- This is in answer to:
- Do you think you'll ever try living in another country? See all answers
- November 11, 2011 by assentia
- Citizen of the World
I'm already living in a country other than the one I was born and raised in, so that already puts me into a minority. But changing countries again? Well, never say never...
Taking the plunge and moving to the UK from Greece at 35 was a big adventure, make no mistake, especially for someone like me, who is not overfond of change. The fact that I was moving to start my own family made things at once easier (because I had the undivided support of at least one person) and harder (because it would be for life and would require some permanent adjustments).
The last few months, however, have forced me to consider moving to another country again, at least for a few years. With the husband, the family's sole breadwinner, out of work for a few months, we had agreed we would accept any position that would have him, no matter where it demanded us to move to. Most opportunities would not take us beyond the UK borders, but there have been several overseas cases that we considered quite seriously.
Mind you, my opinion weighed more in each decision than husband's. He would do his thing among people little different than those back home; I would be the one dealing with the daily vagaries of life abroad, so I'd be the one that would need the most support to cope.
France, Italy and Spain were all quite possible. I speak all three languages (my Italian is still a bit weak, but immersion would work wonders); husband's French is chancy, but he'd be able to learn anyway, and so would our son. I wouldn't mind him growing up trilingual at all. And I would be grateful to go further south again, somewhere with decent day and night lengths at all seasons, and enough sunlight.
Austria is somewhere I'm sure husband would love to live, especially since he already speaks decent German. Unfortunately, I don't, and I refuse to learn it. German is the one language I've tried my hand at and gave up because I didn't enjoy it. I don't think I could live somewhere where I'd have to deal with it every day. I'd rather go to Sweden, although practical considerations (language barrier and climate issues more severe than here) made us drop that option early.
There were even positions in China and Nepal, as well as around the Arab world and southeastern Asia, places where neither of us would go, no matter how good the money might be. I come from the country that invented democracy, and has taken it all the way to anarchy several times in its history - totalitarian regimes disagree violently with me. Not to mention I don't look good in hijab.
No matter where we ended up, though, it would have to be for at least a few years. Moving house is an ordeal when you go to the next town over; I wouldn't care to pack up and go back a couple of years later. Not to mention the damage to the young one's development if he were shifted from one culture and language to another before really settling down anywhere. I can't quite imagine living permanently in any of those countries, but then I've never been in any, not even as a tourist. I want to leave my options as open as possible, anyway.