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Calling all expats

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I had lunch today with 3 other expats (of mixed nationalities) and we all agreed that none of us would probably ever go home permanently to our native countries. It got me wondering - How many of you TCS expats out there intend to go home (or intend not to) and why? For me, every time I go to Britain now I feel not homesickness but nostalgia for a country I once lived in but which doesn't seem to exist any more. It is a kind of culture shock in reverse. I have been away ten years and I feel stateless, but have chosen to go to France eventually to retire, where I think I feel more comfortable. What about others?
post #2 of 13
considering i dont even know where im really "from"
i dont want to go back to britain, i couldnt go back to rome (have bad memories of that place so i detest it) , if i do go back to australia it wouldnt be the same.. sicily is only my summer place.
So i really dont know where i would want to live..
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Fwan, that does sound sad! But I am sure that one day somewhere will touch your heart and you will want to stay there.
post #4 of 13
After living in the US for almost 6 years, I am more than ready to go home. NZ is a unique place that I am proud to have been born in. For me, theres no place like home.

BUT....I do have fears that I won't be able to fit back in in NZ - I feel like that I have established my adult friendships here but I will see what happens when I get home in less than 12 weeks.
post #5 of 13
I've been in Switzerland for nearly 8 years and have often contemplated going back to the UK or Ireland. More and more I think that it is something that I see myself doing, although maybe not right now.

If I did go back, it would be purely for family reasons... folks getting old, missing my nephew and neice growing up... all that stuff makes me think alot about going back. I still have some convincing to do with Rich though
post #6 of 13
I was a US ex-pat for 4 years. My husband and I met in Japan while teaching English and then we moved to his country--Canada. We are here in the US now, but neither of us really want to stay. We want to go to New Zealand to live! But I know visiting a country is so different from living in it. We have friends from around the world, but it is sad to think we won't ever have all of our friends together in the same place. Still, it was hard coming back because I learned so much from my experiences and it doesnt seem like people here appreciate international experience very much.
post #7 of 13
Hannah - thats funny - I am from New Zealand but have lived here in North Carolina for the last 6 years and am going back to NZ - and now you are in NC and want to live in NZ - have you been to NZ before? They are always looking for skilled migrants - you go by a points system to see if you qualify.
post #8 of 13
I've held on to my U.S. citizenship in part because we may want to go back there someday. However, my family now lives in the Midwest (I grew up in the Northeast), so family visits don't mean "going home". I can see us moving to the Bavarian Forest (my husband's preference, and the easiest, because I have permanent residence status in Germany), the Scottish Highlands (my preference, but hubby has trouble with the Scottish accent), or the Hungarian hinterland of Vienna (in-laws' house there goes to hubby) once we retire.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hannah, I think that one of the good things about being an expat and living and working in different places is that you meet other expats as well as locals, and so have friends who live all over the world! I love visiting my friends in the US and Canada, both East and West Coasts, in the far East, and all over Europe. I also have friends in Australia, though I have not yet visited them there (one day I will). And one of my best friends here is Argentinian, so I hope to go there one day too. It all makes you look at your own country with a wider perspective.
post #10 of 13
The difficulty of going back home after living overseas for years is that you become a stranger in your own land. You learn so many different things from the foreign land and it greatly changes your outlook of life so different from your countrymen. I spent my childhood in South America and Mexico, my teens and early adulthood in the US. When I returned to the Philippines I experienced major culture shock. It took sometime to adjust to my home environment. It's pretty funny.
post #11 of 13
The home-country culture shock is really a surprise. I mean, when I left Clinton was president and people were saying the economy was just going to keep rising! How different it all is now. But the US is a really diverse country--there are so many different nationalities here. My Japanese friends who left Japan and came back said they felt hamstrung by the heterogenity and conformity of the culture there. I, for one, feel incredibly lucky to have had the experiences I've had. I will definitely continue to pursue experiences abroad and overseas--I really think it lets a person filter through what they find most positive in different cultures and keep that close to them while discarding the negatives.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
It is hard though, this 'feeling a stranger in your own land' which is what I get every time I go back now. But at least having lived in a number of places I have the self confidence to decide where I want to live, not just to go home because it was once home. I think you can pick and choose and find out what qualities in a country suit you best, bearing in mind that nowhere is perfect!
post #13 of 13
I agree with the feeling 'stateless'! I was born in Holland, UK citizenship, raised in the US (green card), moved to the UK and now live in Catalonia, Spain.

I used to have a 'mid-atlantic' accent, according to my british cousins, but now my american friends think I sound english and my english friends think I sound american. Stick me in a room with a french person and I pick up a french accent!!

What I sound like when I speak Catalan - who knows!!

I claim to be american or british, depending on the conversation/my mood..!! hehe

Would I go back? I wouldn't know where to 'go back' to!!

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