Hello world!

If the name of my shiny new blog sounds a little wistful, it’s because I miss – deeply, achingly, knife-in-the-guts miss – my expat days. Not everything about them, of course – I don’t miss weeping in frustration because the taxi dispatcher, who obviously doesn’t have time to decipher my woefully inadequate French, has hung up on me. I don’t miss the scornful head-to-toe glance of the 85-pound Singaporean sales clerk as she dismissively tells me, “I don’t think we carry anything in your size.” And I certainly don’t miss the steady stream of goodbyes that are the sad reality of this peripatetic lifestyle.

But oh, how I miss that sense of discovery and wonder, when everything – even the most mundane tasks – gave off an intoxicating whiff of the exotic. I miss the constant thrumming in my brain as I absorbed and made sense (or not!) of the relentless onslaught of stimuli; I could practically feel my synapses firing and my neural network growing. More than anything, I miss the gratitude that came with the astonishing realization that I was actually living an interesting life.

It’s that feeling of engagement, of making full use of all my senses, of learning and growing and becoming, that I want to revisit here. And, okay – I also want to tell all my stories to people who haven’t heard them before. The glazed-eyes thing does get a little tiring after a while.


About Maria

I'm a Canadian repatriate, former expat spouse, mother to two TCKs (and one yellow Lab), mentor to new immigrants, writer, reader, world traveller (grounded for now). I write about expat/repat issues and am still trying to figure out my place in the world.
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4 Responses to Hello world!

  1. Margie Banin says:

    Ohhh, you’ve so hit it on the head! The experience of being an expat can be wonderful, terrible, exciting, frustrating…but everyone looks at you & realizes you’ve chosen a challenge. Then you repatriate and that thrill is gone. And on top of it, no one understands the post-expat experience you. They expect you to be just the same as before you ever left. Unchanged. They haven’t a clue that repatriating isn’t simply “moving home”; rather, it’s another whole bundle of conflicting emotions and this time no one is running to “be there” for you.

    Thanks for sharing – I’m looking forward to reading more!

    • Maria says:

      “The thrill is gone” – that’s repatriation in a nutshell. Who knew that living abroad would turn us into adrenaline junkies? LoL! I guess the challenge is to discover a new thrill now that we’re back in the ‘hood. I’m working on it…

  2. Maria says:

    Hello to another “MariaAbroad”!

    Oh, I so know what you mean! Well… let me put it that way. I am currently living abroad (I grew up in Germany and lived there for the first 23 years of my live and just moved to the US 4 years ago), but I have grown so familiar with this place that all I want to do is pack my husband and plunge into a foreign, distant culture, somewhere far, far away. My husband has never lived abroad, but after hearing all my adventurous stories of leaving everything behind in Germany and coming here to study, then leaving everything again for an internship in China and then coming back to the US, he is eager to get his “expat feet” wet, too. I hope we find an exciting expat adventure soon, but in the mean time, I am looking forward to reading your experiences and adventures abroad!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Maria,

      I remember moving back home after my first stint overseas, and thinking well, at least I got the expat bug out of my system. Ha! Now it’s 26 years later, and there’s no cure in sight. I’m always happy to meet people with the same affliction! Looking forward to hearing how it all unfolds for you and your husband.

      MariaAtHome 🙂

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