This blog series is based on work by writer Diane Lemieux and trainer Anne Parker in their book The Mobile Life: a new approach to moving anywhere.
The experience of managing the challenges of leaving Life A in order to establish a full life elsewhere will have changed you: the bird that returns from the yearly migration is stronger, more independent and has skills and knowledge that it would not have developed had it stayed within the security of ‘home’.
On the one hand, the mobile lifestyle opens the doors of what is possible, provides the possibility of choices that did not exist before. The experience has the potential of making you more flexible, more open to other points of view, more able to deal with all sorts of change and more creative in finding solutions to problems.
On the other hand, the experience means that we are seen as different by those who have not shared the mobile experience. For this reason, many people experience going back to their original ‘home’ as possibly even more difficult than moving abroad in the first place. Whereas being an expatriate requires that one explore and learn and be open to change and difference, going ‘home’ means to conform and return to the routine of what is already familiar.
Many ex-mobiles feel disoriented as to where they really belong. There are many aspects to this issue but one strategy for dealing with it is to treat ‘home’ as a totally new and exotic location. Identify locals that are open to ‘foreigners’ like yourself, people who have a similar world view and who are active in similar interests. Discover new aspects of your old ‘home’ you never knew existed. Continue to visit the world through the contacts you made abroad or through your local museum. The mobile life need not end even though your visa expired.
By: Diane Lemieux, 15th May 2015
For more from The Mobile Life visit: www.themobilelife.eu/
Diane Lemieux has spent a whole lifetime as an expat and sees moving to live in a new country as a life choice made by an increasing number of people. Those who successfully recreate a full and satisfying life in a new place develop the skills and approaches needed to deal with any change that life presents us.Her new book, The Mobile Life, co-written with Anne Parker, helps those who are undertaking this journey for the first time, and highlights the achievements of those who are experienced resettlers.