The birth of Young American Expat - Young American Expat team
Young American Expat was born in January 2015 by Richie Santosdiaz when he visited his brother in very cold Michigan over the Christmas holiday season. Initially he used the website to create a blog, where he mainly reposted expat resources. This lasted through 2015 and part of 2016 as a part-time voluntary hobby (the originally blog has since been shut down in 2017 to make way for Young American Expat as you know it today). In fact, believe it or not, Richie almost shut down the website end of 2015.
In 2016, as Richie started doing more thought leadership pieces with his day job at the time, he has a resurgence of Young American Expat and decided to focus more on his life abroad (as people were fascinated that he has lived in 6 countries). Part of the resurgence was Richie tried to approach a major expat publisher to do some writing pieces geared towards the younger expat, as most of the resources and support groups were geared towards the older expat (the typical story of the usual affluent business person who gets offered a high expat package to relocate their family overseas). However, they completed ignored him and instead were interested in their traditional audience. Finally, what motivated Richie in 2016 was, in 2015, although he didn't put much effort in his hobby at the time, the website organically was getting quite a bit of views.
Therefore, in June 2016, Richie started storytelling more about his life and creating the persona of "Young American Expat." A successful way he did that was launching the Instagram account YoungAmericanExpat in May 2016, where Richie documented his life abroad. Later in 2016, Richie's friend Colleen Boland got on board and the two began showcasing their lives.
Richie realized that, coupled with the organic growth of the website, that Young American Expat really can be a showcase of not just his life and Colleen's, but the nearly 9 million Americans currently abroad. Many have very interesting stories, especially both the young Americans in their 20s and 30s, who often get ignored as the priority tends to be the older expats. In addition, some of the older expats were once young expats and have since established themselves and have successful international careers. It is in a way inspiring to see these former young expats willing to inspire and help their current young expats and also future generations.
From the way Young American Expat keeps innovating, at present, we are dedicated to showcasing the lives of the American expatriate community - from real life stories to historical figures to the Young American Expat team themselves (as how Young American Expat originally started out as). It has been an honor, given how niche we are in the focus, to be a major voice for the American expat community, especially to the younger segment in their 20s and 30s - both current and former. Through digital storytelling, our mission is to tell the lives and stories of the nearly 9 million Americans overseas.
As the website continues to average and grow in viewership, we have not only revamped in 2017 but also in April launched a new YouTube and Facebook page as a way to further reach out our storytelling to the world.
Hope you enjoy our website and our mission!
-Young American Expat team
PS - the intro headline banner on this page (for those who visited the website in 2015-2016 will know) was our original banner for the entire website. We've kept it exclusively on this page to remember our past.
A special thanks to our friends and partners, especially during the early days before the revamp, as well as our recent partners featured in our links section!
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