I have very publicly battled with my feelings around being an expat. I do not love where I currently live, not by a long shot, and even now I would not choose to live there if I had the option. But something very significant has changed over the past few weeks and months; I would no longer choose to live in the UK either.
I’m a British expat, and I loved the UK, I loved many things about it, but after moving to France I especially loved the language and the fact that I understood the culture and social etiquette and stuff, to a certain extent anyway!
Now though, after watching the country I love be, in my opinion, slowly destroyed by the current government, I have essentially given up hope of the UK ever being rebuilt, or ever going back to the place that felt like home.
There are some huge benefits to being an expat, the main one for me being that you can visit your home country and experience it as a holiday. By that I mean you get to experience the best bits of it, the things it does really well, and you don’t have to deal with all the bad stuff that’s happening there. For me that means shopping, clothes and grocery, and drinking as much Costa Coffee as I can possibly get! Plus seeing family & friends too, of course!
Of course there’s also the fact you experience another culture, learn a new language (in some cases) and feel a little adventurous.
As it stands, at this point in time, I feel most at home in Spain. I have thought about moving to America but I don’t think it’s the ‘land of the free’ that it claims to be. Spain, for me, has it all. And while I’ve only experienced the fun, holiday side of it so far, it is where I would like to move to in the near future.
My mental health seems to benefit from the sunshine, though I do not have SAD the sunshine definitely makes things easier to deal with. I feel more relaxed in Spain too and much better able to deal with things that would, in France, set me off on an emotional ‘wobble.’
I also find the people in Spain to be really friendly; chatty, happy, and more welcoming. The expats here have embraced us, even though we are only here for 3 months, and we had a blast on Sunday at the Boatyard Bar with some lovely expats and some great live music and dancing. In fact that ties in with what I said above, as my anxiety didn’t play up on Sunday at all, I just enjoyed it. The loud music, the loud chatter, the crowds, the strangers, I dealt with it all amazingly well and was able to just have fun!
So the long and short of this post is that I no longer want to move back to the UK, and that I’m beginning to embrace being an expat, even though I’m not fond of where I currently live! I am happy to be an expat right now, although even happier to be on holiday in Spain!