How do you find it?

23:30 Alyson Tart 2 Comments

Usually as an expat, when you run into new people (locals and even sometimes foreigners) the conversation goes like this:

Local: You're not from here?
Me: No, I'm from Texas
Local: Ah, you don't really have an accent. [Ummm, thank you?] So how long have you been in London?
Me: Two years.
Local: So how do you find it?

On good days, I gush and talk about travel and all the things to see and do in London.

On bad days, I say it's great, but then in typical UK fashion, I complain about the weather, commuting, rent prices, etc.

With locals, this seems to do the trick. With people from the US though, it never seems quite as simple.

If you're unhappy in your new home, that makes sense to them, they've heard the weather and food are terrible and you should just come home. Why did you go over there in the first place even?

If you're happy, it's even more confusing. But don't you miss family, friends and all the American food?! Are you turning into some crazy Brit over there? Have you forgotten about America?

Of course I exaggerate and not all the conversations go this way, or at least not to this extreme, but it's a tough conversation to have and the longer you're overseas the tougher it seems to get (after two years the questions of when are you coming home are becoming more and more frequent).

Perhaps there's a marker where you cross over and people realise you've found your place in the world (quite literally) and that may not be your home country.

Or, on the other hand, perhaps not. Perhaps we're destined to forever be in the land in-between explaining to someone why we're still making the choice to live in the UK. We'll have to see how I find it in a year and go from there!


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2 comments:

  1. Great post! I have to agree! I'm a bit of a 'strange' expat as I grew up a nomad. My parents are French & Belgian and was born in Tokyo. But then lived in Dusseldorf, Joburg, Vienna and Hamburg. So those questions from locals here in London are not only about if I plan on staying here (have been living in London for 4 years now), but then also about why I have an American accent if I'm Belgian! I guess it's normal for people to have questions about expats why they've chose to leave their family home and why they've chosen to work in country that's not theirs. Like you said, on those great days, it's not such a bad thing! You can be enthusiastic, positive, etc. But on the low days, you just want to give them a look that says "Not now!" . Really nice post! I write about being an adult third culture kid & dating on wordpress http://tckdating.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thanks! Glad it hits home with someone else, I'm sure it's even more difficult to explain with a background in so many places!

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