I am often asked, ” Do you miss America?”
I’m asked by new co-workers, neighbors– even the barista at the coffee shop.
That question always has me stop a bit in my tracks. Of course I miss America, why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I miss my friends and family? Or Missing the feeling at ease when having conversations — not worrying about a cultural lost in translation or knowing pop references. Or missing the freedom of driving. Or missing Mexican food, like really good — authentic Mexican food or spending a lazy Sunday in Target. Or being able to find pumpkin flavor everything in October or to celebrate Thanksgiving or the 4th of July. I miss calling my best friend without wondering what time it is in Seattle.
Of course I miss simple little everyday moments that define what life in America was like for me.
But I have found, over the course of living in the UK for over 4 years, that missing (and even dwelling) on your pre-move life can act as an anchor and hold you down. It can prevent you from establishing new roots and eventually settling into your new life as an Expat.
It’s all about Embracing where you are, in that single moment… and see what adventures and change is just around the corner.
For me, I’ve found that the process of embracing my new expat life took time, and tremendous patience…. I learned to stop comparing the US vs the UK,to let go of some of my impossibile exceptations and learn to roll with the punches.
I was inspired to think and examine the idea of embracing life in Wales, when last week we head a mid-week adventure to a local garden estate, Bodnant Gardens. After walking around for an hour or so, and a treat of fish and chip dinner, we were treated to a stunning sunset show. The sunset was colorful and simply stunning. And in that moment, I was so wonderfully happy and fulfilled that I couldn’t have asked for more… perfection.
The afternoon was so random, but a perfect example of how a spotantous idea can turn into something extraordinary.
Over time, expat life abroad evolves with this amazing balance between two homes… And I am constantly learning to embrace and evolve as an expat, even after living in Wales for over 4 years.
So here’s to embracing where we are in our journey.. right now –as a an expat or not. Here’s to enjoying and savoring the sweet moments, and striking the balance that works for you.
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