Ja, ja, yodelers. The Frau is officially one year into her repatriation experiment.
It hasn’t been an easy year. As Dr. Nan M. Sussman, who researches expat and repat issues has said, repatriation is harder than expatriation.
Dr. Sussman is right.
She’s also correct in saying that it takes at least a year to feel comfortable in your home country again.
One year in, The Frau feels better. She’s not exactly 100% American (will she ever be?) and many American things still piss her off (certain political parties especially) but alas. The Frau is happier than she’s been in a year.
Which begs the question:
Will The Frau return to Switzerland next year?
She doesn’t know. She is returning to Switzerland this month to see how it feels to be there after a year away. Will Switzerland feel like home? Or will it feel like a foreign country? Or somewhere in between?
Only one thing is now certain: the desire to return abroad, whether it is next year or in ten years, will always be there for The Frau. She wrote about this recently for the Wall Street Journal in a piece called The Eternal Expatriate. Once an expat, always an expat, yodelers.
The Frau is excited about her upcoming trip to Switzerland though. (Warning: small promotional blurb ahead.)
For those who are interested, she is speaking on repatriation and expatriate issues as well as reading essays from her work-in-progress, American Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known, at an event sponsored by the American Women’s Club of Zurich. It will be held October 16, 2015 at the BellaVista Wine Bar from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be either an American or a woman to attend. See flyer.
The Frau is also teaching at the Zurich Writers Workshop from October 23-25, 2015. There are still a few spots available if you’re interested in attending.