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Anyone ever cried leaving a foreign place?

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Hi all! Have you ever felt sad or get your eyes become watery when leaving a town or city where you have lived as an expat? Where?

I've lived full-time in 4 foreign cities (in 3 countries) and I only felt like that about one of them. It was almost the same feeling I felt when I saw my childhood neighbourhood from the plane. I didn't even see my home, but the home of an ex classmate right at the time as the now tiny-looking local public bus was passing next to it and this scene set me off crying. I fell a very similar thing when I was leaving Bratislava (Slovakia) where I have lost my job as an expat. I didn't even spent a full year there, yet leaving about a dozen of friends behind and so many places filled with memories was not easy. To paraphrase an old song "I left my heart in Bratislava". Sometimes when I close my eyes I see myself on the Apollo bridge or the old bridge there overlooking the castle on the hill and the UFO bridge.

 

I guess some places leave a deeper mark? I never felt any of that when I was leaving the Netherlands after 2.5 years there. In fact I couldn't get away from it fast enough! I did more things and went out more in those 10 months in Bratislava than I've done in 2.5 years in the Netherlands. I did more thing than even during the 25+ years I've lived in my home city. Maybe it was just the right size of city. Maybe it was the river and the bridges. Maybe it was the people. Maybe it was AstroCartoGraphy. Or nothing in particular. All I know is it's one of the two foreign cities so far I'm 100% certain I will revisit as a tourist in the future (the other's is the tiny towns around Lake Balaton in Hungary). Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Vienna, Prague and Dresden were all cool to see but I don't think I'll ever go back even as a tourist to any of them. It's that less than shiny little capital on the Danube I'd consider visiting. What about you? Have you ever missed a place you've lived as an expat/foreign student that much?

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36 minutes ago, bytex said:

Hi all! Have you ever felt sad or get your eyes become watery when leaving a town or city where you have lived as an expat? Where?

I've lived full-time in 4 foreign cities (in 3 countries) and I only felt like that about one of them. It was almost the same feeling I felt when I saw my childhood neighbourhood from the plane. I didn't even see my home, but the home of an ex classmate right at the time as the now tiny-looking local public bus was passing next to it and this scene set me off crying. I fell a very similar thing when I was leaving Bratislava (Slovakia) where I have lost my job as an expat. I didn't even spent a full year there, yet leaving about a dozen of friends behind and so many places filled with memories was not easy. To paraphrase an old song "I left my heart in Bratislava". Sometimes when I close my eyes I see myself on the Apollo bridge or the old bridge there overlooking the castle on the hill and the UFO bridge.

 

I guess some places leave a deeper mark? I never felt any of that when I was leaving the Netherlands after 2.5 years there. In fact I couldn't get away from it fast enough! I did more things and went out more in those 10 months in Bratislava than I've done in 2.5 years in the Netherlands. I did more thing than even during the 25+ years I've lived in my home city. Maybe it was just the right size of city. Maybe it was the river and the bridges. Maybe it was the people. Maybe it was AstroCartoGraphy. Or nothing in particular. All I know is it's one of the two foreign cities so far I'm 100% certain I will revisit as a tourist in the future (the other's is the tiny towns around Lake Balaton in Hungary). Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Vienna, Prague and Dresden were all cool to see but I don't think I'll ever go back even as a tourist to any of them. It's that less than shiny little capital on the Danube I'd consider visiting. What about you? Have you ever missed a place you've lived as an expat/foreign student that much?


I was very sad when we moved from Germany in 2009.  It was our first time living here as a couple (my husband had lived in Ansbach before we met).  We barely got two years before he was requested by name to take a job at a military installation near Atlanta that was going to close.  That move from Germany set off a series of four moves in the next five years, including one back to Germany.

 

it all worked out for us, but I sure missed Europe for the five years we were back in the USA.  

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I have cried for memories of places which have changed beyond recognition and prefer not to go back but cried even more over the loss of people who meant a lot to me and are no longer with us.

Close to losing another friend as we speak.😩

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Can´t say I have cried, been sad. And in retrospect I think I should have given Denmark another chance after the company was sold. I could have stayed a few years longer in Mexico, try me with a flightticket, Maybe I should have gone to Sweden for that job at Kodak, but the next station was Switzerland, beautiful place but you have to be able to afford it, I couldn´t and found it to be a very cold place when the money ran out. Belgium did not work out and I ended up on Malta before coming back to Germany over 20 years after I left. Malta, now I could imagine retiring there. But that is for future consideration.
I think that I am more haunted by roads not taken and now time is running out.

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I find Switzerland to be kind of overrated.  The first time I went there, I noticed how beautiful it was, but it seemed kind of sterile and boring.  I did have a good visit last year.  We stayed at a beautiful hotel near St. Gallen.  It was also a hospital/sanatorium type of place, so it was kind of restful.  We had a beautiful view of Lake Konstanz, too.  I'm not sure I'd like living in Switzerland, though.  Seems like there are a lot of rules, and it's so expensive!

 

I would love Belgium, I think... just for the beer, frites, and chocolate alone, along with the raunchy humor.  Any place where statues of little boys peeing are celebrated is my kind of place.  I love ribald jokes.

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22 hours ago, slammer said:

Can´t say I have cried, been sad. And in retrospect I think I should have given Denmark another chance after the company was sold. I could have stayed a few years longer in Mexico, try me with a flightticket, Maybe I should have gone to Sweden for that job at Kodak, but the next station was Switzerland, beautiful place but you have to be able to afford it, I couldn´t and found it to be a very cold place when the money ran out. Belgium did not work out and I ended up on Malta before coming back to Germany over 20 years after I left. Malta, now I could imagine retiring there. But that is for future consideration.
I think that I am more haunted by roads not taken and now time is running out.

Yeah, this is a whole different can of worms, isn't it? I like many places so even if I settle down somewhere there's always going to be the thought "What if I went to country/city X instead" at the back of my mind.

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9 hours ago, knotheadusc said:

We had a beautiful view of Lake Konstanz, too.

And we enjoy looking at those Alps over there.  😀

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I'm not sure I'd like living in Switzerland, though.  Seems like there are a lot of rules,

I know what you mean, but with Corona it’s been the opposite.  😂  Weeks ago Germans were going over their to eat outside on the terraces.

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and it's so expensive!

Wages are higher there and taxes are much lower.  On the border the 🇨🇭 shop here regularly.  Personally I like the clothing selection there better.  It’s also clean as a whistle, but we do have rustic charm here.
 

I‘m headed to Winterthur tomorrow to visit my international group.  There are pros and cons to each place, and when I get in the “grass is greener“ mood I remind myself that I really have both 🌎 🌍, which is pretty awesome.

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Thanks for the personal perspective.  I didn’t like New York or Paris the first time I went to either place.  I came to appreciate them with later visits, and I have liked Switzerland more with each visit.  Last summer, it was kind of normal there,which was nice.

 

I probably would love Switzerland most if I could find a rustic place where I could look at mountains and walk my dogs with no dirty looks. ;)

 

 

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Places - and things - don't give you love. Leaving the people you love is what is and should be far more likely to make you leak.

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5 minutes ago, optimista said:

should be far more likely to make you leak.

 

or perhaps a few beers

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