Ex-pat life: Each overseas move is different

Hi All.  I’m sorry I’ve been really bad at keeping to my “1 post a week” goal so far this year.  In fact, I’ve been really bad about blogging in general since the Australian move.  I haven’t really had the motivation to blog.  And as previously stated, sometimes I have received a lot of negative comments on any post not related to fashion, so I feel posting more honest, personal posts aren’t safe.

But today I feel different.  I want to share my feelings.  Because in all honesty, this Australian move has been hard.  Much harder than I thought it would be.  Much harder than my original move (which was 10 years ago, by the way.  Yes, I’ve been an ex-pat for 10 years.  And no, it doesn’t get any easier).

This time has been much harder, and for 9 months now, I’ve felt super isolated and homesick.  But now of course, I feel homesick for two places.  Luckily, NZ is very close and I’ve gotten to see a lot of our friends at least a couple of times over the last 9 months (especially over Christmas).  But I’m still incredibly homesick for the NZ mountains.  I know there are other people out there who know “once you live near the mountains you can never live anywhere else” and ohmigod have I found this to be true.  I firmly believe I will never be happy living away from the mountains ever again – and yes, even though I am close to some of the world’s best beaches – I’m a mountain girl through and through.

But more importantly, I am incredibly homesick for my friends and family in Minnesota.  You might be wondering after 10 years, why I’m so homesick right now?  When I was looking for new jobs back in 2015, I was concentrating mostly on the USA.  D and I planned to move back there.  That was absolutely 100% the plan and I was telling my family and friends that we would be back!  Well lo and behold, I didn’t get any job offers in the USA, and instead got one here in Australia.  So here we are.  So in a sense, I am still mourning the life that I’ve given up yet again – being closer to my family and friends in MN – and yes, I do feel a profound sense of loss.  That is not to say that we don’t have friends here in Australia – we do!  But I don’t have any friends in the city I that I actually live in yet.  All of D & my friends still live an hour away, and at most we see them every few weeks.

Soooo… the last 9 months I’ve felt isolated and alone.

That’s not to say I’m not glad we ended up in Australia.  With everything that is happening in the USA, I’d say I’ve dodged a bullet.  Also, it’s hard to say to my family and friends that “I have a much better life as an expat” than I ever could have had in the USA.  But I’ve had to give up all of my closest connections (which, as a functional only child growing up in the middle of nowhere rural MN who had almost no friends from the age of 5-12 – aka, my childhood was also profoundly lonely – seems a little crazy).

Being an ex-pat isn’t easy.  Each move is different.  Even when you move with a spouse, it can still be hard!  And as this certainly won’t be the last move for us, I can only imagine how different the next move will be (because again, who knows when or where we’ll end up.  Welcome to being an academic).  I just vote that next time we end up a little bit closer to my family and the Mountains.

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4 thoughts on “Ex-pat life: Each overseas move is different

  1. I can only imagine how tough it would be to be away from home for so long! And, it’s no wonder that you miss NZ after spending a 1/3 of your life there. I miss it, and I was only there for 10 days! Here’s hoping you get just a tiny bit closer to home with your next move. Hugs!!!

    • Thank you – you’re absolutely right – I know I’m better of financially overseas but sometimes I do just miss my family, and what I might be gaining in my career/finances I feel like I’m losing in personal relationships and connections.

      Though in saying that, I can’t wait to hear more about your big upcoming move!!! So excited for you! 😀

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