Life as an Expat - An Expat's Home
Britannia Bradshaw move countless people out of the UK every year - some of them are starting new lives in a new country, some are returning to places they've lived, and some are returning home. People's experiences with being an expat are as varied as people themselves. But there are some common threads that seem to weave their way into every expat's experience to one degree or another.
Once you have become an expat, you will never quite be the same again. Your experiences abroad will always shape a bit of who you are, even if you're back in your home country.
I'm originally from the United States, and today is Thanksgiving Day there; one of the most important holidays on the US calendar. It is also the 10 year anniversary of me leaving America for Europe, when I boarded a plane bound for Switzerland, where I lived for over seven years before moving to Manchester.
On days which are important in the country where you're from, your mind naturally tends to drift back into what "home" is like. For some expats, home will always be where they're from, for others home is where they're at right now,or another spot that has truly captured their heart. For me, Britain is my home, but America is my roots - and I find myself yearning for pieces of America and Switzerland, along with Sweden, a country where I briefly lived before I found myself on a plane to Switzerland.
Sometimes the little things are what triggers those small longings or memories. The smell of the mornings, or after it rains, the look of the sky on a winter's day, a few words overheard from strangers in an accent or language you are familiar with - they all can trigger memories and longings for something you can't put your finger on. This morning, I walked out my door and caught a whiff of decaying autumn leaves, taking me to the other side of the ocean in an instant.
Whether you're just starting off your journey to a new country or you've been away from home for decades, be thankful of where you are and where you've come from. It has all shaped you into who you are today.