The Emotional Roller Coaster of Expat Life

Truth be told, every since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be an Expat. I always dreamed of moving to Paris, throwing up my hat Mary Tyler Moore style and being whisked off my feet by some adorable French man.

The Netherlands quite simply was never even on my radar but yet, here I am. I read countless books on moving abroad and settling in European style for a glorious adventure-filled life. But nowhere in my reading was I prepared for the deep emotional roller coaster ride that Expat life brings on. I’ve been here roughly 3 weeks and my breakdowns have been plentiful. I find myself watching some stupid American Sitcom like the Big Bang Theory- something I would have never watched back home- and suddenly I’m in tears longing for a Starbucks.

While my boyfriend can walk a few blocks to visit with family, I have to set an appointment- a predetermined Skype visit for some family time. While his daughters can just pop over for dinner, I’m reduced to having a glass of wine with my brother over the Internet while he sips his morning Latte. I know it will get easier and yes, I know I chose this life but for now it can be hard.

Although I was grateful for the time I spent with my family in Seattle I took our proximity deeply for granted. I wish I could just head to my Dad’s house for a drink and hear in person his glorious old stories. Or meet my brother for Happy Hour or a day of wandering Downtown. I have to keep reminding myself that it will get easier and that if I had never taken this leap then I would have probably always regretted it. I may not be in Seattle or in Paris for that matter, but I’m someplace even better. Despite all the ups and downs, I’m finally with my man and I’m home.