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Monday, 30 July 2012

An expat’s confession: I never wanted to leave my country.

Even though I love exploring new countries, new cultures, and learning languages, the truth is that I always planned to stay in Poland. I never wanted to go to live abroad. I think Poland is full of potential, and if needed, I always was able to find jobs. Some of my friends from school left to live elsewhere. They might have done it out of necessity, or because they wanted to, but still they left. Never once did it occur to me that I’m going to live abroad.

However, as I was nearing my graduation, I had the idea that I’ll go to Germany to study there for some time. I thought that before I stay in Poland my whole life, get a steady job and start a family, I might as well gain new experiences, and see how living abroad is like. Or so I thought. Because in the end nothing is like I envisioned it.

In the end, while I came to Hamburg with the intention of staying there for a semester, not longer. But then I stayed another semester, and went back to Poland, only to return to Germany a few months later. And I don’t even want to mention the 4 months I spend in Canada, which were also unplanned.

But it’s OK. Sometimes things like this happen, and you suddenly have no choice, not really. But I have found a home in the Netherlands, and my experiences so far have been extremely positive. I am given the unique opportunity to raise my beautiful girls trilingually. I have projects, ideas, and my children and my husband to focus on. I am inspired, fascinated, excited.

Do I miss home? Every day. Sometimes I miss it so much it hurts. My parents and my brother are there. My friends are there. Everything I had come to love and admire, it’s in Poland. Except my husband is here. My children are here. My home is here.

I have found new friends, new places to love, and new things to do. I have come to love my new home. I have come to love my life here, so full of surprises, of meeting people, of seeing places and learning, learning, learning. I am learning so much here, from a new language, to blogging.

And while I never wanted to live abroad, here I am, in the Netherlands, far away from my country, and missing it every day. And yet these wonderful things I have here make it totally worth it! 



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6 comments:

  1. I can totally relate to what you have written in this post! I am from India, now here in the Netherlands with my husband. I initially came here to study, but stayed on for a job. Now my husband is doing his masters.
    I too miss my country, my home, family and everything. But I am learning many new things here.

    You have a wonderful blog.I follow it regularly! Keep posting!! :)

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    1. Dear Swarna, thank you for your comment. I think sometimes life plays tricks on us. And sometimes, if we're lucky, we can make something good out of what we have. We can miss our homes, but we can adapt, and we can learn. We can't forget our homes, but we can always think of it, and read books, and watch TV channels from our home, and tell stories of our homes to our children.

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  2. Hi there, I can understand those kinds of feelings. Although I haven't lived abroad for any length of time, I kind of have it from the other side of the fence, because I always imagined my future path lay in France... in the end it just didn't work out that way and I only spent one year there! So I have lots of 'what ifs' wonderings and sadness that my language ability is stuck somewhere around 'advanced' but nowhere near fluent. Thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. Hi, Tallulah! You are so right. Actually, while this post is written in my point of view, I can totally relate to situations like yours- it's a little bit similar in a way that you imagined something and got something else. Just like you I have many question, and many of them begin with "what if?". Oh, and about French, I wish my French was better as well...

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  3. Conversely, I've wanted to live abroad for as long as I can remember. Now that I have a certain amount of experience of expat life, first in Munich and now here, I am pleased that I made that decision. Naturally, just like you I miss my home country and lots of little things that I always took for granted (like Marks and Spencer sandwiches) and my family miss me, but I've learnt so much through living abroad and I think become much wiser than I otherwise would have been.

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    1. I am also very happy that I have the experience of living in another country. It wasn't like I had planned it, but then hardly anything is.

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