Soon it will be a year since we proudly received our Australian Citizenship. It’s one of those big moments in your life… at least it was a big deal for me. I find it pretty special to suddenly have dual citizenship. In a way it was something I always sort of dreamed of.
I was not really sure if this would change the fact that we were expats or not. For me an expat was always someone who temporarily lived in another country. So I decided to look up the definition and found the following:
An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, as an immigrant, in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).
So I’m still an expat and will always be one. So will my husband and our son. My daughter however, will always be a real Aussie. I know that for our kids (both of them) the roots will always be in Australia. Although our son was born in Switzerland and lived a little bit of his live there, he would never claim it his original home. He lives and breathes Australia.
As much as Australia is home for me, I often refer to Switzerland as home when talking to friends. I find myself saying “back at home”. And it irks me. Because it’s not how I really feel.
I’m proud of where I come from and I feel Switzerland is an amazing country. But I don’t miss living there at all. And I realized it once again when we were there for a visit.
As much as I like it from a visitors point of view, I could not imagine living in Switzerland anymore. It’s beautiful, it’s safe, it’s clean, it’s friendly… it’s not for me. I need space. I need the crazy-ness I get in Australia. The beaches, the mountains, the deserts, the forests, the rain forest. It’s big. And that’s what I like. I live it, I breathe it. And I feel home here. Every time we take a roadtrip I become aware of this wide open space and it just makes me feel so much better. I feel like I have the space to breathe, to reach out, to expand, to do.
Am I an Aussie? On paper I am. In my heart I am. And yet, I’m still an expat. But hey, that’s totally fine too. Because I was born and raised in another country. It’s what gave me a lot of insights, a lot of knowledge and maybe even an open mind.
Inspired by the A-Z Challenge