Today a new friend came over, and I told her about this blog. (I’ve been keeping it relatively secret at the moment in case someone actually reads it before I’m ready to “go live.”)
She and I can relate to the topics I want to explore here on multiple levels. For one thing, she used to teach English at the school I currently teach English at. We’re the same age, we both came over to Heidelberg a long time ago with the idea that there was no other city on the planet we’d be happy living in, and now we both have children and very little chance of being able to move back to the States any time soon. I think we’re also similar in that this fact confuses us, emotionally.
It’s funny, this stage of life that we’re in. Both of us worked so hard to establish ourselves as long-term expats. But, now that we’re married and have young children there’s this whole new slew of questions, doubts and stress that accompany that. I think it’s a given that mentalities/dreams/etc. change when you have children. And, that’s true a million times over when you live 4,000 miles away from family in a culture that, no matter how long you’ve lived there, still isn’t quite your own.
Anyway, in our three hour, animated conversation an interesting question came up—what type of expat did we want to be at this point?