The Expat Trade-Off

IMG_0012_2Life is a trade-off. I have the Maldives and you have Miracle Whip. You have NY&Co and I’m trying to squeeze my arse into French fashion. Expats do not have Girl Scout Cookies, Andes Mints, and beef that tastes like home. Chili powder, Cheerios that taste right, and good New York bagels. Pork? Forget it! Whatever they do in the UAE twists the taste into something unrecognizable.

We traded a country that operated pretty much like a well oiled machine for a multi-ethnic experience where we only comprehend answers to questions, directions, and a restaurant menu about thirty percent of the time. And since we have no other choice, we have learned to trust people with things that would absolutely shock Americans. 

Yes, we live an exotic life.

 

Which may sound like a dream to some, yet in reality it is a trade-off for things expats hold dear but gave away for the experience of traveling the world and seeing places and things many only see when they close their eyes.

Loved ones die and we are not there.

Families have holidays, weddings, reunions, birthdays and graduations; and we wish them our best from across the globe.

We miss the loved ones we really love, the ones we only like to see once a year and even the dysfunctional ones that cause more grief than good. We miss them all.

But we get to see place like the Maldives, Malaysia and Rome because they are as close to us as Florida, California and Mexico are to you.

Two of the top regrets for dying people are they wished they would have traveled more and they wish they would have lived their lives authentically. I believe I am doing both — but it comes with a price.

Expats trade the comforts of home for the excitement of the unknown. Instead of regular hugs from grandparents, our children see Buddhist temples, ancient history and the wonders of the planet many children will never experience.

But they miss hot dogs. Doritos with the good cheese. Chicken in the Biscuit crackers.

Life is a trade-off. You can’t have it all. We chose the Maldives and you chose Thanksgiving with family.

The best thing about this experience is that we can both live vicariously through one another. Keep sharing your pics of home cooking, family get-togethers, your dogs and your other experiences; and I promise to show you the world.

Deal?

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8 thoughts on “The Expat Trade-Off

  1. This made me cry. My husband and I are interviewing for teaching jobs at private international schools in Dubai. My MIL is having a fit. I know my mom is sad. But we want to travel for a few years and let our kids experience a different culture. My son is 4 and my daughter is 1. Are we crazy?

    Like

    1. Hello — No, you are not crazy! Quite the contrary. You will love it here. Your kids will love it here. Sorry I made you cry though 🙂

      Like

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