It is good, But It is not Enough.
C’est bon, mais n’est pas arrivé.
Het is goed, maar niet goed genoeg.
Nowadays, moving to live abroad has become a norm . Even in ancient times, people have been living a nomadic life searching relentlessly for greener pastures, and a deeper & practical sense of belonging for years & years. In today’s generation of young children, especially Expat Kids, you can find that most of them have a second language other than their mother tongue. Some Expats family stayed as habitual Expats but some opt to return to their home country. A search for something better and hoping for a better future, a longing for another adventure , or to bridge a gap in a relationship are just some of the reasons why Expats keep on relocating from one country to another. When your personal happiness is at stake, then you know that its a crucial time to make this choice. I am sure that with all Expats around the world, they can relate to my feeling when I said to myself ;
“It is good, but its not enough “
Back then, I longed for an adventure. I know that there are lots of places around the world for me to see but that means I really need to work hard for it. Travelling is costly so I wanted to have a travel experience at the same time continue working. Those were the times that your sense of adventure is high and you’re impulsive in your decisions. I remember growing up in a neighborhood that most of the fathers of my classmates are working in the Middle East,deployed as Seamen, or assigned in different parts of the world. So when I had the chance to work & live abroad, I grab it. But through the years, I have learned that this adventure is good, but its not enough.
Looking back, I never imagined that I would be living and working in Middle East. I am dreaming to see snow and experience White Christmas but instead I had felt the scorching heat of 50 degrees C. I felt weird that I only see rain 2 times a year and instead, its raining dust. In Philippines, its only summer & rainy season and in Holland, rain is part of any given day. In here, if it rains, literally , its only a drizzle! With this drizzle, people get crazy, there will be floods in the streets and causes major traffic. Nobody have warned me that I would eventually declare my love affair to hummus & kebabs in exchange to Filipino Adobo either. I wanted to see beautiful architecture but then I found myself camping in the deserts and adoring camels. Expat life is indeed a series of random lifestyle changes. Some changes are good, but still, not enough.
Many Expats develop an accidental affinity with the places they have visited or gone on a holiday. If you moved to another country as a single person, then most probably you would eventually meet fellow Expats. Many people meet and fall in love abroad, which can make them swap countries as easily as you might switch seats on a train. It’s not unusual for expats to meet other expats ( both natives of different countries) and end up settling in a third country. Marriage is one reason to either hop on to another country or opt to settle in one of couple’s home country. An Expat need to be able to make a home anywhere and immediately have a sense of belonging or else, they will soon find themselves ever thinking that you are still missing out on many things . The endless “What is it out there for me? “ will always swim in your thoughts prompting you for another move.
Although falling in love & getting married can definitely change your Expat relocating habits but having a child is totally different story. I can personally say that once you have a family & responsibilities like having a toddler being with you in every move, You just can’t afford anymore to become a habitual Expat. If you’re on sane mind, you cannot behave like a philanderer anymore, hopping from one country to another. You will think more of your child’s future and less of yours. Family & relationship are 2 vital core of having a successful Expat life. No matter how successful you are, if you don’t have anyone to come home to, then everything seems empty.
“There comes a point in your life that you just need to make a choice. To stay or to leave. This is the reason why we choose to leave Kuwait and move to another country.”
Kuwait has been good, but its not enough. My mindset is this: It is important to have concrete plans about the future, its worse than not having a plan & stagnate. I want the best for my child and I’m going to ran after and do whatever it takes to get her into it. Now I don’t know what the future brings us in our new destination.Our hopes are set on high. All I know is that we need to continue to search for good.Once you stop changing then you’re finished. I cannot find it here, so I’m moving on.Human nature is the only one who can explain why is this so.
Kuwait is a place to work, not to live. This is my whole viewpoint as an Expat parent here. For others, this place might be their paradise, but it just doesn’t work the same for everybody. There are generations of Expats who stayed here for years, maybe half of their lifetime already, and from those Expats, you will hear from them that Kuwait has changed over the years. It’s no longer the place that they can call “Home “. I knew some friends who went back home, but later on regret the decision & wished to come back once again. But I also knew many that left this country , and said that life had been better elsewhere.
Let me ask you, when will you have the feeling of it’s Good and Enough, When will you be satisfied with the place you’re at? When will I be satisfied with the place I’m living? What does it need?
Will I find it in the new country me and my family are moving to?
I’m sure it will be good, maybe even better, but will it be enough as well?