Becoming an Expat: Losses and Gains

As with any big life change, there are things that you lose over time and things that you gain as you grow. There is a shift in perspective, often one that reflects things about yourself and your wants that maybe you have kept quiet, buried or just put aside because it was not the time.

I have found that the things I have ‘lost’ are not things gone forever, just a little further out of reach than before. This, after a period of time and adjustment, then turns in to gaining something new – and it is all rather odd. To explain further (as I think I am not really making myself very clear as I still try to figure it all out) I have compiled a list of things I have experienced/noticed thus far on my expat adventure:

happiness is a way of life
You may greatly miss the scenery from your old home but you do gain an interest in seeking out  new sights.

Natural curiosity gets reignited – life can get mundane and stuck in a routine (expat or not), but the very fact you uprooted yourself means that spark of adventure is there and you can draw upon it.

You may lose a sense of yourself because you are leaving behind what is familiar and comfortable, but you can gain a new perspective about who you are, or who you want to be.

Even though you miss talking to your family and friends and seeing them whenever you want, the joy at being able to connect with them is tenfold what it once was.

A change really is as good as a rest.

What do you want to change? What have you lost or gained by moving somewhere new – or what would you hope to experience?

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6 thoughts on “Becoming an Expat: Losses and Gains

  1. Susan says:

    Very thought-provoking post! I’m not an expat any longer, but in my move from New England to Florida, I’ve gained and lost a few things. I’ve lost the snow, ice and cold and gained sometimes pleasant, but more often hot and unbearably humid, weather. I’ve lost beautiful fall foliage and curvy, hilly roads and gained flat, swampy land with palm trees. I miss New England’s fall and cool weather! I’ve lost the state income tax, which was really appealing when we moved to Florida, but have to live in a state that seems to cater to retirees and the rich. I don’t feel totally at home in Florida, and I don’t think I ever will. Thus is home, though, even though I daydream of my family moving to Maine.

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    • Molly @ The Move to America says:

      Really interesting list of losses/gains – it proves that when movng anywhere there is a host of things that you have to consider (and a lot you will not even realise). I know that I did not think everything through as there were many things I did not even consider or figure out until once I had moved. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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  2. Keri from Baby Globetrotters says:

    Our latest expat posting has definitely reignited some serious wonderlust! We were all ready to move home (From London to Australia) in 2012 with our new family, get settled back to a suburban life with routine and the ‘great Australian dream’; instead we ended up in Abu Dhabi! It has been eye opening to what is still left out there in the world to explore and we are simply not ready to be ‘settled’; with or without kids we want to keep seeing the world from a perspective I don’t think we’d see if we were simply home and taking short holidays. As an expat you feel like a continual explorer. We miss being close to family still but our children are gaining such a worldy view of life that I wouldn’t change for anything.

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    • Molly @ The Move to America says:

      That is so interesting – being able to offer a different and expansive way of life for your children is so great! There are so many things you do not always get to do as an expat, but there are many, many things you do get to experience that you would not get to if you did not have the life you have! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Heather says:

    Molly, you amaze me! You have the most balanced views (on all your posts) that I’ve ever seen. You have inspired me to take a good long look at my own life and not take anything for granted and find the positives where I thought there was only a negative. Thank you!

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