When I was younger, the mere talk of living abroad was sure to bring oohs and aahhs around the room. We heard stories of blissful snowy days, and huge super malls, long spreads of beautiful parks, flower markets and street cars, where theaters played back to back movie premieres and even the water tasted differently. Almost everyone had a family friend, a close relative or a neighbor living abroad whose return visit was always filled with anticipation.
Most of us have adapted (assimilated) so well to living abroad, we can't fathom returning to our place of origin. We even consider the legal adoption of our host country. We like it where we are, and are proud of what we have accomplished. We participate fully in our communities abroad and have made life commitments in this new place we call home. Anthropologists call this "acculturation." Nevertheless, some of us still see our families and friends back home, and even look forward to visiting our beloved land as periodically as we can. Often, in situations where assimilation is inevitable or just the next reasonable course of action, we end up as chameleons, rather than as proper expats.
Image 1: Pinterest (source: www. frenchcx.com)
Image 2: Photo of Lost Girl Lindsey Tramuta, Photo by Elena Rossini
Image 3: The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999 (Paramount Pictures & Miramax Films via Word & Film)