Saturday, 6 September 2014

Expat Revelations: My Biggest Fear

So, once again I'm a bit behind in writing my contribution to Holly's Expat Revelations series, but as the final topic, My Biggest Fears as an Expat,  was the one which spoke to me the most out of the four fascinating topics, I'm going to sneak this post in a few days late. Shh!

In my case, it's actually a question of my biggest fear as an immigrant, because the worry that keeps me awake at night is one that didn't start until I was seriously contemplating a long-term future in France. It's a fear that I can only imagine will grow the longer I stay, and beside it all the niggles I had at the beginning pale into insignificance.

Put in a nutshell, I am terrified that one day I will need to go back to Scotland to live and that the life choices I have made will make that impossible.

This possibility is probably greatly exaggerated in my mind compared to what would be likely to happen in reality. In reality, it would probably be more a question of wanting to go back than needing to, and more probable that it would be complicated than impossible. But that's the nature of fears.

The most likely scenario involves ageing parents needing cared for and myself trapped by career or family that keep me in France. I also feel a little pang when I see my friends' kids growing up with Scottish accents, going to local schools and generally having experiences not dissimilar to the ones my friends and I had ourselves, and know that's unlikely to be the case for my children if Understanding Frenchman and I ever have any. And I'm scared of losing my job here, knowing that it would be much harder to find another one in France but that working in France for years could make it difficult to find work at home.

Of course,  there are plenty of reasons why I should also NOT be worrying about these things right now, of which my expat/immigrant friends remind me regularly when we talk about these things. The trouble is, when you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, logical, reasonable thoughts aren't often the first ones that come to mind!


  1. I worry about these things too - all the time! When I first moved here, I kept saying 'you can go home any time you want' on repeat to myself, but I am beginning to realise the longer I am here, the less possible that actually is. Add children to the mix and there is that whole extra dimension :(

  2. Definitely, since my parents are so far away that worries me Sometimes. Thankfully they're in good health though. And I do wonder whether I would have a better career/more stability if I'd stayed at home. But everything's a trade-off I suppose.

  3. I worry that because of the USA's stupid visa laws, my husband wouldn't be able to come with me if I wanted/needed to leave. It's not like it's impossible, but way more complicatedthan it needs to be, so thinking of the future gets me a little frustrated /nervous.