People end up becoming expats for lots of different reasons. For many it is about job opportunities, others fall in love, and some just seek a different life from what they’re used to at home. I am a hybrid of all three.
Back in 1999, at age 22, I set off to New York with a one-way ticket, a suitcase and big dreams. I had never been to New York before and didn't know a single person living there.
I had nowhere to live and only two weeks to settle myself before starting my first job since graduating university.
I told my family and friends I would be home in two years. That would definitely be enough time for some great work experience, travelling and adventure…
Fast forward almost 20 years and I'm onto my fifth international relocation and now based in London.
I've also acquired a bit more than one suitcase...my husband, three children, and a home full of things.
The questions I ask myself about why I'm living so far away from my family and old friends have definitely changed.
It's no longer about my work or a long-distance romance. It's what's best for my three young children. But what still remains the same is the buzz I get from living abroad - the constant sense of adventure and that anything is possible.
Raising a family so far away from home has been an incredible experience. It’s given me confidence in myself as a mum and provided my kids with some wonderful life opportunities.
We are surrounded by an amazing support system made up of people who were strangers only a few years ago.
So while it breaks my heart every time my toddler kisses the computer screen when we FaceTime his grandparents, I know that the choices we’ve made are the right ones for our family at this moment in time.
Expat from London