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On Being An Expat

On Being An Expat

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I haven’t written much about it on here, but I’m kind of a serial expat. I like to move around a lot.

The past five years seem like so much more and yet it seems impossible that they’ve come and gone. Five years ago I was a couple months into life in New Zealand. It wasn’t supposed to be permanent. We were only going to stay for six months.

The months carried on, we had good friends, interesting jobs that allowed us to save a lot of money. We were really happy.

So we stayed for a whole year. We lived in New Zealand – in Christchurch, in Nelson, in our car that we camped in for almost two months.

When our visas were up I sat on the plane in Auckland airport and cried. New Zealand had been my home.

We moved to Australia.

We were only going to stay for a year. We spent a few months in Melbourne before finding a home and jobs in Sydney. We stayed for two years.

We made good friends, found a home that we loved, local restaurants that we frequented, a favorite coffee shop where we spent Saturday mornings and pubs where we’d spend Sunday nights.

It was with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes that we got on that flight out of Australia.

When we moved to Korea last year, we thought it would be for longer. We had intentions of staying there as long as we stayed in Australia, longer if we liked it. The visa options were there, the work is plentiful.

The jobs weren’t right, the language barrier was exhausting. But strangely enough, we sat on that plane at the end of our year there and I felt my eyes burning. I loved this country just as much as all the others, that familiar ache was there.

So why do we keep leaving? Why do I put myself through it when each of these places has actually felt like home?

Each time we’ve left, something hasn’t aligned. Whether it’s shaky ground, a lack of visa options or a career path we don’t want, we’re still searching for that place that feels right, that place that I simply cannot leave.

Or maybe we just like the thrill of the chase.