“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves” ~ Anatole France.
If there’s one thing you can be certain of as an expat, it’s that life will change. Like the weather, the change can happen daily, hourly or even minute-to-minute. And as I sit to write this at the beginning of June, it feels distinctly autumnal. Last week it was boiling, and I relished the chance to peel off layers, unfurl my limbs and feel the warmth in my bones.
Now, it’s windy, rainy and dull. But as the Norwegians say: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.’ Hmm, I’m not so sure. But at least I know a change is coming soon, and that the sun has a habit of peeking out when I least expect it.
There are personal changes afoot, too. For the last six years, Norway – the land of brown cheese – has been the place I call home. And with a half-Norwegian daughter I know these green lands will always be a part of me. But next month, we’re packing our bags and heading back to London. So, as I will shortly be repatriated, I have decided to make this my last Expat Round-up.
Here is my final selection of the must-read expat posts for this month.
In An Open Letter to my Expat Kid on Leaving his Expat Life, blogger Laura writes a touching letter to her 3-year-old son. After making a move from Dubai to Qatar she acknowledges that change is hard for everyone – big or small. She writes: “Thank you for being you throughout all of this upheaval, thank you for understanding as much as you can and thank you for the cuddles. I’m sorry that everything seems so big, so vast, so unclear.”
Meanwhile, Jo at Intrepid Bebe is actively incorporating change into her life. She has embarked on the 333 project. She writes: “The challenge is simply to minimise your wardrobe down to just 33 items and use them for 3 months. Read more in Project 333 Intrepid Bebe Challenges to find out how she gets on.
New mum (and New York resident) Erin Hartwig answers the question all her UK friends want to know. In her post What the Hell Do You Do Without the NHS? Erin presents an English woman’s guide to having babies in America. She writes: “While I couldn’t possibly begin to explain the intricacies of crazy healthcare system out here, the first thing that struck me was the sheer number of choices women have surrounding their pre-and post-natal care”.
Finally, in India Diaries: The Move, blogger Jenny chronicles how she, her husband and their two kids took the plunge and moved to Bangalore. She writes: “To an outsider, an Indian city is loud, chaotic and dirty. Rubbish litters the streets, broken pavements mean you can rarely look up, roads are congested and fumes fill the air from battered cars and tuk tuks that sit on their horns. But it’s raw and alive. Here, life spills out onto the streets and it’s simply fascinating.”
It’s been great fun collating together your posts and flying the flag for expat life. I’m delighted to be passing on the baton to Maria Tumolo who blogs at The Tiger Tales.
I wish you a fond farewell and I’m sure I will see you around in the BritMums community. And if you ever get a chance to visit Norway, do! Make sure you try the brown cheese at breakfast, on bread, with a little jam. It tastes like caramel.