Photo: Brandon J Hale/Shutterstock

23 Signs You've Been Living as a Nomad for Too Long

by Barbara Litzlfellner Dec 11, 2014

1. Your playlist consists of a weird mixture of Balkan Beat, traditional Kurdish music, Irish folk songs, and Finish heavy metal. And every single song feels like home.

2. When you visit home, you are completely confused for a second as to which language to talk to the waiter and end up just mumbling something incomprehensible.

3. Writing an old-fashioned Christmas card to your friends is almost impossible. You’ve long lost track of who is living in which country at the moment, and most people don’t stay long enough in one place for the post to deliver any letters to them anyway. So an email it is.

4. You are registered as a citizen in 3 countries, have a bank account in 4, and pray every day that this won’t ever have any legal consequences.

5. The next time you hear one of the questions, “Where are you from?“ “What are you doing here?“ or “How long have you been here?” you’re going to vomit.

6. You’ve seriously considered taking little flyers with a short bio with you when you go out, because you are so tired of telling the same story over and over again.

7. The moment you meet someone with whom you can skip these questions and just bitch right from the start about the two ugly chicks who always need to be the center of the party, you know that you will be friends forever, no matter where in the world the two of you will end up.

8. At parties, you don’t have to ask anymore where people are from. You recognize it from their accent, the choice of their drinks, or the way they dress.

9. When someone asks you where you’re from, you actually have to think about it for a second.

10. Home has lost its meaning for you. Home is not a place, home is now a group of people.

11. You understand only a fraction of the posts on your Facebook timeline because some of your friends still insist on posting in their native language.

12. You are a master of time zone calculation to prevent waking up your friends with one of your messages.

13. On the rare occasions you meet a fellow countryman, it takes you a couple of minutes until you realize that you also could speak your native language.

14. You can say cheers in at least 15 languages, and you know the name and the taste of the national snaps for at least as many countries.

15. Your recipe book contains recipes from all over the world, and most of them are the original ones from a friend’s grandmother, passed by from mother to daughter for over 100 years.

16. You go to farewell parties as frequently as other people have Sunday brunch.

17. You can’t even remember anymore how it is to be able to communicate with the employees in the post office in a common language. You just cross your fingers and hope that your package will find its destination and not an early grave in the trash bin.

18. You no longer know how to communicate with your doctor in your native language. Sign language and sounds are a perfectly appropriate way to explain that you spent the whole night on the toilet with diarrhea.

19. Especially when you are traveling short term or have just moved to another country, all these bits and pieces of different languages in your head get you really confused. So it absolutely happens that you are wondering for a second why the nice Thai lady doesn’t understand your perfect Hungarian phrase.

20. When you want to know what is really going on during the current revolution in [insert applicable city here], you don’t need to watch the news. Your friends will give you an update from the front row.

21. Nothing makes you feel more uncomfortable than a discussion about the local real estate market and how difficult it is to find an appropriate flat to buy that suits all your needs for the next 50 years.

22. You know that you can find a job anywhere, and you stopped worrying about things like income and career a long time ago.

23. With every place you’ve lived in, the list of places you want to move to in the future miraculously grows, and settling down during the next 10 years becomes more and more improbable. You love this lifestyle you’ve chosen with all it’s faults and drawbacks, because movement is the keystone of feeling alive.

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