I was starting to post about our Paris trip but I keep getting emails about "how I wished I lived in Europe" and "You are so lucky."
To be honest, I am not really sure why I feel so sensitive about it but I always feel the need to explain that luck has very little to do with it.
I know that our life can seem very glamorous sometimes but being an expat is not always alluring trips, decadent cheeses and magical ponies.
We are afforded the luxury of living over here in closer proximity to locations that can seem very exotic and don't usually require too much planning (or a time change!) There are also very cheap air and train fare to get to such mentioned countries.
However, Mexico, Central and South America are just as exotic a location to most Europeans and most have never traveled there whereas most Americans I know have been to one of these countries at least once. (I am looking at you Cancun Spring Breakers!)
We worked hard to find a job here. Although we got some help monetarily for moving expenses, most came out of our own pocket. (I am not knocking the expats who had cushy relocation packages-I would take that in a second if we were in that position and not feel bad about it one bit!)
Our European adventure has been in the planning for awhile. The Scientist and I had made a pact pre-Baby Bird that this was a goal of ours. When Baby Bird came along, we momentarily reconsidered but knew that a child would not make it harder but even more interesting and important that we share this experience.
As far as being expat goes, I like to joke that it takes 30 minutes to translate my grocery list sometimes. (It did-not so much anymore) It can also take 30 min to find a simple ingredient like cocoa powder (which is stored next to the coffee in Germany?!?!?!). It can feel very isolating sometimes and it really causes you to reflect on who you are. However, the answer to that question though is always the same.
You are the same person you were before but with a little more experience and a few more countries under your belt. :)
I would also be interested in hearing others thoughts on expat life. I probably read all of your blogs anyways but feel free to leave a comment also.