The Ex-Expat Life

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.

Me and Frenchman

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.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. alibey says:

    you can never literally go home again. it changed. you changed. and it will in all probabiity no longer work. best a new place entirely. good thing the us is big enuf for that, unless you are suffocating under the current regime. in that case, is it back to the eu! but as a career option, per ur post, instead of teaching, why not rock star? cheers


    1. Jessica says:

      Hi! Thanks for your thoughts. Currently I’m just writing and seeing where the world takes me. Likely the EU soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. alibey says:

        May the force be with you!


  2. DanaeB says:

    This is what I am so worried about once I am finished teaching abroad. Going back to the mundane. I wish you all the best!


    1. Jessi says:

      Thanks, Danae! You’ll be ok, promise. It’s just day by day and you’ll find your place. Or maybe not and go back! Are you somewhere fun? Anyway, always feel free to stop by and drop a line. There’s quite a few people on this blog who are in similar positions 🙂


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