Although I’ve been writing this blog for a bit over a year now, it was time to update it. I’ve added this new home page, and you’ll notice a new tab at the top of the page. You’ll find my previous posts under the relevant tab at the top, for example for all things Swedish, hover over “A Year in Sweden” for the “Sweden” tab to appear. I hope you still find it easy to navigate. If you don’t, let me know and I’ll try to fix it.
Living overseas is a far different experience to travelling overseas on holiday. Depending how long you stay somewhere, you build a life, call a new place “home” and make life-long friends. You start to avoid all the tourist places that you were so keen to see when you first arrived and seek out less crowded areas where the locals go. You pay into that country’s pension scheme, learn the best places to eat/run/ski/shop…, figure out the health system and just maybe learn enough of the local language to get by. You begin to find the effort required to make new friends tiresome, constantly putting yourself out there and hoping you meet like-minded individuals. You go looking for adventures off the tourist track, while maintaining a daily routine like anyone anywhere else in the world. It’s a weird mix. You’re home but you’re not home. You want to experience as much of a different culture as you can even though you begin to adopt that culture. You have a life but it’s not the same life as it was 1, 2… 5 years ago. You become an observer in your old life. Somehow, in your mind, the people from “before” are stuck at that place in time when you left, but the reality is, time moves on, everyone moves on without you and nothing is the same again. You start to feel like a bit of a stranger when you do go home, at least until you re-familiarise yourself.
But for those of us who end up living overseas, most of us wouldn’t change it. And if you would change it, you probably wouldn’t be living abroad.
Living overseas can bring you so many wonderful experiences, teach you some life lessons, introduce you to amazing people, broaden your perspective, as well as throwing at you all sorts of challenges and obstacles you couldn’t have dreamt up if you tried, and the satisfaction when you realise you have overcome them makes it worth it. My blog will try to share some of these moments with you as I experience living in a different country.