The life of an expat is pretty cyclical. Work somewhere, finish the job, pack up and move somewhere else. Rinse and repeat. It’s very much like the life of a military family. You live in a place for a few years, then you move somewhere else. Sometimes that “somewhere else” is a totally new place, and sometimes it’s back “home” for a few years, only to turn around and pack it all up again.
We’ve been here 2 years and 7 months now. At times, I feel like I’ve lived here my entire life. Then, the next day, I’ll feel like we just got here two weeks ago. It’s crazy. Some days I love it and can’t imagine not living in Europe. Other days, I’m ready to get the hell out of Dodge and go home…back to the land of convenience and Diet Mountain Dew. And yet…even with the emotional ups and downs, and the days I feel like the bodies are going to start piling up in the yard if someone doesn’t save me, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve grown so much in the past 2+ years we’ve been here. I feel as though I’ve matured so much, not merely due to age, but due to the fact that you’ve only got yourself and a few select others to rely on day-to-day, and it’s either mature or fall apart.
And thus, like all good things, this too will come to an end. We’ve made the decision to move home after this assignment. Probably not for good…I can’t see either of us giving up the expat life forever, but for now at least. We’ve still got 6 months or so before the big move, so lots of traveling left to do, but things will start to speed up now. We’re trying to cross things off the list, rather than add new ones. We’re starting the house hunting process back home, and thinking about how we want our lives to look once we get there.
It’s so weird to think about. I just got here! And yet, a part of me is excited for the newness that will come with going home. It’s been awhile since we’ve been there. New places to explore, new hobbies to work on, and reconnecting with old friends will be a welcome change.
So…brace yourselves. These next six months are going to be a whirlwind!