There was a meme I saw a while back about being an expat “too foreign for there, too foreign for home, not local enough for either” and it rings true.
Switzerland is tough on Auslanders, foreigners, but only because the Swiss are tough no non local other Swiss as well.
In such a situation, an expat community rises up and we tend to cling to each other very tightly. Our was built around our school the International School of Zug and Lucerne (ISZL) about as brilliant a school as you will find. The school prides itself on integration but that is to the school family. Events at the school: the welcome Apero, Trunk or Treat (our Halloween celebration), Guy Fawkes…all the way to International day, have us forever in each other’s lives. So our integration into swissness was strained.
After three long years in the CH, I am back in Canada, in Montreal, but it feels just as foreign as Switzerland did.
I have reacquainted myself with my neighborhood in Westmount, having gone for long walks around the local streets. I have been back to my favorite haunts and hangouts, but everything seems foreign here too.
Despite having flown 28000 miles in a week, I am ready to go again.
I realized that I don’t want to be here either.
I don’t feel home here either.
I no longer know where “home” is.
I know that the feeling will pass but it is so discomfitting to fit in nowhere.