A letter to friends and family back home
Having moved multiple times, it's taken until I've reached my forties to realise the impact the expat lifestyle has had on my personality, relationships, and my view of the world.
Some of these realisations have been downright scary.
My moves have involved repatriation as well as expatriation - neither are easy. Both require a huge amount of upheaval and take their share of an emotional toll.
The interesting challenge with repatriation is the sense that you have all of the inconvenience of moving, without any of the excitement, promise or exhilaration that a new destination can bring. Whilst we relish the return to the comforts of home and some of the 'knowns' - there are many unknowns - how will we be received?, how will we assimiliate?, will we fit in, be understood?, and so on.
Part of the difficulty with repatriation is reconnecting with those you left behind. Your lived experiences make you unique and will change you forever, so how will you be accepted by friends and family who chose instead to nurture their roots instead of spread their wings like you? Those different choices simply make us different. I'm still navigating how to bridge the gap.
Thanks for reading, Sharon x