I spend a lot of time reflecting on my time as an expat/immigrant. That’s what happens when you have a blog, I suppose. I recently found this gem full of questions about living abroad on the Endless Distances blog and Going American. If you’re an expat/immigrant, play along–find the questions below, and link up your post in the comments!
Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
I was born in Colorado, in the USA, and grew up in Montana. I currently live in Budapest, Hungary.
What made you leave your home country?
Ahhh the eternal question. There were a lot of reasons I left–some easier to explain than others. I have always wanted the experience of living abroad, and I wanted to travel but also wanted (and needed) to work. Sometimes I think it’s as simple as the fact that I left because I could. I know not many people are lucky enough to be able to choose to have this experience like me.
What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?
That depends a lot on where I am when said person asks this. Most people in Hungary just want to know why I chose Hungary, but if I go somewhere more off-the-beaten path, I get a much more incredulous reply. Sometimes people immediately want to practice their English. On the flip side, some people are unsure of their English, and so afraid to talk to me (although their English is always a million times better than my Hungarian/Czech/insert local language here). Nowadays, I get a lot of Trump jokes.
What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?
I moved to Budapest from Prague, and it was difficult to adjust to a much bigger city. I also struggled a lot with the work culture. BUT it was easy to jump into exploring the city! It’s a fun one!
Images, words or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.
Night lights. Fog & gray. Ruin pubs. Students.
Your favorite food or drink item in your new country?
I love their liberal use of paprika in its various forms. I’m also obsessed with these cheese biscuit/scone things call pogasca. Sometimes my students bring me little homemade ones and they always are my favorite kid that day ;).
What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?
I say yes to extra lessons at people’s homes, and yes to lessons that are out of the city–usually too far to justify me making it up in the price of the lesson. I say yes because I want to meet Hungarians and see how they live. My schedule gets much busier but also more interesting, I think.
Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?
The Hungarians are very strict about seasons. You will get a lot of comments about those sandals or short sleeves if you’re wearing them before late May/June–no matter the weather. And if you ever go out without socks in March, you could be institutionalized.
What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?
I love exploring the streets and the back alleys! There are so many gems. Hungary also has an awesome cafe culture. And so much good wine. Also I really love my students. And so much more!
Do you think you will ever move home for good?
Another million dollar question! I’m sure any family members back in the States are anxious to hear the answer to this one…I love the lifestyle of my life in Europe–no car, insurance covered, easy travel, so many new cultures to explore, more minimalist, more adventurous. However, since both my husband and I are American, visa issues may become a problem. I do love the adventure of living in a different country, and I can’t see that ever changing–but I can see us moving closer to home in the future–maybe Canada, if not somewhere in the States. I miss my family and friends, and every time I go home, it’s harder to leave.
sometimes I visit this statue of Reagan for a “taste of home.”
EXPAT TAG QUESTIONS:
- Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
- What made you leave your home country?
- What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?
- What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?
- Images, words or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.
- Your favorite food or drink item in your new country?
- What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?
- Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?
- What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?
- Do you think you will ever move home for good?