The Expat Life; Hello and Farewell

Expat life...

One of the most common questions that I get about living abroad is whether all the moving isn’t difficult – moving from one country to the other, always have to start new and to say goodbye every 2-3 years.
I actually like the moving part – it’s possible to get to know a whole new culture, a new country and a new city. I love exploring the new place where we are going to live, and walk around to see what people are up to and shoot pictures with my camera. I also like meeting new people, so when arriving at a new place you’ll see me going to all the expat {networking} drinks in town, so that we’ll get to know some people to hang out with.

That being said, the moving part is difficult. For you being the one who is leaving, or being the one who’s left behind. Personally I think it’s more difficult to be left behind. Both of you are saying goodbye, but only one of you heading off on a new adventure. The person who is going is so busy with moving, getting to know their new town, and just being pre-occupied with everything new. The person who’s left behind is still in the same place and has nothing new to occupy him or herself with. Another thing is as well that I find it more difficult to go out and meet new people when you’re living somewhere for a while. You know you’re time will be coming to move, and do you really want to start meeting new people and saying goodbye just after you met someone nice?
This was definitely my point of view when we lived in HCMC. We were on the moving list for the longest time – and after a year on that list we still had not moved. That was a wake-up call! Never, but then really never, stop meeting people when you’re living abroad. People are coming and going all the time, so you never know whom you will be meeting in that time, and how long you’ll be staying there.

So yes it’s true, it’s not easy to always be on the move. But being an expat for a while now, I have also come to learn that your friendships overseas are very intense. Within a short period of time you’ll share so much with a person and you get close very quickly – one big reason is that you don’t have any family to fall back on and everyone is in the same situation. So you help each other out in every situation imaginable.
In every country we have lived (whether they are still there or moved as well), we have several friends where we are still in good contact with, as they know you through and through. I love that about being an expat, and I would not want to miss that in my life. Even though it can get be really hard sometimes…

We have been in Phuket for a couple of months now and we got to know some great people already. We’ll see how long we’ll be here for, but for now it’s all good and I hope to get to know many more people… Wherever we’re at!

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