Living abroad:…from living abroad

In every  expat life there are a lot of significant days where SOMETHING very special happens – vivid memories that you will never forget: the one where you had to wave “Goodbye” to your beloved one´s and standing at the gate, crying (..because you just couldn´t hold it any longer!!!). The one where you realize that you don´t know anyone in the city, understanding the difference between being alone and being lonesome (which isn´t necessarily a bad thing!) for the very first time in your life. The one where you receive a very bad message from your family and you start to feel awfuly bad, because you just couldn´t be there…and yes, finally the ONE and only, your ultimately last day in your expat country, a.k.a the one day you were (in most cases) looking forward to…but somehow feeling like at the end of a relationship, only looking back at the good memories closely before a break-up and actually thinking something like “Well, eventually it wasn´t that bad…am I doing the right thing?”.

Moving from back from your host to your home country – or in other words – living abroad…from living abroad, with all its pitfalls, joys, frustrations and points of total confusion is easier said than done.

  1. It will take you months to finally arrive, unpack your suitcases a 100% and getting rid of stuff you simply don´t need any longer (…because no, there is no ocean close to your place and a boogie board simply won´t work in the shallow waters of the Adriatic sea). Major Feng-Shui meltdown…
  2. You will only feel complete after finally having met all your friends – because for whatever reason you secretly panicked that no one remembers you after three long years. Yeah, right…
  3. You may have the impression that nothing has changed in the last couple of years, until you bump into some of your parents´ old friends or your cousin´s kids who – surprise, surprise – GREW older (…and tadaaa…that´s what they think as well when they see you, thus be prepared 🙂 !)
  4.  You will see people on the streets you know somehow…but you simply can´t remember their name any longer, let alone remembering where you met them (…didn´t we go to school together? Aah no…hmm…followed by awkward silence).
  5. Nope, turning to right when the traffic lights are red never was, is and won´t be allowed in your home country…
  6. What? They don´t show Mad Men on Netflix in this country? WTF?
  7. It feels a little bit like in the last episode of “Stranger Things” (SPOILER ALERT), after the kid (Will) returns from “the Upside Down” dimension –  but despite of being happy that he doesn´t have to hide and seek from the monster any longer and coming back home, he just can´t really find his way back and going over to the “normal life”. Yes, there will be more flashbacks, as you would have expected…












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