quotes about being an expat + living abroad

it’s saturday night now, and the reality of announcing about our big move to sweden has begun to sink in. and, i am all aflutter with emotions – excitement over being an expat and starting over again. confusion and sadness about leaving asheville, a place that i love more than words can say. joy at seeing friends + family in europe that i haven’t seen in a while. sadness at leaving behind friends + family in the states.

however, the biggest emotion that i am experiencing is gratitude. pure, wonderful gratefulness that i can call two places, two countries home. or better yet, that i can consider the entire world my home.


in honor of this move, i have decided that i want to share some of my favorite travel quotes to honor our move to sweden + all things ex-pat.

you know, it’s a special (and crazy) thing to be living abroad. there are certain complicated, fun, confusing, adventurous, frustrating, amazing moments that come with being an ex-pat, but it is definitely a lifestyle/life choice that suits me.

tonight, as i begin to delve back into my ex-pat memories from living abroad before and prepare myself for all of my upcoming experiences + opportunities, i thought i’d share a few fabulous quotes that perfectly sum up some of my feelings + thoughts regarding the joys + trials of moving to another country. for all of the ups and downs, and crazy, wonderful times, living abroad is an incredible journey – an amazing risk and a chance to live life to the fullest!

She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water. – Roman Payne

It is a bitter-sweet thing, knowing two cultures. Once you leave your birthplace nothing is ever the same. – Sarah Turnbull, Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. – Pericles

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. –  Dalai Lama XIV

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”- Howard Thurman

Life might be difficult for a while, but I would tough it out because living in a foreign country is one of those things that everyone should try at least once. My understanding was that it completed a person, sanding down the rough provincial edges and transforming you into a citizen of the world. What I found appealing in life abroad was the inevitable sense of helplessness it would inspire. Equally exciting would be the work involved in overcoming that helplessness. There would be a goal involved, and I liked having goals. – David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. – Miriam Adeney

Ordinary life does not interest me. – Anais Nin

You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés. – Ernest Hemingway

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time. – Hannah Arendt, Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess

xoxo. liz

5 thoughts on “quotes about being an expat + living abroad

  1. A wonderful collection of quotes Liz, and having been an expat a few times, there are many that ring particularly true for me. But I must admit that I love quotes of all types, and consequently, am biased. Not all people have our fondness for quotes, so I have to rein myself in from using too many on our blog. Thanks for compiling and posting a few more that I can read and enjoy. ~James

    1. I am most definitely a quote lover myself! So glad that we have a similar love of it. 🙂

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