There are just some things that are unnecessary to say…
As expats, there are some often repeated phrases and questions from others that tend to make our blood pressure rise and maybe make us want to disinvite them from ever visiting. If you’re an expat, you’ll probably be familiar with most of these.
If you do have friends or family who constantly say these things, maybe sharing this with them might be a not-so-subtle hint…
Are you homesick?
It’s normal for anyone to miss home. We’re human after all and we develop attachments, missing our families, friends, favourite foods and the way of life. The intentions behind the question might not be bad but hearing it often is annoying, because what kind of answer do you expect other than yes? Helping us feel less homesick would be a better way to go.
You’re so lucky!
Yes, being an expat is a great experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Relocating takes a lot of courage and it’s hard, unsettling, lonely and stressful.
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All the everyday issues we would face at home, we’ll mostly still face them abroad, except in a new country with new rules and no support system. And the idea of luck negates that we actually worked hard to get to where we are.
Are you fluent yet?
This isn’t even logical. Do you know how difficult and how long it would take to be fluent at a language? Most expats try very hard, day after day, to pick up common phrases and it’s very frustrating to not be able to get the majority of phrases correctly. This kind of question will just make some feel inferior and there’s no point to it.
Please, it can’t be that bad!
If we’re complaining about something going wrong with our visa process or not being able to open a bank account, we’re not exaggerating! In reality, it’s probably even worse. Being an expat makes things a lot more complicated to get everything sorted and the consequences are a lot more significant than back home.
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It’s even worse when you reduce our problems to nothing because some of us live by the beach. We might be in a sunnier place, but it doesn’t make the problems melt away.
Not that it matters to you
Moving doesn’t mean we stop caring about our home countries and what’s going on there. On the contrary, we probably keep up with the latest news a lot more than when we were in the country.
When are you moving back home?
Uprooting our lives and packing them in suitcases wasn’t just for fun. Sure, we might move back one day, but we’ll know that when the time comes. We’re trying to make the most out of this new home and support would be more appreciated than assuming it’s simply a phase.