Sunday, 12 August 2012

The fifty shades of (expat) home.

I have been very lazy with my blogging recently. The last posting does not count, as it was written to be submitted somewhere else, and rejected as potentially viewed as judgemental. So I used it here, since I personally really liked it! Did not want it to be wasted just because this other website only publishes nice, inspirational pieces. To be honest, it made me sad to realise that, even though they liked my style, and asked for an unpublished piece, the general mood of their site isn't something that I could ever be suitable for. Which made me wonder if i will ever find a place that i, together with my silly jokes, bizarre sense of humour and general messing about would fit into. Maybe one day.

In the meantime, this is my home. My pages where i can abuse anyone I'd like, confess anything I want and laugh at whoever i consider worth laughing at.

And speaking of home, this is the reason i have been lazy at blogging. I have come back home for a summer break:away from Doha heat. And when i say home, I for once am not talking about Azerbaijan. I mean the UK.

It is quite difficult and confusing for expats, as I have discovered, what city and what country to call home. Many bloggers blog about this, and that, sadly, is another downside of being an expat-we tend to blog about similar issues. Boring, really.

For me, it used to be obvious. I was from Baku, I moved to the UK...i spent years adjusting, getting used to the new place, making new friends...and missing home, of course. And what now? Whenever i say "back home", I could mean Azerbaijan, or I could just as easily mean England.
Because, what this summer vacation made me realise is that, surprisingly or not, England is very
much home now. And it is wonderful to be back. Comfortable and relaxing, happy and busy (seeing
the family and friends we have missed so badly).

And yet, it is becoming more complicated even after such a short period of my expat life. The other morning, thinking about someone i know back in Doha, i suddenly realized that i miss it. I miss my new home in Qatar. The new friends, the kids in the compound, my big car and the gorgeous mirage on those steaming asphalt roads. Oh, crap, I thought. Here we go. As if it was not enough to have two countries, two sets of friends and two cultures to miss; now i have another set to add into the equation. Because, and this is the saddest, most frustrating reality of the expat life- once you relocate somewhere for work you know that, however long you live there, the time will come to say goodbye. And you will have one more home to miss.


  1. Why don't you take a look from the other side? This means more friends to care for, more memories to cherish, more experiences to share.
    And this said by someone who usually sees the glass half empty.

  2. Ouch!I thought i was going to read a post about fifty shades of gray! (will i someday?i mean here in your blog)
    About the missing homes feeling,i can't understand how you feel...never left my huge country.Maybe it is a similar feeling for people who move from one state to another.In some cases one almost has to learn another language :O

    1. Priscila,
      It might happen sooner than you think, considering i am attempting to read the first book right now. :)

  3. Now you're not just an expat, you're a serial expat. It can be a fascinating life, living in a number of different countries. It has many rewards if you're at all adventurous, but in the end your friends live all over the world and you have no real roots anymore anywhere.

    Ah, sheesh, this did nothing to cheer you up, did it? Sorry. My own defense is to look for the humor in all of it. Not always easy to find. Right now I'm struggle with finding it dealing with my expat house here in Moldova flooded in water and having to move out for repairs. One day it will be funny. I hope.

    PS And I did not misspell 'defense' -- it's the American spelling.

  4. That is what upsets me-having no real base, no roots anywhere. And as you get older it becomes more of an issue i think. Will see!

  5. The trick is to make where you are generally based feel like home for you and your family - incorporating the elements that make it home for you. The other places are where other people's homes are, fun to visit while safe in the knowledge that it's always nice to get back to your home and sleep on your own comfortable mattress.

  6. I agree with Northernrich. In a way, that's what the saying "Bloom where you're planted" is about. I am reading a book now that says living overseas in a different culture and learning how to adjust is a great way to grow as a person. So you guys should all come out of this experience as stronger individuals. :)