The Expat Diaries is back and hey, we have a shiny new button! If you’d like to replace the old one on your blog, feel free to grab it from my sidebar. Now add your travel/expat stories and meet new bloggers! The next link-up will take place on November 7th.
Some of you may have wondered why I started an expat link-up after moving back to the States. And maybe why I continue to host it every month even though I’ve been back for an entire year (man, has time flown by). Well, for one, moving abroad again in the near future is always a possibility that my husband and I have discussed many times. But honestly, I host the link-up for other reasons. For support. Maybe this makes me selfish but regardless, the expat community has helped me a lot.
Just trying to pet a sheep. Don’t mind me.
Yesterday as I was reading Belinda’s post about an upcoming trip back to the States, I could relate to her words all too well. The excitement… the anxiety… the worry about not feeling quite at home. It made me happy to read all of the encouraging comments from other women because isn’t that what blogging is all about?
After we had been living in Scotland for six months, we traveled to Florida for a few of B’s meetings. We were both looking forward getting some sun and familiar food (Chipotle!), but after deplaning in Orlando and being greeted by screaming children going to Disney World, we felt completely overwhelmed. Where the hell were we? The money was smaller, the roads were wider, and a single CVS store was bigger than over half of the main street in Aberdeen. The trip was relaxing enough, but throughout the week, we kept mentioning going back home. Wait – Scotland was home? We both thought that was weird.
This feeling was intensified when we moved for good. In Arizona, we couldn’t walk everywhere. Our favorite coffee shop was no longer across the street, and we were no longer greeted by funny, Scottish accents. We missed home. But after a while we got used to our surroundings and started to enjoy the beauty of the desert. We went hiking on the weekends and visited the Grand Canyon. We had favorite restaurants, I started fostering dogs through local shelters, and Malcolm had a park he adored. Then six months passed and it was time to move to Florida. Again, we missed home. See a pattern?
Then to make matters worse, I also felt homesick for my parents’ house in the Midwest. For my mom, dad, sister, brother and family dog, Mya. Basically, my heart was in a constant state of confusion — being tugged in multiple directions. Where do I belong?
We’ve now been in Boston for almost a month and I know that when we have to pick up and move again, I’ll miss our little apartment on the 17th floor, our local coffee shop across the street, and the Vietnamese restaurant we frequent in Harvard Square. Because that’s what happens when you move so often — you fall in love with pieces from each location.
And that’s my long explanation for this link-up. Moving is fun but it’s also a bitch. It’s difficult when people can’t relate to your lifestyle, but you guys can. In some ways we’re all in the same boat, so let’s support each other. I don’t think we ever stop being expats.
What does home mean to you? I’ve decided it’s wherever my family is.
Filed Under: Expat