Expat Life

15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad

I love quotes, and quotes about expat life especially. The way the authors can express a thought or a feeling in such apt words and succinct descriptions- better than I can say it myself. Here is a collection of 15 quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad. I shared many of these expat quotes on my Expat Energy Facebook page over the summer, with my personal thoughts. Scroll through there if you are curious (and don’t forget to like the page ūüėČ ).

1. About Leaving

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad



“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like¬† you’ll not miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

Azar Nafisi (Lolita in Tehran)






2. Wherever you go, you take yourself- also when you do not realise at first. 

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad



“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”

St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions







3. Expat Loneliness… and Freedom

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad




“The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.”

Adam Gopnik (Paris to the Moon)






4. Transformation Abroad

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“She had not thought it would be so easy to slip into the old roles. Cambridge and changed her fundamentally and she thought she was immune. No one in her family, however, noticed the transformation in her, and she was not able to resist the power of their habitual expectations.”

Ian McEwan






5. Culture Shock




“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable”

Clifton Fadiman






6. Mastering Yourself Abroad



“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.”

Hannah Ahrendt






7. Escaping Boredom



“It’s all expats with no money, no education and big ideas. All drunk with sunlight. They drifted to Malta. They can’t go home. Nothing to do.”

Jane Gardam (The Man with the Wooden Hat)







8. Always The Foreigner




” So, here you are. Too foreign for home, too foreign for here. Never enough for both.”

Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada







9. Awakening Your Senses




“Hong Kong has embraced her again, wrapping her in its dazzle and warmth and noise: the smells of her childhood, the food of her childhood, the lack of false sentiment of her childhood.”

Jane Gardam (The Man with the Wooden Hat)






10. Expat Marriage Pressure

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad




“My marriage too was being tossed about like a chair or lamp, but without any bubble wrap to cushion it from relocation bumps or breakage”.

Robin Pascoe (A Moveable Marriage)







11. Happiness Overseas




“Why did I hope we would be happy abroad? A change of environment is that traditional fallacy upon which doomed loves, and lungs, rely.”

Vladimir Nabokov







12. Putting Down Roots

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad



“All you will have is the present. Waste no energy crying over yesterday or dreaming of tomorrow. Nostalgia is fatiguing and destructive, it is the vice of the expatriate. You must put down roots as if they were forever, you must have a sense of permanence.”

Isabel Allende, Of Love and Shadows







13. Missing Home

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad



“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was. ”

Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)








14. Joy Of Endlessly Changing Horizons



“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Christopher McCandless







15. One Step At The Time

Expat Energy_15 Quotes on Expat Life and Living Abroad



” A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.”

Lao Tzu







What is your favourite expat quote or quote about life abroad? Or do you have another favourite? Look forward to reading your comments!



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