What’s an expat? …Well, it’s short for “expatriate”, and according to The Free Dictionary “is a person who is voluntarily absent from home or country”.
I feel that sentence describes the last 8 years of my life: absent from home AND country…For me, it is both. I have been “absent” from Venezuela (my Country) since 8 years ago, when I decided to go to school in Houston, TX. And since I moved to KL in May 2016, I have been “absent” from Houston which I consider Home now. Life totally changes in a blink of an eye, so enjoy every minute of it!
Many people have asked me what it means to be an expat. Besides what I have said before, I think being an expat has been an amazing experience, a journey, and I think all who has been through this, know what I’m talking about. It is not about being “absent from home or country”, but about getting a NEW home(s). You really get immerse in the culture, in the new country. You miss the birthdays; the family reunions back home; you miss nieces’/nephews’ school recitals; graduations, communions, baptisms…you miss so many things, uncountable! However, our hearts are filled with so many beautiful emotions and experiences from being an expat that it is all worthy!
The question of what does an expat means, for me always comes with another question “how do you do it, you are alone here!”. To be honest, yes it is difficult to be away from home, from the family. However, I’m not alone. I have met wonderful people along the way, who in a couple of months have become family. I’m busy with work from 8am till 5pm, and then I have forced myself to go to the gym (trying!!) to have a whole routine and not be even close to think “I’m in the other side of the World”. It is a blessing.
For me, being an expat “is a person who is voluntarily living in a new home and new country, filling the heart with beautiful memories”.
What does being an expat mean to you?
Have a wonderful day!