The Downside of Expat Life

I think it’s easy to assume being an #expat and #expatlife is fabulous…and my life is pretty sweet, I know….but there’s definitely a downside to moving to another country. We had a cultural awareness training when we moved here, which kinda seemed like a joke since life in the UK isn’t all the different that the USA, it’s not a third world country or even one that speaks a different language…but in the training they explained that there are highs and lows to moving abroad. And it’s not just readjusting to the specific culture of the UK, but just the entire dramatic change it can be from how life used to be. And it is different.

I’m know I’m lucky that I’m in an expat situation where:

  • We’re on an expat package.
  • I get to explore and pursue a ton of interests and passions.
  • I get to travel with some regularity.
  • I have {some} family members and friends with means to be able to come visit.
  • I don’t have to be a slave to the man.
  • There’s technology like facetime, texting, vonage, and emails to stay connected.
  • I get to come home and see family at least once a year.

And that’s a lot better than a lot of expats even have it, but even so, I’ve definitely been riding a low on the expat experience train.   I’m pretty sure it’s relatable in some way or another to a lot of expats. It seems my previous understanding and knowledge of “home” is changing and influx and at this moment, and I don’t like it….

I went to away {3 hours} to college and was pretty well adjusted, but after that I went to San Diego and was pretty miserable for about 8 months before coming into my own…and that could have only been because I knew we were leaving shortly after a year. Since then I’ve lived in Chicago only an hour from where I grew up. I didn’t have a ton of friends in Chicago, but I had some good ones. And I was so close to my hometown, I saw my parents and my brother and sister in law {and in-laws} pretty much monthly. And when I was home to see family, I was also able to see old friends as well- if not friends- at least familiar faces and places.  And the 12 months leading up to our move, I somehow saw my NYC brother 5 times I think.

So for the last 6 years my “home” has been very comfortable to me {even right when we moved to Chicago since it was an area I knew pretty well and had been visiting since I was a child} and I was able to see many of my closest love ones very regularly. And now I can’t. And that great technology that allows me to be kept in the loop is exactly what brings me down. I am sitting here in rather brisk conditions being over exposed to:

And every day in the summer has loads of options to play.

Every summer day I’m missing tons of fun in Chi-city.

  • Pictures of my friends and family that I miss so damn much!
  • Pictures of my nephew Max and pseudo niece Calina growing up.
  • People enjoying rooftops and sunshine in Chicago.
  • People enjoying great food in Chicago.
  • Posts about all the amazing and fun things happening in Chicago this summer that I’ll be missing out on.
  • Posts about things that have changed in Chicago that I’m missing out on: Soul Cycle and Dylan’s Candy Bar?! Damn it, I would murder for either of these right now.
  • Just pictures of totally stunning Chicago.
  • The Blackhawks in the playoffs.
  • New workouts or my favorite old boot camps and boutique gyms that I’m missing.
  • American shopping.
Chicago is so damn pretty.

Chicago is so damn pretty.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 8.46.07 PMI’ll stop there. I guess we can sum it up as homesick. And it sucks. And I haven’t really figured out the way to fix it. So for now, I’ll try to remind myself that being an expat is a great experience and life is cushy and further convince you that being an expat is only fabulous….

In the next 3 months I’ll:

  • Travel Turkey
  • Explore Lisbon
  • Cruise the coast of Croatia
  • Go to the British Open
  • Golf Turnberry
  • Golf a lot
  • Hike lots and see tons of gorgeous Scotland
  • Kick it in Edinburgh several times
  • See Elton John
  • Watch dudes in kilts toss telephone poles several times
  • Be visited by a good friend, my aunt and cousins, my in-laws, and my mother


1 Comment

  1. Sienna

    I’m so excited for you! Moving abroad takes major guts and courage! Your list is quite impressive and I wish I can go to all these places too! Greeting


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