Expat holiday in a nutshell


I think it is really odd that no one has ever really asked me what it’s like to be an expat. I don’t mean here in Italy either. I get asked all the time about my country of origin and how does it compare to Italy. But when I am in Canada I usually get phrases like “oh, you live in Italy, you’re soooo LUCKY!” And then end of conversation.

Every summer I get homesick. I miss my family and friends and not having to struggle with a conversation. Yes, I am still learning the language and apparently it’s not sticking (go ahead, cue the blonde jokes, you know you wanna – le sigh*). I miss family bbq’s, the cottage and being able to amble down to the corner store at 10:30 p.m. because Sid and I decided we needed some chips and more beer!

I also get to skip the stifling summer heat in the city with no air conditioning. My cat sitters were melting and for that I am so sorry. If it’s any consolation, it is still really stinking hot here and I am presently writing this post in my underwear with a fan pointed at me.

Either way, I am glad to be home. This was a long trip to which I am now paying for with a pinched nerve in my back. Why? Well vacations take on many shapes and sizes. Some are for rest and fun, others for visiting and exploration and then you have the third type which is the typical vacation of an expat. To sum it up, that means trying to roll all the above into one holiday. So surely you can see my conundrum?

Here is a summary of my trip:
I slept in a total of 13 different beds (hotel in Miami, my mom’s, Suzie’s house and cottage, Sue’s house and camper, Sid’s, Kelly’s, Alan’s, Rick’s, Shelley’s, Cyndy’s, the ship).
I have no idea how many hours were spent flying or at airports but I do know I was on a total of 7 planes.
I went through Immigration check points 13 times, that includes those x-ray machines so at some point after 60 I may start to glow in the dark, how cool is that!
I visited 5 countries, some of them more than once…hello Bahamas, again.
I was on 6 boats and 1 ship.
In 7 taxis and had 1 rental car.

Oh, and one more thing, all of this was accomplished while shlepping around a 50 pound suitcase, 13 pound carry-on rolly and a snazzy Coach handbag that was getting ruined because I put my running shoes in it since my suitcase was over the limit. Put that photo on the fashion runways of Paris, Yeeeee Haw!

I’m now home with a sore back, can you tell I’ve already downed a few pain pills? hmmmm, yes indeed, that is what it’s really like to be an expat, just in case you asked. 🙂

The upside is that I got to spend some great times with family and friends, sit around a camp fire, eat my brother’s freshly caught fish, see an amazing show in Toronto with my besties, get drunk with Sid, see Pat Benatar and head bang with my sister, go swimming in the lake, hug my dad, paint with my mom, come face to face with a random white cow in Nevis, get a ride on a Harley with my brother-in-law, swim in the sea (twice) with my husband, visit six-toed cats in Key West, catch up with an old friend from 40+ years ago and make new friends too! Hello Mike and the Thorold gang, and Patty and Rob from Alabama.

It takes a village as they say. So thank you to my cat sitters, Di and MaryLouise, for taking such great care of Coco too. Feeling a bit like a rockstar, yeah! Only in reality I am a soft, squishy 50 year old with a very strange tan now and a stupid back problem, hahaha.

Love you all and guess what, I have to go back again next year cuz there’s a very important wedding coming up 🙂

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~Namaste peeps~

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About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
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2 Responses to Expat holiday in a nutshell

  1. Dmitri says:

    Love your post!
    I am also Canadian, also expat and also living in Italy, and the first paragraph basically sums it all up. No one has ever asked what it’s like to be an expat, but everyone asked why, why did you leave Montreal, and of course, in Montreal everyone says wow you are sooo lucky 🙂 the funny thing is that they have no idea what they are talking about 🙂
    For me being an expat is something that I know way too well, I lived in many countries, and It is really hard sometimes to adopt to the new things and new mentality, and sometimes this is what makes it so fun. We travel, discover, explore, learn, make new friends, feeling more excited and happier to see the old ones, our cultural baggage grows, we speak many languages, and know thousands of delicious recipes 🙂 can survive in Delhi as well as in Toronto or Rome or Paris. It makes us more versatile, flexible, open-minded, adventurous, and brave. The secret here, I think, is to push the boundaries, to thing outside the box, find some local friends, watch local TV, read local news papers, and most importantly ACCEPT the locals with all their “crazy” ideas that look and feel so odd to us.
    I am glad you had a great trip, and I hope you love it here in Italy.

    • Hi, thanks for commenting here. I have not been posting much lately, it has been a busy year for me personally and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon!
      Cheers! Leah

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