There is no going back - An Expat Life
"Where are you from?" About five years ago I was asked this at Brighton Ski Resort on a chair lift. This is my home resort, where I learned to ski. My answer to this girl was a simple, "Farmington, Utah." The girl didn't believe me and said, "But there is something different about you, I can't place it."
She had it right; I had been living outside of the country for over twenty years by then. My word intonation has changed, my ideas and well I am not that same girl from Farmington.
On my first summer trip back to my parents after a year in Europe, I met up with my High School girlfriends. We had a great evening, I got a massive speeding ticket (I had gotten used to driving on the German freeways), and I felt out of place. I remember telling my Mom that my girlfriends had changed when I got home that evening. My Mom said, "No Sweetie, you're girlfriends are just the same, it is you that has changed."
People ask me all the time the famous, what would you do if question. "What would you do if your husband divorced you?" or "What would you do if your husband died?" I always answered I would go home until one day I said, "I'm home, I would stay right here if tragedy struck." The million dollar question as an expat is will you go home and can you? That is why I don't see myself as an expat anymore, rather a global nomad that has found home abroad.
I watch people come and go and listen to to the stories they tell about going home. You see going home is never the same, once you've left, you can't go back and expect to pick up where you've left off because I promise Sweetie, you have changed.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife