It's time for Expat to Expat Q&A with Bailie from the Hemborg Wife and Belinda from Found Love. Now What?. I really enjoy the questions they think up each month (even if I don't always answer them!) and I think it really helps connect fellow expats who're going through similar things. Let's get to it!
Question #1: How does your family and friends back home perceive your new life, and is it accurate?
I think it varies. My parents lived abroad early on in their marriage, so my mom is really helpful when I need to vent about the ups and downs of expat life. They're familiar with Germany, so I guess it doesn't seem that exotic to them.
A lot of people from back home tell me all the time they're jealous of my life and all the traveling we do. While I love traveling and am really thankful for the opportunities we have here to do it, I also know they're only seeing one side of the story. As I've talked about in my Sometimes Being an Expat Sucks series, living abroad is not always glamorous. Sometimes it's boring, mundane life stuff (our laundry is overflowing), or frustrating stuff (trying to ask about German detergent and having no idea how to say detergent), and lonely (I wish my mom wasn't 6 hours behind so I could call and ask about stupid detergent).
But y'know, it's also about managing expectations. I can't expect everyone I used to know to know every detail of my life. I try to keep them updated, keep in contact, and keep the blog up to date on our day to day life. Whether they choose to believe I'm a normal girl in Bayern or a glamorous travel maven is eventually up to them ;)
Question #2: Do you find the need to edit your life from friends and family?
I try not to, but I do. I feel like my homesickness comes in waves-I am generally pretty happy here in Bavaria, but then I'll have a bad day and succumb to the gloom and doom. On those days I try not to blog about that. Of course, I'm all for admitting that being an expat has its ups and downs-I think that's really important so fellow expats know it's not just them! But the past year I've tried to be more positive in my situation, and that extends to the blog as well.
Hardly anyone from my life in Bavaria knows about my blog. Not that I have anything to hide from them, I would just feel self conscious if they read it! Plus I like to feel like I can be honest without worrying that it'll come back later and suddenly Fionn's coworker said his wife saw something your wife wrote... ;)
So fellow expats and travel bloggers, have these questions ever crossed your mind? Add your voice!