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?