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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Triumphant Return... sort of

This past weekend we returned from yet another wonderful trip to the US.  We visited both my and Jon's sides of the family, watched one of my best friends get married, met lots of people that we've been hearing about for awhile, shopped to our heart's content, and did all of this with the most well-behaved baby in the world.  I will certainly write more about the trip itself, but as the baby naps this afternoon, I can't help but reflect on the strange pull of emotions that happens every time we return from the US. 

As an expat, you essentially have two "homes"; wherever you consider home to be in the states, and where you actually live (in my case, Argentina).  The positive side is that you have two homes, the negative is that you really don't have a home at all.  I feel this bizarre mix of emotions that comes from liking where I live, yet being sad to return.  The crazy thing is that I love being in both places.  The US offers familiarity, family and friends, ease of language, knowing exactly where to go to get something done.  Argentina is fun, exotic, beautiful, something I pride myself in making my own, and where my everyday life takes place.  When I'm in Argentina, I anxiously await my next trip to the US.  When I'm in the US, my life in Argentina is on hold.  Friendships are paused, my plants start to die and I feel like I'm starting from square one each time our plane touches ground. 

Quite the juxtaposition. 

I think this happens whenever you have close family ties that you live apart from, whether it be in a different town or a different part of the world.  Perhaps it's just a little stronger in my case because our two homes are so far from each other.  When we leave the US, we pack the maximum amount of items possible in our suitcases and try to simulate life as it was before we moved (this also occurs when people come to visit us) yet we value our time in Argentina and are happy to stay living here for the foreseeable future. 

I guess the moral of the story is to live in the moment because the day will come when we are no longer expats and we can got to Target as many times as we want without worrying about how much our new purchases weigh.  We will miss living in such a wonderful city and swear to our new friends that we used to speak Spanish.  At least this is what I tell myself as I count the days until our next trip stateside. 


  1. Speaking as one who has experienced and understands EXACTLY what you're talking about, it is hard to have a life in both countries. And I think the vast cultural differences add to that feeling. I may wish I lived a bit closer to my family when I'm in Boston and they're 5+ hrs away, but I never have the same feeling of living such a *different* kind of life when I'm in Boston as I did when living in ARG...it's hard to explain on paper, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about! That being said, we now look back on our days in BA and miss many of those moments and experiences. And, of course, friends! Enjoy and soak it in.

  2. we are so sad to have missed you! we are dying to meet gretchen! her 6 mos picture is ADORABLE. i could eat that little lady up! look at those cheeks! love and miss y'all so!