Once an Expat - Always an Expat
I miss my home country every single day, but I don't want to move back.
Does this sentence resonate with you? Can you relate? Are you an expatriate who is living in a foreign country and despite all the ups and downs you can't imagine to relocate to the place where you grew up? Talk about a split personality.
Maybe at the beginning of your assignment you couldn't wait to get on that plane back home, but now, after two or three years, you are not so sure how you feel any longer. Something has changed.
Or maybe you recently had to repatriate and now that you are home, you are confused, but you decided to give adjustment some time. However, for some weird and unexplainable reason you don't feel like you belong to this city any longer.
Is it possible that there is not only homesickness, but also expatsickness?
E X P A T S I C K N E S S.
This word doesn't even exist, but how would you define it?
How about: "A feeling of longing to live in a foreign country".
And why do you think so many of us expats feel so strongly about living abroad, living in a foreign city, leaving our friends and families behind?
Well, let me ask you this: why did you move in the first place? Was it because you got that job offer far away? Was it because you were accompanying your partner? Was it for financial reasons? Was it for love? Was it because it was expected of you to work in another country, to gain intercultural experience? Was it because you always liked to travel, to see the world, to live where the sun is always shining?
In case you are interested in some statistics in leading motivations of expats for moving abroad in 2019, you can find them here.
But let's get back to you and this is probably the pivotal question:
Were you running towards something, or were you running away from something?
And now that you are living the expat lifestyle or you have lived the life of an expatriate, what are your thoughts and feelings now? Are you homesick? Are you expatsick? Or are you exactly at the place where you know you need to be right now?
Would you agree that maybe one of the most compelling reason to keep moving from country to country is the adventure that we all can enjoy along the way? In a new country almost everything is new, everything smells different and in some cities you have to learn how to cross a street properly. You see the world through the eyes of a child again.
Oh, the excitement. There is no routine, just a brand new day and you don't know what's going to happen.
However, the downside is that you can never go back. Living abroad will change you forever.
If you ever feel lost along the way, if you ever feel confused in your journey, if you ever don't know if you should keep on moving or if it is time to go back home, try COACHING because as wonderful as the expat experience might be, it sure comes with its own challenges.
WE FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE WHEN THINGS ARE CERTAIN.
BUT WE FEEL MOST ALIVE WHEN THEY´RE NOT.
- C. Heath -