My Expat Story: Caroline

At Global Living Magazine we want to connect with our readers — know what you’re all about, what you love, where you’ve been and where you’re going. The best way to do this? Hear it straight from YOU!

We received an email from British expat Caroline who currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her family. Here is her Expat Story.


What’s your favorite part of expatriate life?

My favorite part of expat life is the unknown; that feeling you had at 18 when you were just starting out in life not knowing where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing in the next five or ten years, came flooding back to me in abundance now in my mid-thirties, married with two children. I have always enjoyed exploring new places, attempting new challenges, meeting new people and expat life has fulfilled all of these wants and more.

What has been the hardest part?

The hardest parts of expat life for me so far have been missing friends and family, homesickness, and driving on the other side of the road. I was expecting to miss everybody and I knew there would be sad goodbyes but I have to admit I completely underestimated homesickness. I have recently read articles on the subject and its classed by many as a form of mourning or grief for the life you have left behind. And driving… well, it still scares me today almost a year down the line from our move to the States. I just take driving slowly and stay on the right-hand side as much as I can even on a five-lane highway!

Where have you lived around the world? Favorite places?

I have only lived in the U.K. prior to Austin. My husband and I have holidayed abroad every year since we met, which we continued to do even after the children were born. We especially love the Caribbean, with Cuba being our most favorite destination to date. I always describe that first walk on the Cuban beach when we stepped off the plane the reality equivalent of walking into a picturesque postcard.

Where do you want to move to eventually?

We would love to move to Europe at some point, or back to England one day. Austin is our home for now though.

What’s your sense of ‘home’?

My sense of home has evolved over the years it began as my home town where I was born and raised, then my parents moved an hour south while I was away at university so for a long time I considered my birth place as home. As I created a family unit of my own with getting married and having two children, I classed home as the place we lived in together. Now we have moved over 4000 miles away from that place and for the first six months in Austin I would say England was my home; but I wasn’t actually in England so really was it my home? Becoming an expat has opened the definition of home in my mind to the point where a few months ago I would not even have been able to answer the question. Today the answer to ‘where is home?’ I would say for now is Austin as this is where my immediate family live.

Share anything else you’d like us to hear! 

In March 2014 I created a blog primarily as a journal for my children to look back and read for years to come and reminisce about our ‘Big American Adventure’. I decided to make the blog public after realizing this would be an easy and exciting way for friends and family back home to instantly see how we were doing and to enjoy our adventures too. Along the way I discovered my renewed love for writing and created social media accounts for my blog to help me connect with other expats, publications and websites. I very much enjoy learning about expat life, offering advice and support to other expats, and I personally find sharing my own expat experiences immensely therapeutic.

Keep up with Caroline’s expat adventures by following her on Twitter @ExpatAustinMum and check out her website: www.expataustinmum.com.

If you’d like to be featured on our ‘My Expat Story’ section, send an email to Alison at info@globallivingmagazine.com and tell us about your experience as an expatriate by answering the above questions. Don’t forget to include a picture of yourself, your website/blog, and/or Twitter handle so we can help you connect with other expats from around the world!

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