The longer you stay an expat and the more you travel, I like to think…
…the more your curiosity grows.
…the more your grammar might suffer (am I speaking French French? Belgian French? Swiss French? England English?)
…you may realise, in the hierarchy of being able to dish out wit, Americans are not the highest ranking nationality on the planet.
…you will have sudden waves of homesickness.
…you laugh differently. But that’s not a bad thing.
…you keep making mistakes. Of the directional, linguistical, cultural, or other variety. But it builds character.
…you will have sudden urges to jump on a plane and go somewhere new.
…you’ll have moments where seeing something for the first time literally stops you in your tracks (and not only on safari when its natural…)
…your priorities will probably change.
…you will get overwhelmed.
…you will probably find perspective.
…you won’t take as much for granted.
…you will have eye-opening-perhaps-slightly-drunken conversations at 11pm in the middle of a dinner party where you try to defend the fact that you do not own a kettle, despite the fact that you live in England.
…you will then be shocked to discover others find this truly shocking…
…you may then, no less than 30 minutes later, learn some distant nationalities didn’t think chipmunks are real.
…you create your own versions of holidays which may just trump the usual ones (coming soon: a glimpse into #SinterThanksgiving)
…you learn new things. And you ask questions.
…you’ll look at home in a different way and both appreciate it and critique it more than you did before.
Either way, with all of its ups and downs, I can only come to one conclusion: expat life is a good thing.
This rather old-person-y reflective post kindly brought to you by a lovely weekend spent in the company of expats.
Photo taken in Belem, Portugal (JessOnThames)