Q1: What advice would you give to your pre-expat self?
Q2: How do you reconcile what you thought life would be like in your new home and it is in actuality? i.e. did you think you would be fluent in your new language and you are struggling with the basics
In my naivety I don’t think I really came with any expectations. I’m very lucky that I’ve not had to learn a new language, a good friend of mine offered for me to rent her room when I was settling into London and New Zealand is very English in many ways, so adapting wasn’t so hard.
I was also very, very lucky to meet Mr. Kiwi who is my best friend and usual partner in crime. He adventures with me, not always totally willingly (I think mostly it’s the English reserve), but always discovering new delights which makes for an interesting life away from work, and that’s a recipe for a happy Kiwi.
Most days I don’t think of myself as an expat – until a bout of homesickness hits, I mess up another greeting or I get a direction totally wrong. Then I definitely feel like a foreigner. I’ve lived here long enough that London has become my home – it’s just really, really far away from my birth home which sucks.
How about you? Could you see yourself as a lifer in another country? What advice would you give to yourself?