I cannot believe it. As of today, I’ve been an “expat” for 8 months (9 months for Joe)! Yes, I celebrate each month as I see each as a big milestone. Some may think that’s crazy and a bit excessive, but then, those people probably haven’t been expats.
I thought I’d take just a little time to reflect on those 8 months since a LOT has happened…
The most important thing I want to talk about is how our feelings/thoughts have changed (mine in particular). The last 2-3 months I’ve noticed a significant change in my feelings towards Belgium and our move here – aka, I am a LOT happier. Now, I didn’t really think I was unhappy the first 6 months, but as I look back at where I was and where I am now, its like happiness x5.
In the first 6 months I was feeling all kinds of pro’s/con’s:
- + Excited for the new experience & travel (um, Paris only 2.5 hours away? yes, please)!
- + New food, drinks, etc.
- + Learn a new language
- + A castle in our city?!
- + Visitors! (This was both a pro and con – so happy to share our new place with friends and family, but once they left the alone-feeling was very hard to bare)
- – Home sick for family/friends
- – Loss of identity (did not have my job anymore or my friends/family – what am I going to do ALL day?)
- – Unsure of how to get groceries, doctors, pharmacy, no Target, etc. (everyday life was so unfamiliar & time-consuming)
- – Dislike for our new apartment – spiders in the stairwell…the size of my palm? OMG