It happens to me sometimes, I think about my statue as an expat. I think about it more these days as I have a few new readers (and one new follower) who are also Quebeckers living in another country.
Being an expat is now part of my identity: I am not merely a Quebecker, I am a Quebecker living abroad, I have this particular experience, perspective on life that is different than the ones of most of my compatriots. I lived here before, but that was supposed to be temporary. It is only since 2006 that I really became aware that I might live the rest of my adult life in a foreign country. Of course, you never know what the future may hold and I might one day go back home, or even live somewhere else, but for now I am here. It is an important part of what I became, it is also one of the reasons why I started this blog: because I thought my particular experience as a foreigner (I am still desperately foreign here) and an expat was of some interest. I still think it is.
Being an expat means that I miss a lot of things, trivial and not so trivial, that my compatriots take for granted: certain seasonal changes, food (well of course), places, etc. More importantly, I miss sharing these things: as I am the only Quebecker I know in the area (I have met some but don't know where they are), I have nobody but myself to understand all these cultural references. On the other hand, being an expat made me more foreign towards my own countrymen: I do not have the same experience than they now do and see the collective events they live from a distance. A TV series or a movie is released, I do not see it. If a natural catastrophe happens, I do not witness it (not that I wish to be in one again). Political scandals and news from Quebec touch me deeply, in spite of the distance and maybe because of it, but I am still away from the action. I also live on a regular basis in a different cultural that influence me, however foreign I still am. Wwhether I like it or not, I would a member of the Quebec diaspora, if there was such a thing here.
C’était le mois de juillet ’16
18 hours ago