At the end of March, I will have been living here in England for four years. Sometimes it feels like I just arrived, and sometimes I wonder where the time has gone :-) I’m asked by friends from time to time what it’s like to live this expat life and they imagine that it's like being on vacation everyday. I give them what I call a 50/50 answer. I tell them that half of the time, it’s an adventure to make a life elsewhere and I relish it. I still get wide-eyed about new things I discover. And the other half of the time I’ll say honestly that it can get lonely and I have the uneasy feeling of being an outsider. However, I enjoy this in-between space that I inhabit :-) I get to be a part of two places and that is a blessing. But I think that in many ways this is how life is. Life is multi-layered and that’s the fascination in it all. Some days it's good, some days it's not so good. Frankly, I’m just living my life like anyone anywhere would do. I’m just enjoying wherever this journey is taking me in my life and I’m taking lots of pictures to share it with you all! :-)
The good news is that I’m getting rather settled in these days. From time to time I come across groups that help foster a sense of community for expats like myself and I enjoy looking at what they have to offer. I’m always interested in ways to more thoroughly enjoy my experiences here :-) So when I was invited to join the InterNations community, I was really intrigued.
Here's a link to the London group "InterNations Expat Community London" . I enjoy sharing interesting info like this :)
First of all, I love that its tag line reads “the network for expatriates and global minds”. This to me is great because it is so inclusive and does make for a feeling of belonging. I’m very excited about the possibilities! :-)
Here’s a bit of information about InterNations for my fellow expats out there or anyone who is interested in learning more about this community. InterNations is a social network, started in September 2007, for expatriates and has a varied membership of over 140,000 in over 230 cities worldwide. The membership includes people from many walks of life. The site is a German startup and was awarded the Land der Ideen award, which means "land of ideas", by the German government and the Federation of German Industries for their business concept in creating a web-based solution to the challenges of the expat life.
What I really love about InterNations is the opportunity for members to meet in real life at monthly events. This is so crucial I think, because as I said before, even though it’s really wonderful to have this experience, it can be lonely at times. So having a chance to meet with others who are in the similar situation would be ideal. Expatriates and their families can connect with others and receive advice on the expat life in various countries. Also there’s additional information and resources in the InterNations city guides.
Membership is by invitation only, so I was very flattered to be asked to join the community. If anyone is interested in joining, you can request your personal invitation at the site. It just sounds like a really cool site to me. I look forward to exploring what the network has to offer. Very soon my answer to the expat question may change from 50/50 to 75/25! Wish me luck! :-)