Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Expat Life: Changed from the Inside Out

 I am sure I could not find a quote that more accurately sums up the effect that expat life has had on me. 

Of course I am still me, but the girl that left England in fourteen years ago seems like a stranger now, confined to history. I wouldn't recognise that girl from pre-expat life if I bumped into her in the street today. 

Of course I am still me, but my daily life has altered in more ways than I could even begin to count. Consequently who I am has changed too. In more ways than I can count. 

Every day I communicate in language that is not my own. I have been through culture shock and come out the other side relatively unscathed but certainly changed. 

Expat life paved the way to a new career. One I could have only dreamed about a lifetime ago, living in my birth country.

Things that were alien to me more than a decade ago are today a 'normal' part of my daily life. 

I sometimes find it hard to imagine there was a time I wasn't an expat. Life before becoming an expat seems so long ago, so hazy and blurred. So unreal almost.

My new home has changed me, changed how I see things, changed how I think and feel about things. It has changed my daily life. It has changed me from the inside out. To the marrow of my bones.

How have you been changed by expat life? Have you been changed to the "marrow of your bones" by moving overseas?

This post has been adapted from a post originally published on A Letter from the Netherlands.


  1. The biggest way I have changed is that I have become a global citizen. Before moving overseas, I was the typical nationalistic American obnoxiously chanting "USA! USA!" at the Olympics. Then I moved overseas and I became an expat, a citizen of one country living temporarily in another country. Now I like to think of myself as a global citizen of American origins. I am much more interested in what we can all accomplish together and to see where this new era of global citizenry shall take us. It's awfully exciting to be present at the beginning, yes?

  2. Love love love this idea of feeling like a global citizen of American origins. Such a lovely way to encapsulate how expat life changes you! Thank you Karen.