Expat Choices

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It’s funny to think about where you could be if your life had taken another path; if you’d settled for something less than you now have; if you’d followed a different dream. When I think ‘what if?’, I realise that I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. They’ve stood me in good stead. I’m not saying I don’t have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done, but those things have all lead me to where I am today, and life is pretty good when it comes down to it.

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to live abroad. I’d always wanted to, and when the opportunity came up I grabbed it. My boyfriend was offered a job in Brussels, and after very little thought, we came to the decision that he should go for it, and that I should come along for the ride. That was four years ago, and my life has changed so much.

I’d be lying if I said it was an entirely positive experience, sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s lonely. However, it’s important to sit back and think that I’m experiencing something that some people only dream of doing. I’ve got a great group of friends here, I’m not so far from home that I can’t pop back for the weekend, some of my best friends are of nationalities I’d never even met before.

I think about how different my life could have been if we hadn’t left. We’d probably have bought a house and settled down. I don’t think things would be so different than when we left. I’d still be the same person, just with a little less growth, a little less of an adventurous spirit. I think I’d be restless.

Sometimes I get tired of the questions from England about when we’re going to move back. We’re usually a bit cagey with our responses – it depends on work, we say, maybe in a few years. I wonder if they’d have stopped asking by now if we were just honest and said we didn’t know if we would come back. Perhaps they’d just have started persuading us to return instead.
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