Ten ways to tell you’ve been an expat for a long, long time

Been an expat for a long time?

I’ve been living abroad one and off since I was 18 and it’s made me a little odd I guess. How about you, Expaters?

You know when you’ve been away from ‘home’ for a long, long time when…Funny expat quiz

  1. Someone asks you where you got an item of clothing and you reply with a country
  2. You’re asked where you’re from and you stop to consider the long or the short story
  3. You don’t understand your kids talking to each other (or need a dictionary)
  4. A trip to the hairdresser is the scariest time of the month
  5. You meet a friend from your home country and you’re not sure whether to kiss or shake hands and end up snogging their ear
  6. You punch the air with joy because actually understand street directions
  7. You punch the air with joy even harder because you managed to give street directions
  8. You’ve read the leaflet countless times but you’re still not sure where to insert the medication
  9. You go to a supermarket in your birth country and need three trolleys
  10. You speak expat English… ‘You like my blog, yes?’


  1. October 29, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    Yes to all of these. Especially the one about the hairdresser – we’re new again and I really need a haircut. I wrote an entire post once about the lesser known challenge of getting a decent haircut abroad. And the ear snogging – too funny and so true.

    • October 30, 2018 / 9:10 am

      Me too! Oh and how about taking the car for gas… when you’re not sure what the attendant is saying and you just pray it wasn’t diesel….

      • October 30, 2018 / 8:29 pm

        Ha yes, or when sit in your car waiting like a pumpkin before you release you have to get out of the car and actually pump the gas yourself.

  2. November 10, 2018 / 6:53 am

    I loved all the comments! Here’s my tale: When I lived in tropical Ghana, I was looking one day for my favorite winter skirt because I was going to see my mother in my native Holland. I couldn’t find it amid my other stored-way winter clothes. I wondered if I had left it in the US with my daughter. Or maybe it was still in Holland? So before looking once again in my own closet, I sent off emails to my mother and daughter. At one point it hit me how schizo this seemed: I was looking for my skirt on three different continents.

    • November 10, 2018 / 8:11 am

      Oh totally! We’ve all been there. At one point I had stuff in Belgium, Syria, the UK, China and Spain. Mostly junk but still a nightmare to organise.

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