One of Them

If you have ever had the chance to live abroad for an extended amount of time or perhaps have permanently changed your country of residence perhaps you have encountered the feelings of “belonging.”

6  years ago I moved from the USA to Latvia. I came as an English teacher to teach in a church. Yes, my ancestors on my Dad’s side are from this land. But I am American.

I love Latvia. I love living my life  somewhere other than where I grew up. But sometimes I wonder if I am really one of these people. I wonder have they accepted me? Do I belong? Am I one of them? In some ways I have carved that niche and “fit” but at other times I feel such an outsider.

There is so much red tape to living in another country- things that we never encounter in America. Things we take for granted in our own country. Arranging documents for living abroad, using another language fluently, just learning to make the best use of the local products that are cheapest and healthiest.

What are your experiences of living and belonging in another country?

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8 thoughts on “One of Them

  1. I lived in Germany as a kid, but my dad was in the army, so we didn't really live as Germans did. I loved it. I imagine, though, that without the support system we had (American schools, housing and shopping) it would have been a lot different.

    My daughter went to school in Ireland for a semester. She moved into a house with Irish kids in order to experience the culture more fully. She learned so much. It made her appreciate some of the conveniences we have in the U.S.

    Stopping by from Etsy Blog Team

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  2. You've expressed the vulnerability of living in a different country well. My parents moved here to Canada from Switzerland so my experience is only through them. Making friends and building a new social network was probably the biggest hurdle but also the biggest bridge that made them feel a part of the Canadian fabric. Living in a different country than the one you were raised in makes you richer. This I know for sure…

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  3. My husband and I lived in three different countries thanks to his overseas tours with the Air Force. We lived in the Philippines, Germany, and Turkey. Living abroad was enchanting and challenging. Each time, we traveled and tried to learn as much as possible about our new home.
    I'm sure your experience is a lot different than ours with living on their economy and learning their culture.

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