Anyone who has known me for more than say ten minutes knows that I loved my time abroad. It was an incredible experience for me. And while I had many personal difficulties during those two years, the positives so far outweighed the negatives that they almost broke the scale!
Shortly after I returned to the States, I inadvertently made my Grandma cry because I wouldn’t say that the United States is the best country in the world. I tried getting away with it being a great nation, but she was having nothing of it. Having been exposed to so many other countries, how does one compare things like that?
I started thinking of all this again when I read The American Resident’s “Would You Admit that You Prefer Life as an Expat?“. In my head, it never dawned on me that some people would be hurt if I openly stated I preferred life abroad. Admittedly, I think differently than most, but if one of my friends or family members were going to move to another country, I would be so happy for them!
When asked if I would move abroad again, “In a heart beat!” has always been my answer. If you’re not careful, your casual question might inadvertently launch me into my Scotland plan and a half hour of your life will be gone!
I have been thinking lately, though, if I enjoyed my stay there so much because of the time in my life that I was there. It was post-divorce, and I felt lost, and I was desperately seeking my own identity. One was instantly provided for me, The American, which allowed me to focus on myself. Now that I know (and like!) who I am, would I still do it. Would I really give up everything to do it again?
The main thing I learned from my last expat experience is that the trick is not to think it through! If I gave it serious thought last time, I wouldn’t have gone and would have missed out on an incredible experience. One does not get the Adventure Girl label without being willing to just jump!
Am I alone in this? Could you pick up and move cross country or around the world? Would you?
4 thoughts on “Prefer the Expat Life?”
In a heartbeat Tammy – in a heartbeat. And I love the advice not to think about it too much.
I told you we must be sisters! Kindred spirits at least!
My best decisions in life have been the ones that made no logical sense. Thinking gets in the way.
Tammy: I want to be adventurous! I am working hard to create a life for myself where I can do just that. Slowly, but surely I am making progress. I think I just have to stay positive, have patience and be open minded in order to accomplish my goals.
I also what to learn different languages! It would make the visits to different countries a thousand times better! I like the United States, but I have not been to other countries so who am I to say which one is the best, right? If I stay positive and stress free then hopefully I can live a long life in order to do a lot of traveling, learning new things and spreading love.
For me, Adventure came in baby steps. Anything that was outside my comfort zone was labeled adventurous. Gradually my answer to each new opportunity became “Why not?”. It has led me to try a lot of things I never would have experienced before.
Knowing the language does make travel easier, but that is no reason to let it hold you back. I spent 10 days in Scandinavia and couldn’t speak any of those languages. Pointing and smiling go a long way.