Editor’s Note: This is a post from Laura Fortey, a Canadian journalist who has travelled extensively while reporting for Metro News. Laura is currently based in Burlington, Ontario, although she also calls the UK and Australia home.
It’s been eight months since I’ve been ‘home’.
I mean, I live in my hometown in Canada, so I suppose one would say I’m always home, but not me. I have three homes.
A life like this is what so many people dream of: globe-trotting, experiencing different cultures, having friends worldwide, and living a life in three separate countries. While it is amazing (most of the time), it is also very confusing, difficult and bloody expensive!
|Home sweet home. Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons (Steffi Reichert)|
It all began when I met my British hubby while I was travelling around Europe. My semi-vagabond lifestyle was then introduced to me when my husband and I chose to live abroad in Australia. We are both from very different places – he’s from a large city in the UK, while I’m from the exact specimen the term suburb was created for, just outside Toronto in Canada.
People always say they are jealous of the life I have chosen and excitedly ask me numerous questions about leaving my homeland and living abroad. The truth is, while I do love it, it is very, very hard. That’s the one thing most travellers and expats fail to mention is how difficult it is to have an international relationship, live away from your family, be the outsider, and constantly wonder if you’ve done the right thing.
I love all three of my homes so much.
I have a great life and amazing people in each place, but there are days when I wish I could buy an island and move everyone there. Planning holidays and trips are always centred around visiting people abroad. Sometimes I’d just like to explore a new place, but I know if I do this, I could go a year without seeing my family and friends. It is also tiring having to run all over the world for weddings, births, deaths and not to mention all the day-to-day great things you miss out on. And while Facebook helps me stay connected, it also makes me feel like I’m missing out too!
So it’s been eight long months since I’d last been home to Birmingham, England (home #2 for me).
Leaving a humid, sunbaked Canada, Ol’ Blighty welcomed us with her stereotypical 16 degree temps and rain (in late June). I amuse myself that I think it should be warmer and am now regretting packing clothes from the same wardrobe I was wearing in muggy Canada. On this trip though, I was in England as a tourist and there to enjoy all the things I love and miss.
From going down to the pub with friends, or watching the culture rich British telly, to taking my foot off the gas pedal in a work sense. Living back in my Canadian hometown with the ‘all work and no play’ mentality has burned me out. It will be great to let loose, socialise, and drink, which is always encouraged in the UK!
This time around, hubby and I plan to do some proper sightseeing of his gorgeous historical home. Even though I spent the majority of 2012 in England, I did what most people do in daily life – eat, sleep and work. I didn’t sight-see and travel as I was too busy working and paying the bills.
I always find it funny when people come to visit me (wherever I am in the world). Unless I’m living in a super touristy or obvious place, it’s hard to be creative enough to be a tourist in my own town. Things that we once thought were awe-inspiring appear to lose their charm when we see them daily and once you live in a place long enough, life starts to appear normal and disinteresting. I think that’s exactly what I love about living my three different lives in three different homes – they are so very different, yet exactly the same.
For now, I’m going to relish being at home #2 for a quick two-week holiday. I’ll make sure I learn something new about the British culture and I’ll treat myself to some real fish n’ chips, because I’ll be home.
Or at least in one of my homes.
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How many international ‘homes’ do you have? Which one do you prefer and why – or is it impossible to choose one over the other? Share in the comments below.
Disclosure: The above links are affiliate links, which means if you buy the book, I get a small commission off those sales.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura is an expat Canadian married to an Englishman who have lived together in Canada, the UK and Australia. She has worked for the Metro Newspaper since the Vancouver Olympics and understands firsthand the perils of international relationships and the stresses of moving around the world, yet she wouldn’t trade this life in for anything else.