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There are first time expats, there are second or third time expats, but there are also life long expats. The more often you change the country the easier it is to accommodate and adapt. You become very flexible and changes stop matter to you. On the other hand you notice difficulties slowly turning up as you return for short periods to your country of origin. You wonder what is wrong? Your horizons are wider, your experiences are different than those of people who stayed at home. It gets to a point when you need a change every now and then, otherwise the life gets boring, but at the same time you wish strongly for stability. Does this sound familiar to you?
Life long expats are adults with many years of assignments abroad, but also children of expats growing up in different countries and as adults now searching for a country to settle down. It is not always easy, but it is possible, specially for open-minded people like you.
Until now in my articles I was touching topics important to new expats, now I would like to look at the lives of life long expats and “third culture kids” who feel at home in many countries.

Life of a life long expat is exciting, full of interesting stories and people. You experience new countries, learn additional languages and how to live in different cultures. This kind of life gives you great possibilities to develop your personality, to create your own traditions and to take the best out of everything you have experienced. All this makes you a very special and unique person. It gives you confidence, it forms you, it opens many doors for you in your private as well as professional life. So see it as a privilege, because with your personality and experience you also enrich the life of people around you. Be proud of yourself!

With all these changes in your life, make sure that there is continuous stability. We all need stability and roots, to live a healthy life and to build healthy relationships. Our roots give us identity, strength and safety in weak moments. That is the place where we retreat to when we need advice or to gain energy to act. Good thing is, that you don’t need to live in one place your whole life to ensure this stability and roots. Important is, no matter how often you move countries, that you know who you are, where you’re from and be proud of it. And don’t forget about the children, because especially they need you to show them and define their roots in order to develop their own sound identity and self awareness. With solid foundation it is easier to build up a stable and satisfactory life, no matter in which country.

As soon as change becomes routine, there is a danger of shallowness. Countries change, places change, friends come and go, and at some point you don’t get used to people and things anymore. Avoidance of any deeper relationships is very common, because soon there will be a farewell again and it is easier to say goodbye if there are no emotions involved. Emotions are an important part of us and they make us to whom we are. If you don’t give people a chance to get to know you, you could miss a valuable friendship. It is important to consciously foster interpersonal relationships in order to create a fulfilling life that match our own personal wishes. Without continuous investment nothing stays interesting, so next time you meet somebody new don’t start by thinking about goodbye, but think how you can enrich their life and they yours.

Sincerely yours,

Cosmopolitan and Coach