My Journey to Expat Life: A Gift
My journey to expat life was given to me. I did not choose it, I just carried it on.
When I was finishing grade 9, I had learned my family and I would move to Jersey, the Channel Islands. I, a little Caribbean girl, had not heard of it, but I had mixed feelings about leaving everything familiar to me.
My dad at the time was an offshore banker, and because of his hard work, his company had given him a choice of countries to move to. He had chosen this one, and so we prepared to leave.
My last day at school was the last time I had attended school in The Bahamas. I remember it like it was yesterday. Everyone signed my shirt, leaving me jokes and messages to remember.
I said my goodbyes and when my ride pulled up. I walked away and never looked back. Since then, I’ve had many opportunities to return to The Bahamas to study or to live, but truthfully, it didn’t feel like home anymore.
My Journey to Expat Life: Home Is Wherever I Hang My Hat
I don’t want to lend the thought that experiences changed me. But enjoying life in a new country, having access to opportunities I wouldn’t have had, and having the chance to explore who I am as a person, made me realize that home was wherever I laid roots at. But where I felt at home was the most important to me.
But moving has its challenges, especially at a young age. It’s hard to maintain the friendships you had at home, because the truth is you have a new life. You’re experiencing things for the first time, making new friends, and you’re living in the moment.
Having the chance to be an expat from a young age has been one of the best experiences of my life. It has led to my ability to work with anyone from any culture but also to my willingness to drop everything and move for a fresh start.
But this life isn’t for everyone. If you’re actually having doubts, try staying somewhere for as long as the tourist visa allows you, and if you like it, apply for a visa. If you don’t want to stay there, try somewhere else.
A journey to expat life is about freedom and you have the freedom to do whatever you desire.
If you consider moving abroad, make sure it’s what you really want. As expats, we have a tendency to present the highlights. We rarely share our lows with people outside of our inner circle; it’s personal. Be realistic with your expectations, manage them well, and you’ll be fine.
You’ll make friends that feel like family and soon be attached to the routine of your life, because it’s so simple yet so freeing, and it’s all yours. Then, you can build a routine you love and change it when you want.
If you want to know more about expat life and talk to other expats, register for free with us here at TCI.
by: Dawn Demeritte