“Once upon a time, in the ancient and medieval worlds, to count as properly foreign you had to seek out a life among peoples of a different skin colour or religion. They were probably an impossibly long distance away, they might well kill you when you got there, and if you went too far you might fall off the edge of the world.”
– An Economist article on being foreign
Today the longest distance is no more than a 24-hour plane ride away, pickpocketing rather than murder tops the list of out-of-towner concerns, and the world is considered flat in a whole new way. Yet no country allows unlimited immigration. To live outside the country of your birth – for those not diplomats, refugees, students, or dual nationals – you must possess skills. “Talent is a passport and is nationally blind,” as Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology once put it.