How long have you been away from home?

Banana72

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
424
Curiosity question to all expats here...by the end of this year....how many years have you been away from home? (or for some of you how many years was/is the longest you were away from home?) Waarmstrong...Puspa...Rabbit....(and some ex-WNIs here) I'm curious to hear your thoughts if you were to go back 'home' (to US, Canada or any non-Indo countries you lived) do you think you can pick up where you left off?

This year marks my seventh...although I still go back once a year to see friends (every year...same question...so..is next year the year of permanent move?)...I wonder how it would be different for some of you to go back, say after 10+ years to get back into the swing of things there...did you have somebody else live in your house? Did you rent it out?

Have always wondered about these things but just got to ask about it now...

Looking forward to hear your thoughts...
 

Bad_azz

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
2,677
I've been here quite a while but it feels like a lifetime.
I haven't any intentions of ever returning permanently to the UK, & no way could I pick up where I left off, as life has changed irrevocably for me in both locations.
I don't pop back every year either. My family & I try to space out visits, I was last in the UK in 2015, I hope to return in2019, but I believe my nephew is coming over to visit, so it might be 2020 before I go there.


UK house was rented out for a while, then I sold it. Me & hubby own a place here.

Interesting questions. What about you & your house/home abroad? Do you own, rent or stay with family when you return?
 

lifelongexpat

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Messages
346
I left the UK 20 years ago and only went back for university. So I've been away 17 years in total.

I don't think I could ever go back full time. All the people I remember from my childhood have all moved away. Plus alot of my relatives don't exactly see eye to eye with me wanting to be a 'life long expat'.

However, I am mulling over travelling back once a month for 7-10 days per visit come 2020/2021 to claim my place in the family business and then working remotely from here the remainder of the month.
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,209
"Home" has a very fluid meaning. For many its your coming of age place, a place populated by family and friends of a shared past. I have such a place, of course, but the pull drawing me back has weakened as parents and their generation passed away, as the old home place was demolished by a developer to make way for a new generation, and as other friends and family, like me, moved on both geographically and emotionally. Home for my wife is Jakarta Timur where a good share of our Indonesian family lives and where we have a "summer" residence.

We will be traveling for the 4th year to Jaktim again this summer for a two month stay. Each time it feels more like coming home, even though for the other ten months of the year we live in a Midwestern small town that feels very much like the town of my youth, a town within short drives of the homes of my three older children and their children.

Prior to returning so our youngest child can complete high school in the USA, we were 7 years in Jakarta and prior to that 11 year in the USA in 6 different residences, and prior to that in Indonesia for almost three years. Of the two house we now call home, it will be the Midwestern house that is sold in four years. Pasar Rebo, Jakarta Timur, DKI, will become home and the USA a place to visit for months in the summer.

I am planning on keeping a Midwestern storage garage as a repository for memory links to the US homes of my past. Maybe a little condo, as well. I just feel better off, more comfortable, where ever home is -- be it Jakarta or elsewhere -- with a backup.
 

nosox

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
440
I was just home to Scotland for a visit in 1985
I find it strange that almost 40 years in Canada and was almost never homesick, yet here homesickness raises its head quite frequently.
 

Banana72

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
424
Thanks for all the responses so far...I guess I'm still trying to find the right mind set of living here vs in the US. Right now I still have my townhouse that I own since 2001...been renting it out since 2012. I do have my family (cousins/aunt) there but relationship goes as far as having a quick two-three hour dinner and a bit of chit chat for the whole entire trip. I have a friend who lets me stay in her house whenever i come visit and I'm fortunate enough i have a few others who also offered me their place to stay.

It has worked quite okay for the past few years...I'm just thinking if this will be my new 'normal' or how it would change in the future...say if i could stay longer...or come more often (twice a year)in the next few years...(then again there's the 31 days max residency rules that might affect my taxes too).
 

waarmstrong

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
2,209
Having friends & family willing too accommodate free loading makes home visits much more intimate.

PS. I see by your later post an acknowledgement that friendship is a two-way street. Good on you.
 
