Bad Days Abroad
When I first moved to Europe some 28 years ago, I struggled. I was young, hip, daring and chose this step myself and yet I found myself making cultural faux-pas, struggling with the language and being ultimately homesick.
On a great day, I would sit in a café with a friend sipping my drink feeling vogue and adventurous...I owned the world and was proud of all of my adventures. Then, out of the blue I would stumble on a silly challenge that would throw me;
-a postal worker who scolded me,
-a shop owner who asks me, "How can you stand being American with your President?" As if I have a personal impact on Washington D.C.,
-a doctor who lectures me on how his health care system is the best and I should be happy he is not giving me medicine as I am begging him for something to relieve my symptoms.
Any of these things could and have sent me into fury. Whenever this happens, all I want to do is go home.
My trick all of these years is... I do just that; I go home. Okay so my home is down the block, but I shut the curtains, call a girlfriend or my Mom and just pretend I am in my bedroom 'somewhere else.' I take a good book and take the day or evening off of my life abroad. My own little virtual reality.
The saying my home is my castle has taken on a new meaning. My home is not only my castle it is my haven.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife