Being a mother of two youngsters in a country that was not my home since birth is a challenge. There is no back-up like at “home.” Birthday dinners do not include the parents that gave us life and there are so many differences that are jarring. It wasn’t like this when I was a kid, but not just because of the changing times; we are raising our kids in a completely new country.
I am not alone in this, there are millions of Americans living abroad and other countries have similar statistics. I read an interesting post by an Irishman who moved his family to Kansas. His perspective reflects so much of what I love about America.
But I have two minds, the homesick American and the expat pioneer. For the moment, Ireland is the best place to raise my kids. There are no guns in schools here. Yep, that sums up a lot of what comforts me. But also, the expense of a Catholic school education is manageable here, and university costs are bemoaned here, but they are a far cry from the loans around your neck like an albatross upon graduation in the States. Of course, being able to hop over to Scotland, London, Paris, or Rome for a weekend is certainly an added benefit too.
Though this is home now, I do not feel like I completely fit in yet. That can be a good thing though. There is that thrill of being in a new place with discovery.
Fellow expats, what do you think?