The weirdest part of being an expat

08:45

There are plenty of things that you know will happen when you move overseas. You will miss your mum. You will use the last of your savings on a beer. You will look at what feels like a hundred flats before you find one that remotely resembles something you can call home and you will definitely be mocked for your pronunciation of the word 'deck' (if you're a kiwi). 

What you don't expect is the feels you get when you come home. There's excitement and happiness (standard) but once the initial buzz of being back wears off there's this weird gaping hole inside and it's a bit emotional guys. 

The blonde kiwi and I have been expats for the past three years. Our first year of adventure landed us in Vietnam where being a foreigner truly defined our status... wherever we went. 

In London where we spent the next two years you'd think it would be different given there are so many Antipodeans over there but it's actually not. You're still the foreign novelty who needs to be educated about important things like how to brew tea correctly and when to stand on the right. It becomes normal to assume the expatriate persona as part of who you are which is why it's strange when suddenly that part of you is no longer relevant. 

I've definitely had the blues this week and I figured I was just missing London and the lifestyle that we had over there, hopping off to a different country every other weekend and spending most evenings after work yarning over a pint at the pub. Oh and on that note, let me just say that Facebook memories can suck it. It really doesn't help trying to adjust to new surroundings when you're constantly being bombarded with shiny happy (let's face it, thinner) you two years ago off doing something incredible. 

So yeah, I just thought I was having a simple case of separation anxiety from the beautiful moving beast that is London. Now though, I'm not sure it's that black and white. 

Of course I miss the city, mates left behind, cups and cups of tea, hell I even miss the friggin tube but I think what I miss most is that little part of me. The expat part. I miss being 'Ameenda' as my colleagues used to teasingly call me. I miss feeling smug at an All Blacks game at Wembley. I miss getting together with other kiwi pals and sharing our joy over a packet of pineapple lumps that someone had smuggled back from a recent trip home. I miss explaining important things like fairy bread and beaches without rubbish or sun loungers to workmates. I miss being the adventurer. 

I guess you could say I'm going through a minor identity crisis because it turns out that the weirdest part about being an expat is not being one anymore. Maybe I can join ex-expats anonymous?

Onwards and upwards though... at least now I can tell someone I'm going to sit on the deck without them exploding into fits of laughter. 



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