What Happens When You Live Abroad

#1 Jul 14th, 2013, 02:38
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  • ashyashwin is offline
#1
Felt like sharing this article which talks about what expats around the world might be going through.

What Happens When You Live Abroad

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But one thing that undoubtedly exists between all of us, something that lingers unspoken at all of our gatherings, is fear. There is a palpable fear to living in a new country, and though it is more acute in the first months, even year, of your stay, it never completely evaporates as time goes on. It simply changes. The anxiousness that was once concentrated on how you’re going to make new friends, adjust, and master the nuances of the language has become the repeated question “What am I missing?” As you settle into your new life and country, as time passes and becomes less a question of how long you’ve been here and more one of how long you’ve been gone, you realize that life back home has gone on without you. People have grown up, they’ve moved, they’ve married, they’ve become completely different people — and so have you.

It’s hard to deny that the act of living in another country, in another language, fundamentally changes you. Different parts of your personality sort of float to the top, and you take on qualities, mannerisms, and opinions that define the new people around you. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s often part of the reason you left in the first place. You wanted to evolve, to change something, to put yourself in an uncomfortable new situation that would force you to into a new phase of your life.
#2 Jul 14th, 2013, 04:53
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#2

Interesting topic!

General feelings as described in that blog are true. Individual experiences are a different story. For me it was a struggle from day one. But I also had resolved not to go back as a "failure". Always looked ahead, to the future I want to build. Did not go back for 6 years. Going back first time was a sweet and sour experience! It felt good that I left in some ways and also it felt I am missing the closeness of relatives, friends and familiar surroundings.

As time goes by; it is almost forty years now, home is Hawaii, second home is Japan and India has never left that soft part of my heart! But there are no regrets .
#3 Jul 22nd, 2013, 12:05
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Originally Posted by Alohaguy View Post As time goes by; it is almost forty years now, home is Hawaii, second home is Japan and India has never left that soft part of my heart! But there are no regrets .
I heard someone say, it takes at least 3 generations for a family to be accepted in a specific locality as a localite.

I feel this is more of a cultural adaptation issue rather than moving across borders. Even within a country. Take the example of India. At times Indians themselves take the idea of India for granted, and think they will be accepted anywhere around India without a second thought. But that is not so. . Even they face difficulties growing up in one culture and settling in another one later. And Indians do not get any formal sensitization or training on how to adapt to the so many different cultures within India.
#4 Jul 22nd, 2013, 12:24
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Originally Posted by ashyashwin View Post I heard someone say, it takes at least 3 generations for a family to be accepted in a specific locality as a localite.

I feel this is more of a cultural adaptation issue rather than moving across borders. Even within a country. Take the example of India. At times Indians themselves take the idea of India for granted, and think they will be accepted anywhere around India without a second thought. But that is not so. . Even they face difficulties growing up in one culture and settling in another one later. And Indians do not get any formal sensitization or training on how to adapt to the so many different cultures within India.
Good observation. Everyone in India asks people "Where are you from?" And "India" is not the answer they expect. Remember "Chak De India?" The North-Eastern girls were told "Welcome to India" by the selectors. Deep.
#5 Jul 22nd, 2013, 16:59
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  • Nick-H is offline
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I heard someone say, it takes at least 3 generations for a family to be accepted in a specific locality as a localite.


"Almost a local," was one of biggest possible compliments paid to my mother after forty years of living in a Cornish [UK] fishing village.
#6 Jul 22nd, 2013, 19:29
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That indeed is a compliment!

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