The Expat & the Snail

Published by MartaCastro on

The Expat & the Snail

As you read my title, you are probably wondering what a little snail has to do with the experience of an expat? And then you are probably thinking about having his house, always with him. Yes, you are on the right path to start to understand my little metaphor but not there yet.

Our identity is formed at a young age. It is influenced by our parents, our education, surroundings, culture, political and economic situation, etc. Our sense of self depends not only on genetics but also on our experiences, circumstances, and how we grew up.

When we live abroad, we are in contact with different ways of living, religions, beliefs, working styles, rules, ethics, and morals. It can change the way we feel about the world. Even our ideas and what we consider ideal, truth, good can change profoundly. To readjust your beliefs, what we consider the truth, might leave us feeling a bit confused, like a fish without water, without understanding who we really are and where we belong.

The change in our environment can have an impact on us and on our identity. Actually, you may feel that some parts of you are lost as you are trying to figure out who you really are and where you belong.

It is normal to adjust, to change some of our ideas and beliefs and our understanding of the world with the new adventure in a foreign country. Integrating all that we experience, learn, adapt, and experience abroad with our own culture, values, and personality is the starting point to feel at home.

If you can integrate everything you learn and experience with your own sense of self and personality, you will build your own solid house, you can go wherever you go and always feel at home because your house is not just always with you, but it is part of you and who you are.

Your house is your essence. All the things that make you who you are will always be with you, wherever you go, just like the little snail.

“The snail does not have his house on his back. His house is part of him, part of his essence. So, wherever he goes, he is home” -Marta Castro

Categories: ENG


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