You move home after living abroad and that’s where you went: home. Guess what, it’s approximately the same place you were when you left. Minus a few new buildings and new bars, the time you were away gallivanting in a different time zone changed nothing.
Sure you come home and you feel changed, and you have. However, while that was fabulous and awesome when you were the expat, the foreign cool-kid, it makes you feel out of place when you come back to where you started. Unfortunately, the feeling is often only magnified by the sameness that you encounter.
So here you are, back where you started. No new places to navigate to on a train. No novel cultural nuances to notice. Nothing. You fit in. You’re safe. You are once again one among many. And it sucks.
So you find ways to stand out. You live with a Frenchman. You celebrate Bastille Day in full regalia.
You work for a language school. You do everything but get a desk job and fall into the same routine that made you uproot yourself and leave in the first place.
Doing these things doesn’t bring you back to living a life abroad, but it does reinvigorate you and give you back some of the mystique that you miss from your days abroad.
They say home is where the heart is, but sometimes you have to bring a little of what your heart left behind home with you.
So to those of you living abroad, cheers to you. Enjoy every moment of it. To those of you who are back home after your adventures, don’t forget, you have so many more ahead of you, you just have to make them.