1. People saying your name. Now you might not have a name that is unique to the place you’ve moved to. But then again you might. And good freaking luck trying to get people to get it right.
2. Speaking the language in that country perfectly prior to moving there, explaining this to people, and still being “complimented” for it.
3. Using the “wrong” names for things and people not understanding you. Whether it’s being called out for saying, “cinema” instead of “the movies,” or saying “dustbin” instead of “trash can,” expect all the laughs.
4. Constantly playing the “conversion game.” You know, the game where you convert the prices of things to how much they cost you in other currencies and usually feel cheated. Except in the moments where you feel like you’re winning!
5. Some of your pronunciations, or your entire accent in general will more than likely get some heads turning or FBI-like questioning. Either way, people might fawn over it or find the way you talk, “funny.” Side-eye at the latter.
6. The following dialogue about saying something in another language:
“What do you want me to say?”
7. The struggle that is trying to tell or re-tell a joke that only makes sense in a particular language or cultural context, and failing miserably.
8. When you’re around all your “home” friends and family, and you become a version of yourself that your “expat” friends don’t really understand. (Or vice versa.)
9. Never getting any sleep the day before, the day of, and the day after your birthday because your phone is blowing up with people wishing you a “Happy Birthday” at 3 a.m. your time.
10. Getting super excited about eating “home” food either from a restaurant or from a grocery store that sells authentic ingredients to make your home dishes. And then having your excitement crushed when you see how much they cost.
11. Dealing with some seriously messed up stereotypes about where you’re from. But also dealing with stereotypes of where you are now, whenever you visit home.
12. Getting anything official done with your embassy always feels like hell on earth. Why oh why isn’t there self-service for getting a new passport or something like that?
13. Being told you’re no longer really your nationality by people from where you’re from. But also being told you’re so foreign by people wherever you live currently. The joys of existing in multiple cultures.
14. When it comes to language, let’s just say use it or lose it. And as soon as you start losing a little of it, you will endure the taunts of people from home.
15. Being jaded by the fact that sometimes it really is hard to tell if someone is interested in dating you for you. Or they’re dating you because you’re the latest, “flavour of the month.”
16. Being in a serious relationship has its own extra set of serious considerations because decisions about family and where to live become even bigger than before. Not to mention different cultural expectations.
17. Not knowing where “home” is anymore or having multiple homes, or homes becoming people instead of places. And always feeling a little bitter-sweet about that fact.