|Expat Thanksgiving is already over. It was last weekend.|
The Frau sometimes misses the United States. She misses family. Especially on Thanksgiving Day. And it’s hard to raise a child when you are 5,000 miles from home even when you have friends that masquerade as aunts and uncles, other expats you eat turkey with the weekend before.And there are other American things the Frau misses, things that are so hard to come by in Switzerland like affordable housing, non-smoking outdoor space, English, and cheap Chinese food.
In these moments, the Frau could move home again. But a moment later, the Frau thinks, wait! If she’s in Chicago, she won’t be able to grocery shop in another country on a whim. Or bike over a border. Or hike in the woods without driving to a forest preserve first.
And then her friends in the U.S. add to her angst, e-mailing her things like, “I have to fly back on Christmas Day because I have to work on the 26th”
Work on December 26th? What kind of heartless company makes people work on the 26th? Oh yeah, an American one.
Excuse the Frau, but after being in Europe for six years, where everything shuts down between Christmas and New Years, the thought of being thrown back into the American Rat Race, where stores now open even on Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest reasons to stay in Europe.
But then again, there's always that pesky long-haul flight just so Baby M can visit grandparents…
The only conclusion the Frau can come to this Thanksgiving is this: The idea of living in the U.S. again scares her. She wants to. She wants to not. She wants to. She wants to not.
But then again, staying in Switzerland scares her too. Does she want her daughter to be Swiss? Does she want her daughter to always be treated as a foreigner even if she grows up here? Does the Frau want to continue live her life as a foreigner? Does the Frau want her daughter to speak a secret language while she continues to feel like a two-year-old when it comes to Swiss German?
The Frau has become like many expats: stuck somewhere between two worlds. And because she knows them both so well now, neither one of them will be ever perfect.
What the heck was she thinking when she moved abroad?
She was thinking of adventure. Not of being ruined for life no matter what country she lives in.
Everyone knows it takes guts to move abroad. But no one talks about the fact that it might end up taking even bigger guts to move home again.
Does anyone else have these issues? What makes you want to move abroad? What makes you want to move home? And what makes you scared of ever doing either?