all ages, young and old. Everybody mingles nicely.
Reason #4 – I’m an introvert and don’t like meeting people.
Most expat events are nothing more than socialising and drinking. No wonder you don’t feel at ease. Superficial conversations don’t result in real connections. For the shy, it may seem that everyone knows everyone else.
Expat Club events are designed to meet other people, but they are structured so you don’t have to be with a large group all the time. Even when we have a full bus, we always split up the group for the guided tours. And for meals, we arrange smaller tables of 4-8 people. It’s great to see that smaller groups naturally form and gather to explore the destination or go to dinner. You just have to overcome your fear to introduce yourself to at least a few people. We’re a friendly group — with many introverts joining our events and trips because we form a safe space for them.
However, if you’d rather visit the destination on your own, there is nothing to stop you. You are more than welcome to draw your own plan and to get away from the group. There is no obligation to join us for the guided tour, group lunch, museum visit, dinner, drinks, or whatever else is on the program for that day. You may simply join the trip and go off on your own or join the “core” of our local events and head off home again after that ends. But even if you do, isn’t just a comfortable feeling that the other people who join also have an international background and are generally open-minded while meeting others?
Reason #5 – Everybody already knows each other
Yeah, we’ve heard this one, too. The answer is simple. NO. Everybody does NOT know everybody else. True, there are many regulars who keep coming back, which says a lot about the quality and open atmosphere of our events. However, they often don’t even know each other so they, too, meet new people. And, of course, there are always newcomers, including singles, couples, younger and older expats.
Reason #6 – I am afraid to spend the day alone.
Expat Club events and trips focus on bringing people together, and our programs are meant to facilitate that process. Our trips usually start with a guided tour. This is a perfect way to enjoy something together without having to do the talking. And it gives you something to talk about later. Our lunches are another great way to get to know a few people (usually 4-6 sitting around you). They don’t take too long, and with the food coming quickly there is no time to start feeling uncomfortable. You’ll always meet several people and never have to spent the day alone. Just reach out your hand during the day and introduce yourself.
Reason #7 – I don’t speak English very well.
Most of our members are not native English speakers. Indeed, most of us had to learn it in school or a language institution, while improving it on the job. If you don’t speak it well but are willing to learn, our events and trips are the perfect way to do so. Chances are that someone, or more than one person, will speak your language, so you have always someone to talk to. Needless to say, with many people working for the European institutions and 95% of our travellers living in Brussels, French is spoken very often, too. Dutch is less popular among our members, but still many who work in the private sector do recognise the value of mastering it.
Reason #8 – I’m not an expat.
Ok, you’ve ended up on our website for some reason, so there must be something that you must have liked about seeing places and doing things while meeting international people. So even if you are Belgian, a temporary worker or a tourist, you are more than welcome to join our international community.
Reason #9 – I don’t like having an online profile
Not a problem at all, because as a non-member you can still join most of our events. However, note that if you want to be a member, we require you to have a minimum online profile.
Reason #10 – I don’t want to be a member.
We understand some people don’t want to “officially” sign up to join our events or trips. Maybe you only want to join once. Maybe you’d like to check things out first. Or maybe you just don’t like the idea of being a member of any organisation. No problem at all, because almost all our events and trips are accessible for those who have not signed up on our website. We do, however, organise a few events that are exclusively upon invitation for our members, some of which are not even published on our website.
Reason #11 – I don’t like travelling by bus
Did you ever travel with a group in a bus? Are you thinking of those school bus trips from your youth. Not with Expat Club. We hire the best, most comfortable coaches. The seats are very good. They recline, give back support, have arm- and footrests, and individual AC and sound control. The coaches also have an on-board toilet and DVD system with several flat screens. What’s better is you don’t have to worry about anything, including parking and speeding tickets. On top of that we provide you with some drinks & snacks, while you enjoy the views, take an extra nap, view a movie and have a chat with a new friend in the seat next to you. BTW, if you suffer from car sickness, we are always happy to reserve a spot on the front row for you.
Reason #12 – It’s too expensive
Expat Club does not want to be a budget travel organisation. We arrange only the best coaches, qualified expert guides, and (special group) entries to museums. So-called budget organisations pick you up, often at inconvenient places and hours, take you to standard destinations, and normally just “dump” you at the entrance after which you can arrange the rest yourself. Expat Club is different. We bring together a great group of international people, and we don’t reach out to the general public. This costs us a lot of time and effort, as well as huge investments, which we have to charge one way or another. But the result is that we always bring together a fantastic group of people in relaxed atmosphere. Taking all this into consideration, we actually think our trips are not expensive at all. Often they are priced at an equal or even lower level than the general travel agencies and provide great value for money.
SO, with so many reasons not to join us, it must be clear by now that there are hardly any good excuses not to join us. Although many people found jobs through Expat Club, closed business deals, and even bumped into that special someone, these are all happy side effects. The main objective is to have a nice time together and to feel you’re part of a larger open-minded community. Of course we would love you to join our events and trips, but really think that everyone could enjoy them so much. All it takes is to register, book a trip or RSVP for an event. Then just show up, put up a big happy smile and feel welcome! You are going to love it! Guaranteed!