Photo: Denis Kuvaev/Shutterstock

7 US Expats Admit What Every US Expat Hates to Admit

United States
by Amanda Machado Jul 28, 2016

1. You actually prefer making friends with other expats.

“I married an Argentine, my child is Argentine, I work with Argentines, I watch Argentine TV, eat Argentine food, read Argentine books and newspapers — and yet most of my friends are expats. All of us have two things in common: we never call ourselves “expats” and we claim (falsely) to prefer mixing with locals to mixing with fellow foreigners. The “citizen of the world” trope is a real zinger until it comes up against that human nature thing.” –Matthew Lawrence

2. As much as you may insult Wal-Mart, American We-Sell-Everything-Stores are super convenient.

“In Hong Kong, if I need to get socks, a hammer, surf wax, ziplock baggies, and dental floss, I am in for a long day.” –Rob Ferrin

3. You miss peanut butter and Mexican food.

“There are some itches that even Brie and a glass of great bordeaux can’t cure, ladies and gentleman.” –Kelsey Page

4. Odds are, you are going through an intense identity crisis.

“After a few years living away, you begin to notice how your home country starts to seem foreign but you can’t really ever feel at home where you are. That feeling of displacement is not good.” –Luisa Fernanda

5. Even though you may have stopped believing in the American Dream, you still wish more people had that American “can-do” attitude.

“Maybe it’s grumpy Parisians, but I really miss people being optimistic about their lives, the future, the weather, etc. Just like the clouds that hang over all our Haussmannian apartments, the negativity gets old — fast.” –Kelsey Page

6. As much as it sounds cool and cosmopolitan to live abroad, sometimes feeling rootless is hard.

“The longer you live abroad and the more you absorb from your new daily life, the further you feel from the culture you come from. Your mother tongue is not as flawless anymore, you are not up to date with the latest national news and frankly talking to your friends at home sometimes feels a bit odd. They are still living the old life in the same place and you feel like you are living in another world which is hard to explain to family and friends back home. At the same time, you are not a local yet and you don’t belong in the society of your new country yet. This is a weird in-between condition that can generate a lot of confusion with your identity if you are not an extremely grounded individual.” –Margherita Orsini

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