On the 6th October 1996 I became an expat for the first time. I was 20 years old, and I flew from London to Nice with the world’s heaviest suitcase to spend 5 months “studying” French on the French Riviera. Little did I know then how my life was going to change by becoming an expat.

Woman in front of fountains in Nice, France in 1996 : www.SophieLeBrozec.com l Love the Life You Live!
Me as a student in Nice, age 20 in 1996

Since then I’ve been an expat on and off and spent years trying to work out where “home” is.

My expat journey looks like this:

France > Spain > France > UK > France > UK > Mauritius

Of my nearly 42 years on this planet I have spent 15 of them abroad. And something I have noticed in all this time spent living outside of the UK, and around other expats, is that “home” becomes different things.

I lived in France for 12 years and whenever I was talking about flying to the UK to see friends and family I would say I was “going home”. Then, when talking to friends and family in the UK about flying back to France I would also say I was “going home”.

And I’m not alone. I’ve got expat friends who’ve not lived in their country of origin for decades but still talk about “going home to visit” or “back home”.

Smiling woman by the sea and mountains l Where Do You Call Home When You're An Expat? www.SophieLeBrozec.com l Love the Life You Live!

If you are an expat, where do you call home?

When I lived in France for over a decade I knew that I would never live in the UK again. I was absolutely certain that I could never live in the cold British climate again. That I couldn’t survive under the grey skies. I had absolutely no doubt that my “home” was France, the French Riviera to be precise, forever and ever.

Until after 12 years in France I moved to London to live.

Where I was very happy for 5 years. And where I was certain I was settled and ready to stay. There was no going back to France, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere other than the UK or France. So London was home, forever and ever.

Or so I thought. But then Ben and I had the chance to live anywhere in the world that had good internet access. And suddenly London didn’t look as tempting anymore (your money can be far stretchier elsewhere!).

And I became an expat again. In my 4th country of residence in 2 decades.

And I continued to ponder where “home” is for me.

In a couple of weeks I will celebrate 2 years living in Mauritius and people ask me all the time if we think we will stay here or go elsewhere.

I’m fairly adamant that I’m here to stay. But with a big disclaimer as who knows what opportunities or adventures might come up in the future?

So where do I call home as an expat?

We have recently come back from an 8 week trip to Europe to visit friends and family, and while I was there it hit me just how much I love Mauritius and just how much it feels like home for me. Whilst I had the best time on holiday I did actually feel homesick, homesick for this beautiful island that really is my home these days.

After many years of calling both the UK and France “home” I now feel that those two countries were homes of mine, and they will always have such a huge place in my heart. But my home now is Mauritius and I can’t imagine it any other way. For the moment anyway 😉

If you are an expat, where do you call home?

If the thought of changing countries and moving abroad excites but scares you, or if you’re an expat considering moving “home” but are not sure if it’s the right move, grab my free video guide to decision-making and facing fears here.

Big love,
Sophie xx

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