Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Life of an Expat

I read this post by Kim in Dublin on expat frustrations and it just clicked with me. Living in a place long-term is far, far different than spending a week there. Real life -- miles from your family and everything you're used to -- is often hard work and, once the shiny glow wears off and routine descends, sometimes downright lonely.

It takes awhile to make your home in a brand new place and to build up a network of friends. One of the things I find most challenging is that London's a revolving door. Often the good friends I make leave to go up North, back to Canada or America or Australia or Spain or... you get the picture. I've been here for six years and in that time more friends have come and gone than I can shake a stick at (not that I can find a stick to shake in central London). Of course it's better to have loved and lost, but still!

Life in a new country is exciting and a wonderful experience. But that doesn't mean it's always going to be easy!


Ann said...

How true. I experience challenges in my US life every single day. I am still often misunderstood due to expression differences. Not to mention the drama and humour of the Irish so being rather too colourful for the Wisconsinites. But all we can do is hang in there. Sure there is not much else for it. :)

Bryn said...

Finding new friends and not having them take off for somewhere else has definitely been the toughest part of living in London for me.

India Drummond said...

I found the little things the hardest when moving to a foreign country... like where do you buy plastic hangers and what's the Brit equivelant of corn-starch? Finally figured those things out (and more) in the past ten years, but every once and a while something still catches me out!

Miss Footloose said...

I agree with you. I like the expat life, moving to another country, learning new ways and making fun and interesting friends. But the biggest negative is that you can't keep your friends close because they leave or you move away yourself.
It's the issue that bothers me most in my wandering life. I have friends the world over, but most of them I will never see again, and I long for friends who are always with me in my own surroundings.

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