Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where the Heart Is

Ex-pat living comes with a series of topics routinely covered in polite conversation. Have you learned the language? How do you like it? Where do you feel most at home?

There are two other questions, most often asked when meeting new people in your ex-pat location. How long have you been here? How long will you be here? Unfortunately, depending on the answers to these questions some people will instantly decide whether it is worth it to invest the emotional energy and time into developing a connected relationship. Or even worse, they judge that you are not living your ex-pat life they way they do (or the way they "think" you should), so maintaining a connection is of no value or interest. It is a fascinating dynamic. 

So, back to the question of home.  We have the good fortune to travel between our home in Vienna and our home in Arizona.  What I've discovered, is that my "home" is when and where I am with my people. Regardless of the location on a map.  No photo of a castle ruin, historic old town center, art-filled museum or delicious meal can replace a single moment spent connecting or reconnecting with friends and family.  If we are surrounded by the beautiful places and spaces of the world, great, but it is absolutely not necessary.

I look forward to dedicating time this Summer to nurturing those many connections in Vienna, in Arizona and around the world.  If food or wine or Dairy Queen is involved, all the better. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am Nerissa, a Filipino living in Italy.
    We just started a website dedicated to the lives of all those living in a country other than the one where they were born. Thru we intend to increase connections, awareness, and understanding among people.
    We would like to ask you to contribute as an author to the website by writing even one single post with photos and/or videos about the region of the world you live in. Your post can be externally linked to your personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter account, and/or anything else you like, in order to promote your own activity.
    If possible, we would also like you to write your story (bio - where you live and how you decided to live your life abroad) – example:
    To become an author, it is not necessary to live in a different country from where you were born, but simply to know a bit of the world by having lived, studied, or traveled abroad.
    Please, sign up to our website at and send all your files with things you would like to share (your story or your posts) by email to people(at)peopleabroad(dot)org. In case of big files, send them by WETRANSFER.
    Since this website is still under construction, we do not have yet made it available to search engines for indexation. So, to access it, just type
    We are just starting and that is why your help is essential. We would love to see you onboard!
    All the best,