Happy October everyone! I’m going to try something new this month. I’m being inspired by The Nester’s annual “31 day” tradition and am going to attempt to blog every day during October on just one topic.
I’ve lived seven of the last ten years living outside my home country of the UK. I grew up never moving house after the time I could remember (my parents moved into the house they still live in when I was two) and I had an idyllic childhood growing up in one small Oxfordshire village, knowing the names of everyone in the village, knowing their lives and their news, buying penny sweets in the village shop and exploring every lane, every stream, every field with my friends.
But I had an itch to explore. I inherited my love of maps from my dad and I’d plan out my trips in his big Times atlas. I’d devour the Travel section of the weekend paper. I read every biography or novel of foreign countries I could get my hands on. I read the NGO magazines my parents were sent from cover to cover.
My mum likes to tell people, this one, she was born with wings.
And so, at eighteen, I left home. In the last ten years I’ve lived in South Africa, in Scotland, in California, in Belgium. And now I’m ten months into life here in Luxembourg.
I’ve learnt so much as an expat. It’s a very different experience to live somewhere than to just travel there. I love to travel and explore new places. But living? Finding a flat, buying groceries, paying bills, making friends? This is a whole other adventure.
It’s a life I love, but it’s not without its challenges and it’s frustrations. So this month I’m going to explore both the joys and the hardships of expat life. And hopefully inspire you to try it or give you a few tips if you’re living it now.
I’d love to hear from you at the start of my 31 days to embrace expat life: What stops you from living overseas? Or if you’re an expat (or have been), what was the biggest surprise of expat life?