Just the other day my friend sent me an article written by a Croatian blogger talking about how after living abroad for 3 years she has lost a sense of home and is now feeling like a stranger in both Croatia and, in her case, Germany. After reading that article I started seeing more and more bloggers addressing that issue and having the similar input on the subject and that really got me thinking.
On the one hand I find myself split at times. Split between two countries, two worlds and two lives. I can never forget Croatia because it’s a part of who I am today. Croatia is my original home, it’s recognizable, safe and it’s so easy to slip back into my life there. I hang out with my old friends, talk with my mom while she drinks her morning coffee and have cuddles with my beloved frenchie Sammy. When I am there I feel calm because everything is familiar, unchanged and reliable.
I don’t have to worry about not understanding someone, finding my way around or googling every little thing to make sure I understand it fully. Sometimes, it’s just nice to go to the store and understand everything and everyone without trying.
Creating a safe place
And on the other hand, I love my life in Denmark. It’s exciting, hard, amazing, interesting, dramatic and rewarding. I don’t know if I would be the person I am today if I didn’t make this huge life change. I don’t know if I would learn to stick up for myself, say no and be as independent as I am. And surprisingly, I don’t know if I would be as close to my family as I am. Being away from them made me appreciate them more and taught me to not take anything for granted.
In Denmark, I am still me, I like the same stuff, have awesome friends and an amazing boyfriend. In a way Croatia will always be my home, but I always get that sense of relief when I come back to Denmark where I created my own little world that I love coming back to.
Living a double life?
It’s strange this double life of an expat. Half of me belongs to Croatia only to be revived when I return there, and the other belongs to Denmark. I lead a double life, I have two homes, two groups of friends, two families… – Or do I?
Maybe this is just my ONE life, combining the two worlds and two homes. Life how I choose to live it.
A place doesn’t make a home, it’s the people. I know that’s a biggest cliché ever, but it’s true. As long as I am surrounded by people I love and who love me, I will be at home.