Several years later and you’re still on the move abroad… are you addicted to expat life? If these telltale signs are true, it’s time to admit you’re a serial expat.
1. Your passport is an adventurous read
You have wings, not roots, and your passport pages prove it. Even your dog’s passport has more stamps than the average tourist but who’s counting anyway.
2. Your furniture and home decoration are a testimony of where you once lived
A couch from South Africa, carpet from the Middle East, artwork from Brazil, blankets from Scotland. Home is everywhere.
3. You’re a master at packing up and unpacking your house
Excel sheets, checklists, customs forms, bubble wrap: No worries, you’ve got this, ninja style.
4. You always crave that dish you can’t have
Because that one restaurant is located on the other side of the world. Or that one ingredient is just not available where you live now.
5. You have to save money to attend the weddings you’re invited to
They take place in all corners of the world.
6. Your friends are scattered all over the globe
And you dream of having them all together in one place some day. Maybe you should get married and have a wedding.
7. You forget which side of the road the cars drive
Left, right, right, left, you lost track a while ago. Best to go with the flow – and remember to look both ways when crossing the street.
8. You keep track of what goes on in all the countries you’ve lived
Politics, economy, gossip from around the world: it’s a day job. In fact, you’d make a great reporter. Anyone know if CNN has any vacancies?
9. You are an unofficial ambassador of your ‘home’ country – and the ones you’ve ever lived in
Again, it’s practically your (second) day job: making business connections, joining embassy events, explaining local customs and comparing political party viewpoints. Why isn’t anyone paying you for this?
10. Your parents think you work for the CIA
And you should be (see #8 and #9).
11. You can answer the question ‘where are you from’ in less than 30 seconds.
Although, it could easily take 10 minutes because where you live now is not where you lived before, nor is it where you were born nor where your passport’s from. What was home some years ago is not home now, and what is home now will not be home some years from now. Ain’t nobody got time for that, though.
12. You don’t know who to support in the World Cup or Olympics
Passport country? Current country? Country you spent most time in? Partner’s home country? Kids’ home country? Pets’ home country? Sigh. May the best team win.
13. You include words from several languages into one sentence
Some things are best described with that one word that just doesn’t translate. But that’s just an excuse – in reality your brain just can’t juggle it all anymore.
14. You easily adapt your English verbiage and accent as necessary
Pavement/sidewalk/footpath, toilet/washroom/loo, jersey/sweatshirt/jumper, dummy/pacifier/soother – you have ’em all down. It’s just that your parents now think you speak with an accent.
15. You know it’s of utmost importance to befriend someone with access to international shipping perks
There are some places even top online shopping platforms doesn’t deliver. Hello Embassy staff!
16. You list all your past addresses and dates you lived there in a special document
Someone needs to keep track.
17. You pray your children will not apply for the foreign service
And have to answer questions such as ‘list all foreigners you’ve been in contact with’. At least you’ll have #16.
18. You fear the day you have to get a certificate of good conduct from all the places you’ve ever lived
And make sure it’s certified, with all the right stamps and then some, and also translated by an official translator. Again, at least you’ll have #16.
19. You have to track bank accounts in various countries
They come in handy all the time.
20. You’re a master in converting currencies
Pound, dollar, euro, rand, metical, dirham; divide, multiply, add, subtract. You have a phone app that does it marvelously well.
21. You have a bag full of change from different countries
You’ll use it… some day.
22. You met some of your best friends through Facebook
Thanks and hallelujah to the makers of social media!
23. You realise it isn’t the easiest life you’ve chosen
The goodbyes, the hellos, the making new friends, the finding of new accommodation, the selling of stuff, the buying of stuff, the breaking of stuff by the movers, the stuff that gets hijacked by customs, the stuff that isn’t allowed into the new country, the new jobs, the new languages, the settling in, the getting bored, the having to leave too soon, or not soon enough.
But you wouldn’t want it any other way.
Cindy Kroon / Expatica
Cindy Kroon is a curious traveller, expat, Netflix addict and food lover (the eating part, not the cooking part). When she isn’t practising ashtanga yoga or dancing it out with friends, she is probably making travel plans. You can follow her adventures, including neat travel tips and tricks, on The White Rabbit.