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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was growing up my parents' house was 'home', and so it stayed during my early uni years. Towards graduation 'home' meant the town I grew up in. When I started travelling and living abroad 'home' meant England, then a couple of years later the UK.

After seven years 'out' I don't consider the UK to be my home anymore, although I'm not sure where I live in Austria is really 'home' for me either.

As expats do we have the same comprehension of the notion of home as those who remain in their 'hometown' or country for their whole lives?
 

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Welcome to the club! That seems to be the lot of us expats - we' re not really at home much of anywhere. Though, since settling for the long term here in France it seems more like home to me than anywhere else at the moment.

Still, British friends of mine have been living abroad for years now - first the Netherlands, then France and now Japan - but they seem to consider Britain home and have even bought a house in anticipation of retiring back to the UK in a couple of years.

It seems to depend a bit on your family relations, where your family members are located and how frequently you get together with them.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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To me 'home' is wherever I choose to be at the moment. Although my country of origin is England and most of my family are there, having spent a large part of my life in far flung places (and some not so far flung) I find that I am very quickly 'at home' in a new country.

Veronica
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the club! That seems to be the lot of us expats - we' re not really at home much of anywhere. Though, since settling for the long term here in France it seems more like home to me than anywhere else at the moment.

Still, British friends of mine have been living abroad for years now - first the Netherlands, then France and now Japan - but they seem to consider Britain home and have even bought a house in anticipation of retiring back to the UK in a couple of years.

It seems to depend a bit on your family relations, where your family members are located and how frequently you get together with them.
Cheers,
Bev
I think you're probably right about it depending a lot on family relations. Our family have been all over the place since growing up in the UK. Independently my brother and I struck out when we finished uni and I haven't really been back since. My brother recently returned, bought a house there and seems to have settled with staying in the UK. Parents live between France and England, but will likely end up in the UK as well.

Honestly, I can't see 'my' family ever being in the UK until my kids are old enough to make their own decisions and decide where they'd like to have their families.

Do you ever feel like you're not part of a specific culture?

Great to meet you

Lucy
 

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Do you ever feel like you're not part of a specific culture?
Now that's a very interesting question. I really enjoyed Bill Bryson's book "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" (which is, I think, the American title of the book - it had a different title in the UK - not nearly as descriptive). It was about his return to the US with his family after 25 years of living in the UK - and I loved how he described the "peculiarities" of the people "back home."

Last I heard, though, he apparently didn't stay too long in the US, as he's back in the UK now.

Anyhow, since getting my French nationality, I'm more or less "officially" on the fence between two cultures. Obviously I was considered adequately "assimilated" to get my nationality, but I still seek out English speaking friends here to discuss the various foibles of the French. (Can't discuss them with DH, cause he thinks I'm criticizing him.) But then again, the news from back in the US strikes me as so bizarre lately that I certainly don't feel part of what's going on back there!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Melting pot?

Anyhow, since getting my French nationality, I'm more or less "officially" on the fence between two cultures. Obviously I was considered adequately "assimilated" to get my nationality, but I still seek out English speaking friends here to discuss the various foibles of the French. (Can't discuss them with DH, cause he thinks I'm criticizing him.) But then again, the news from back in the US strikes me as so bizarre lately that I certainly don't feel part of what's going on back there!
Cheers,
Bev
I'm with you on the fence. It's still easier to default to English-speaking friends; I'm in Austria at the moment and German really isn't 'my' language. French has certainly held far more appeal fro me since I was child and I enjoy speaking it much more than German.

Austrian traditions are astonishingly complex. Every week there is another tradition or festival in which to partake. Some are easy to understand, others leave one flummoxed! I enjoy this reliance on tradition, but I also see the negatives of it here. There is an absolute refusal to accept much that is new.

As far as what's going on 'back there', hear hear! The more I hear the more I believe we've made the right decision in leaving. There is no perfect place to be; likewise every country has people that really don't do the others justice.

I guess as expats we have to make our own traditions within our families, drawing on our native cultures and the ways of our adopted home.

What would you say your family culture is? More French or more American? I find we're more British here than we would be if we were in the UK. I wonder if that will remain the same when we get to France, which is where we really want to be.
 
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