1. The Idea of Home is Fluid.
“Where are you from?” – Is no longer a simple question. As an ex-pat, the idea of home is multidimensional.
2. You Separate Friends by Time Zones.
You have friends in all corners of the globe and have places to stay from Malaysia to Chile. The internet is your lifeline to friends and family, and for staying in the loop.
3. You’ve Developed a Strange Accent and Picked up a Plethora of Idioms.
One day you notice one of your children speaking with a posh, or not so posh, British accent. Yet, you’ve never lived in the UK.
4. You’re Likely Bilingual or Multilingual.
Or you can speak “taxi” and swear in several languages. You are astute at miming any language.
5. You Speak in Airport Identifiers.
You know the identifiers of your “regular spots”, and have at least 4 airports mapped in your mind for best eats, lounges, and shopping.
6. Paperwork is a Full-Time Job.
Passport renewals, VISAS, school forms, health forms, insurance forms. This is your permanent nightmare. There is always a form to fill out somewhere.
mas copias por favor.
7. You’re a Boss at Arithmetic and Conversions.
You can convert at least 3 different currencies randomly and flow between Metric, Imperial….. Miles, Kms, Fahrenheit, Celsius – you’re down with it all.
8. You Always Have a Team to Root For or A Holiday to Celebrate.
Doesn’t matter if your passport country gets knocked out early, you’ve got plenty of backups. As for Holidays – yes, please! You happily celebrate them all.
9. Adaptors and SIM Cards are Essential Packable Items.
This is a pain-in-the-ass. Someone needs to invent a universal SIM card and universal voltage.
10. It’s Never Goodbye, Only See You Later.
This never becomes easy as an ex-pat or TCK, it’s a transient life, and friends come and go. You make some very tight connections and often your friends become your surrogate family.
The good news: The dear ones never truly leave you.
11. You’re Okay Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone.
In fact, you thrive on it. New foods, different wines, or zany adventures…..you’re up for anything! Especially a chance to scratch your constant itchy feet – you seize every opportunity to travel.
12. You Kiss A Lot of Strangers (Pre-Covid).
Kissing is cultural and Europeans love to cheek smooch. Bahamians suffocate you with “bear hugs”. Canadians are masters of the “buddy hug”. Tough to keep it all straight. I’m a hugger by nature, but I’ve also become a cheek smoocher…and often go for the Dutch triple smooch….might as well do it with gusto, right?!
I could go on & on about the idiosyncrasies of ex-pat, TCK life.
But, I’d rather hear from you. Are you an ex-pat or TCK? Does any of the above ring true?
Share your story, share this post, and tag on to the list above.
Love Kate. x