Monday, 24 September 2018

8 Reasons Why Home is Where I Belong

For the past couple of years we have been debating our future and what we want and have pretty come up with nothing. However, after spending a whole summer at home I'm finally sure of what I want, and with Paul on board we finally have a plan.

We want to go home. I'm not saying we want to go home forever, we may go home and realise that it's not for us and want to go abroad again, but we have to try it. To be honest, I think it's more likely that we will go home and decide that it is where our hearts are after all.

So, why is home the place where I want to be?

Family - This is one of the biggest factors for me. Everytime I go home I notice small changes in my family and realise that time keeps ticking and it really is very short. Each time I say goodbye it gets harder and I always have a feeling of guilt, feeling split between my two homes. I don't want to stay abroad for 5 or 10 more years and leave it too late to enjoy the special times with the people I care about, I'd never forgive myself for that. I want to be closer to my family!

Friends - Expats make passing friends, but I never really feel that they are friends for life, or at least not for me. I still crave that friendship that you see in Sex and the City and FREINDS and I know that I need to be home to find it. I have friendships there already, but I feel like if I'm ever going to find the friendships that I really want then home is where I need to be.

A place to belong - I'm now in my 5th year of living in Beijing, but if anybody asks where home is, I always say the UK. My expat destinations have never really been home, they have just been where I live. There is no better feeling than going home, and when I'm there I find myself wishing that this was my life. It's familiar; I know the people and the places! It's home!

Normality - Life is easier in the UK, from going shopping to basics like paying bills and drinking water from the tap. I creave that 'normal' life. I love to travel and live life elsewhere for a while, but the normal life will always be for me in the long run. I'm all about making life as simple as possible and the UK is where that is for me.

Lifestyle - There is lots to do in Beijing, but there is lots more that interests me in the UK. When I think about the many things that I would do in the UK, varied activities each week, from cinema and shopping trips, weekends away, day trips, city breaks, shows, walks along the beach and many more things, I know that this is the kind of life I want. I miss living this varied life and I can't wait to live it again.

Teaching - Most Primary schools in the UK are small community schools and I miss teaching in that environment. International schools are generally very big, compromising Primary and Secondary students and often have very different priorities. I miss being part of the community, celebrating the small things and having the time in the curriculum to do the things that make education memorable for students.

Holidays - There are incredible places in Asia and I have loved visiting them, but my most enjoyable holidays have always been within Europe and the USA. Travel from Beijing to anyway, even within China is incredibly expensive and so we don't get to travel as much as I would like to. In Europe, flights and trains are much cheaper so we would get to do many more trips and weekends away.

My family life - Finally, and most importantly, we are looking to start a family in the near future and I want my children to belong. I want them to be surrounded by family who love them, go to a school with their friends and experience all of the traditions that I did when I was a child, while we build more of our own together.

So while I will remain in Beijing for 2 years with some very clear goals, I can't wait to move home and start living the life I describe in this post!

Do any expats relate to this? I'd love to know your thoughts...

1 comment

  1. I don't really know where 'home' is anymore, or where I want it to be! But I definitely agree with some of the points you've made - expat friendships rarely feel like 'the real deal', and NEVER feel the SATC group (yes, that's STILL the dream!). I miss the normality too, the knowing how and where to get things done, and who to complain to when things go wrong. I also loved exploring Europe - I've seen more of Europe than anywhere else, and I'm sad that it isn't as easy/cheap to get to now. But opening one door inevitably means closing another, so I'll have to take that one on the chin, and be content with discovering the Middle East and Asia... for now, at least. ;)

    Re-reading this, it smacks of #firstworldproblems! But I think every expat feels the way we do, or goes through a phase of feeling like this. It comes with the territory. Look forward to following your journey and seeing how things pan out. Meanwhile, I'll probably still be globe-trotting, looking for that elusive place called 'home'. :P


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