Once you’re an expat, “it’ll be very hard, if not impossible, to go back to the life that you once knew”. I’ve been hearing this on numerous occasions over the last few months from other seasoned expats. They say that when you do go back to your “comfort zone”, you’ll get that itch of wanting the challenge and adventures of living abroad again. It’s akin to being bitten by the travel bug. That urge will never stop.
Personally, the last year has been one of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced thus far. It has had many highs and lows, just like anything you face in life. But I’m also beginning to see why this is a life that people crave and love. It’s a kind of stimulation that you can’t possibly imagine, unless you’ve experienced it. To be able to fully understand other cultures and seeing how other countries thrive and falter is a high that you can’t get just from traveling or reading the news headlines.
Hubs has definitely taken a step back from our social situations here and has asked several times, “Where would we ever meet such a diverse number of friends?”. He is definitely soaking in this opportunity. One of Hubs’ closest friends here is a Frenchman, and mine an American. Our friends network has grown to include many from different parts of the globe: Austrian, Australian, Finnish, Irish, English, Singaporean, American, Canadian, Indian, French, Russian, Swedish, Swiss, and Sudanese. Hearing their thoughts on how they perceive the world and their personal experiences is sometimes very eye-opening. Many of them have lived in other parts of the world prior to Vienna. To hear about their lives in other countries makes us want to add it to our “possibilities” list.
We have 2-4 years left in our current post. I’ve been apprehensive about the possibilities of taking on more overseas moving, but I’m slowly (at a snail’s pace) warming up to it.