When I first moved to Dublin and was having trouble adjusting I found and subscribed to an organization called the Everyday Expat Support Center. At least once a week I get a push note sent to my mobile phone offering a positive message, bits of advice, do’s and don’ts, etc. Last week I was sent this push note:
Don’t expect family and friends back home to understand how complicated, difficult and lonely expat life can sometimes be.
This one really resonated with me, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s true – none of my close friends or family can truly empathize with what it’s like for me to be an expat. I know they support me and are there for me, but when it comes to the complications, the difficulties and the loneliness, no one else really “gets it”. Nor would I really expect them to – these expat experiences are, after all, mine.
I don’t regret my choice to move to Dublin, not one bit. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and most of the time, I enjoy my life here. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. I’m still mystified by the way they do some things over here. I still struggle with the insecurity and instability that comes with being an expat. I still don’t know what my future holds.
Some days I feel lucky, some days I feel lonely. Hell, I can feel lonely one minute and then lucky the next. What I’ve learned after more than a year over here is that expat life is probably always going to be a bit of a roller coaster ride – terrifying then thrilling, scary then exhilarating, screaming one second and laughing the next. And I guess that’s okay, because what it has never been, at least so far, is boring.