A couple of months ago I dropped a line or two about why I decided to give up the expat life. I left Stockholm, Sweden and moved back to my previous home Vienna, Austria. I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy, but I also didn’t quite know what to expect. So here’s what it’s been like until now.
It’s funny how day to day things like knowing what public transport to take, speaking to people in a different language or having to book flights can stress you out. I didn’t even realise how much these things stressed me out until I didn’t have to do them anymore. I know where to go, I know what to do and I can focus on figuring out other things like new tasks at work.
Having a long distance relationship and not knowing whether, when and how you’re gonna wind up living in the same country put a lot of pressure on things. Going from that to living in the same apartment has made life a heck of a lot more simple and has given me stability. Having family and familiar friends around who you know are here to stay also gives you a grounding and makes you feel more secure and safe. My relationships with those close to me, have never been better and things are just that much easier.
Some things change, some things don’t
While some things have changed, others have not but what is crystal clear – I have. Certain Swedish things I picked up, the mentality I gained and the experiences I had will forever be a part of me. You might think a lot will change in a year and a half but at home, some things seem to have just stayed still. I didn’t miss that much and it’s okay to come back after some time. But because now, my approach to this city is different. There are some things I notice (and don’t like) which I didn’t before and that’s why I will live another life here, meet new people again and walk another path.
When you move abroad, you say goodbye to a lot of people. And although intentions are always great from both sides, it’s always difficult to stay in touch – all of a sudden you’re living in a different country, living a different life and you don’t have that heck of a lot in common anymore. I miss my friends and I miss my colleagues, I think about what they’re doing and how life has been since I left. But all it takes is one visit, one weekend or one vacation to spark that reconnection and I’ll always have friends all over the world to come back to.
I held on tight to my life in Stockholm for quite some time, tried to make it work and work and work. Once I let go and surrendered to not knowing what’s next, trusting that things will turn out ok and life will go on. All of a sudden things started to fall into place. Just like that, new jobs popped up, I reconnected with old friends, met new ones and started a new chapter in my life.
Without a doubt, moving back home has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.