The hard lessons of expat life

comments 15

Expat Life

The life of an expat can seem exciting if you’re not an expat. Living in a country that’s not your home country and experiencing “the life”. There’s a few things you’re not taught about expat life though, and one of those is something I learnt last week.

Anish and I have begun to make friends. We’ve got a great group to hang out with thanks to /r/Bahrain and friends from work. A mixed bag of expats and Bahrainis. The expat population in Bahrain is mostly transient. People will come here and work for a few years and then move on. Bahrain also feels like the kind of place that attracts the kind of expat who’s more likely to just move on after an amount of time.

And that’s exactly what’s happening now. Little by little, people are beginning to move on. And it’s got me a little sad. I know that’s life. Especially when you’re living abroad and you have a bunch of friends who’ve also come here from abroad. But it still sucks.

I’m torn between being incredibly happy for some close friends I’ve made here who are now getting on and moving on. To being sad to see them go. That’s life, though eh?


  1. Kieran Seeburn

    I would make a joke about you not having this problem if you came back to London but it’s the same here. People move all the time, though perhaps more so when they’re hitting our age where lots of people are moving somewhere to settle and start a family, or put down proper roots.

    • Feel like London’s getting that way too – very transient. And the settling down these days, I think people are now more prepared to settle down where they want to and where is best for them, vs. nearer family or friends. Ease of travel have made the world a little smaller.

      • Kieran Seeburn

        Yep. Don’t think things have changed from some previous state though, we’re just getting old!

        Looking forward to your state visit over Christmas!

        • We are getting old. Cheers to getting old!

          As am I, though not looking forward to the cold. I’m not ready for it!

  2. Jaina, it is incredibly hard to make friends whether you move to another country or another city, but this too will pass. You’ll make new friends and at some point, you too will move on. It’s a great way to view life, enjoy the moment and then move on.

  3. I remember writing about this facet of expat life. It is hard to deal with and it feels bittersweet, but honestly, you will make new friends and your world will continue to expand. I’ve also had friends leave and then come back for a visit – and those are fun moments, too.

    • And more countries with potential places to crash at for visits 😉 There’s definitely an upside, eh?

  4. Thanos Karavasilis

    At the end of the day people are an equal part of the experience.

    Whenever a friend moves along I find myself looking for jobs in the place they are going (just for a few hours at least).

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