Constant trips to famous and exotic places, foreign language studies, contact with people around the world, and still a comfortable life – that is what the company or the government offers us, upscale expatriates.
All this and perhaps a little more is part of the routine in an expatriate’s life, the only thing is that is the beautiful side, the side that everybody wants to hear about (or maybe not everybody, since many can’t bear so much jealousy).
Departure from the native country and going overseas modify a person brutally, because every place leaves a mark. Not that it is a negative thing, but it is a fact.
Year after year, our beloved ones who stayed back, including friends and family, try but cannot understand what’s in the head of an expatriate. For them, we care only about ourselves and our adventures.
The expatriate’s behavior does not remain the same as it was in his or her native country. With time, expatriates start to see the world with eyes of local people, we begin to express ourselves differently, and also we learn to shut our mouths once in a while, because we realize that our world adventures do not surprise our beloved ones any longer, and our stories become boring for those who did not take any part in them.
As a matter of fact, the expatriates learn that there are very few people around who are truly interested in what we have to say.
A wall of misunderstanding between expatriates and who were staying behind is growing. Nonetheless, expatriates could still hear once and again that we do not care about those who stayed any more, who for one reason or another have not made any radical changes in their lives.
But these statements are most of the time untrue! (at least in respect to the people who were always close to your heart). The nephews grow up, the cousins get married, new family members are born; and for those who are far away, these are indeed important events, but these events not necessarily have the same importance for the expatriates – and not because the latter are cold people, but simply because of the fact that the distance prevents us from being greatly involved in life of our relatives.
The non-expatriates see us as high-fliers, but cannot understand that it is not easy to live without true friends and close relatives; that all we have is our immediate family.
But then again, when someone finds real happiness overseas, enjoying life, thanking God daily for their luck, suddenly we are treated as traitors, because we now believe that our native country is not the only one in the world which has beautiful landscapes and interesting people.
The life of an expatriate is certainly marked by continuous learning and resistance tests, but this is also a misunderstood life, because, as I mentioned before, by living as a nomad you change your perception of life, but not everybody is able to comprehend that – this results in their inability to notice in you and acknowledge your mental and spiritual progress.
However, what really matters it is what we carry in our hearts and minds. Since our nature is no longer understood, why should we make a big deal out of it, trying in vain to make others understand the complexity of the nomadic soul?