Last edited:

Banana72

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
424
Sorry forgot to say that yes although there was never a set fee "amount" (as my friend always politely turned down my offer) I usually ended up getting her a thank you card with gift cards or I have bought certain things for the house...with equivalent value of a two week's stay.
 

Balifrog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
181
Home is France for me. Not because of family, simply because its my country.
All other places I lived in are temporary homes.
Spend 89 to 99 in Thailand
Then back 8 y in France
Then 1 1/2 in VN
Then 8 y in HKG
Now since 1 y in Indo.

None of the place ever considered home.
Last holiday in France was Sept 2016. Next one planned 2019.
 

Minuteman

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
309
Been here 44 years now. Came over in Sept 1974 on a two year contract and liked what I saw.

Was going back to the US on annual leaves and did not take too many of those to realize that I no longer had much in common with the people back there.

The last few times I was there, planned 4 weeks but after 10-14 days headed back here as there was nothing there to interest me any more.

My last trip was 5 years ago. Do not plan on ever going again.
 

Travellingchez

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
156
I've been overseas for a large part of my adult life. I've only had 3 years as an adult after uni living in the UK. For the 3 years i was at uni i lived between the UK, Greece and USA. Was never longer than 4 months at a time in the UK. So Indonesia is really my home now.
 

dafluff

Moderator
Moderator
Cager
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
3,006
Been here 44 years now. Came over in Sept 1974 on a two year contract and liked what I saw.

Was going back to the US on annual leaves and did not take too many of those to realize that I no longer had much in common with the people back there.

The last few times I was there, planned 4 weeks but after 10-14 days headed back here as there was nothing there to interest me any more.

My last trip was 5 years ago. Do not plan on ever going again.
Wow....44 years. Didn't realize you've been here that long!
 

dafluff

Moderator
Moderator
Cager
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
3,006
I've been here a total of around 20 years, including my childhood years. Having lived in 5 different countries, I don't really feel any one country in particular is "home". Probably a common issue with expat children.
 

William King

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
1,452
22 years abroad. Might go 'home' when.my daughter reaches university age. (Mom wants us to live close by when that happens...if she goes to University. And if that University is in Australia...)
 

atlantis

Administrator
Moderator
Cager
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
2,238
how many years have you been away from home?
"Home" for me is Indonesia, and more exactly Manado. It's the place/city where I have been living without interruption the longest in my life by far and Indonesia will be some time this year the country where I have spent the most time in my entire life.

My last visit to my native country was in 2012 and I don't plan any visit in the future, save if there is an unfortunate family reason occurring. Not that I dislike my native country or whatever, just that I have better to do than wasting time there. Plenty of beautiful places to go on vacation in Indonesia or South East Asia. Going there requires time and it is a commodity I don't have much.

My kids are bilingual Bahasa Indonesia/English but don't speak much of my native language save for odd words or locutions which would hardly help them to adapt to France should we go there.

I have often noticed that in a discussion I would spontaneously use the pronoun "we" (or more correctly "torang") to refer to Manadonese while I would spontaneously use the pronoun "they" (in fact "dorang") to refer to French. Again, not that I have anything against French or France but over the years I have felt a growing distance in my concerns toward whatever happens there.

"Getting back into the swing of things there" would certainly not be impossible but would require a lot of effort and a motivation I obviously don't have.
 

atlantis

Administrator
Moderator
Cager
Joined
Jul 13, 2016
Messages
2,238
Probably a common issue with expat children.
I think it's a common issue more to "multicultural" kids rather than expat children. It's mostly a question of how adapted and integrated you are, on how much you have been immersed (as in deeply dipped) in various culture at a young age or young adult age. Many expat kids who attend int'l schools, barely speak the local linguo and rarely get the chance to mingle with locals save for the pembantus and drivers would not understand the issue you are talking about.
 

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Follow Us

Latest Expat Indo Articles

Latest Tweets by Expat Indo

Online Now

Newest Members

Forum Statistics

Threads
3,946
Messages
60,689
Members
1,470
Latest member
mekapo
Top Bottom