When one is living single overseas does it make sense to list an emergency contact who lives in the country of origin (assume it to be at least a 8 hour flight)? Does it make more sense to list a new, but close, friend in the country of residence as the emergency contact, so he or she can show up in person if needed?
I put a close friend in the country in which I live, if I have one that I'd trust to immediately get into contact with family (etc) in the event of something bad happening. The idea being that if police/hospital need to immediately know things about me (medical history or suchlike) they have a person they can get in touch with without having to worry about time zones, flights, etc. And then that person knows how to get in touch with everyone else important (this is the main thing).
But you have to be able to trust that person to get in touch with your close family abroad, if you have them. If you don't have anyone close enough in your current country, I'd just list abroad family directly, instead of a 'meh' friend or somebody you're not very close with, or who wouldn't be comfortable ringing your family saying "so and so had bad thing x happen". That would have to be a pretty close friend or a partner.