“Where are you from?” This is the question that, as an expat, I’m asked more often than any other. I always have to hesitate. Where is home? Is it where I was born? Or where I grew up? Is it where I first shared a home with my husband? Where we first became parents? Where our second daughter completed our family? Where my parents live? For me, none of the above applies to the same place. So I feel like little (and not so little) pieces of my history and my self are scattered around the world – where exactly I call “home” has become fuzzy.
I do know that the upside of this is that “home” is starting to feel a bit like wherever I am. It’s a privilege to have experienced life in different places. I love that I’ll be able to show my daughters the photo albums I’ve made for each year and they will see pictures of themselves running on beaches or playing at the tops of mountains all over the world. I hope that as a result of our thus far rather transient lifestyle they will speak more than one language comfortably and feel at ease in what ever environment they find themselves.
Still, the concept of “going home” is something I find fascinating. I can’t help feeling a little bit envious of people who achieve that, choosing to make their lives back in their home country. For this reason I’ve decided to start a little feature on this blog called “Chat with a Re-pat”, telling the stories of people who have made the journey home, the highs and lows they’ve encountered along the way, and the advice they’d give to those of us who haven’t yet got that far.
Do you have an experience you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you if you do. Look out for our first Chat with a Re-pat, coming tomorrow.