Hi, I’m Martin Gamache.
I’m originally from a small francophone town north of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada. I immigrated to the US in 2001 after many stints abroad in both Asia (Indonesia) and Latin America ( Peru, Mexico). In 2016 I followed my spouse to China so our daughter could learn Mandarin while her mom chases down business opportunities here.
I’ve worked as a cartographer and graphic editor for most of my professional life so it was quite a change of pace to stop working and be a stay at home dad on a visitor visa for the last 18 months. It’s given me a chance to support my wife and daughter, travel in China and Asia, pick up a musical instrument ( guitar) and immerse myself in a culture that I find very challenging from a linguistic perspective and culturally very different than anything I had experience before.
I’m fascinated with human migration and it’s been a pleasure to discuss the current use and meaning of the term expat with previous curators. I spend my days observing the many migrant workers here in China and often wonder how difficult and lonely their lives must be. Professionally I’ve worked and befriended many graphic journalists from all over the world who have relocated for work, often without their families. Regardless what we call ourselves, when we move to improve our families’ lives or enrich our own there is no guarantee of success. I consider myself lucky that my choices to live abroad have all been made voluntarily.
In January my family will again be living apart so that I can rejoin the working world as I pursue a job opportunity back in the US. I’ll be an “expat” no more, just another immigrant in the great melting pot that is America.