Famous expats and their love affairs with new cultures

Be it the lure of a foreign culture or simply the pursuit of a better life, throughout history a number of celebrities have left their homelands for distant shores. Thrust into the midst of an alien culture through either chance or choice, these individuals managed to internalise the new value sets while retaining the original flavour of their homelands.

Freddie Mercury

One of the most famous rockers of all times, Freddie Mercury was actually born Farrokh Bulsara. His parents were Parsis from the Gujarat region of British India and Freddie himself was born in East Africa. Not many people know this but Freddie actually studied in India for quite some time and developed his love for music while studying at a boarding school in Panchgani near Bombay (now Mumbai). His family fled to the UK after the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964 and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. It almost seemed like this skinny Parsi boy who grew up in India was made for the emerging British rock and roll scene. Not only did he completely manage to immerse himself in the western values but also grew up to be one of the biggest rock stars of all times.

Johnny Depp

Quirky, eccentric, and always charming, Johnny Depp is widely regarded as one of the finest actors alive. Born and raised in the USA, Johnny however grew disillusioned with his homeland over the years. He moved to France and eventually found the peace he was so badly seeking. The quiet French countryside suited his disposition as he married and settled down with French actress Vanessa Paradis in 1998.

Ernest Hemingway

One of America’s greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway, moved to Paris in 1921. Paris was the hub of the art scene in the 1920s and was bursting at the seams with a number of writers and artists flocking to its roadside cafes. Hemingway become friends with other writers and poets of note like Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound and developed a deep love for the Parisian culture. And even though he only lived in France for a short time, the country absolutely loved Hemingway and has a posh cocktail bar named after him.

Kevin Spacey

Don’t let his Southern drawl in House Of Cards fool you; Kevin Spacey is now as British as the Queen’s teapot. Spacey moved to the UK when he took up the role of artistic director at the Old Vic theatre. After completing his ten year tenure, the actor showed no signs of moving back and revealed that he was in love with London. He claimed that moving to the UK was one of the best geographical and career moves he has ever made.

Sofia Vergara

Colombian heart-throb Sofia Vergara was studying to be a dentist at the University of Colombia when the murder of her brother forced her to move to Florida. She began modelling and slowly made her way into television and films. She now stars in one of the biggest sitcoms on American television and is loved throughout the country and possibly the world for her adorable performance. What’s more, this Colombian import is also the highest paid actress on American television!


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