Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

The Desperate Expat Wife is quite an experienced Luxy expat by now, but she still asks herself –frequently – the question that is almost as famous as «to be or not to be»: Should I stay or should I go?


Now, The Clash, who brought this question much fame,  partly explains why it is valid and relevant not only in love but in expat life:

«I’ll be there till the end of time» – ‘cause life is easy and comfy and time flies and before you know it it’s time to check out those retirement homes (if you can afford them!)

“One day is fine and the next is black” – like, what am I doing here, I wanna go hoooome!

«This indecision’s bugging me» – granted, decisiveness is not her forte, and the stay-or-go-decision is a major one and a hard one!

«Exactly who I’m supposed to be» – one person in your new home country, another back home? Does that make you more tolerant, open-minded and able to adapt or does it just make you slightly schizo?

«If I go there will be trouble, if I stay it will be double» – well, perhaps not, but something will be missing either way.

And these are the top 10 things – in slightly random order – the Desperate Expat Wife would miss the most if she goes (that she wouldn’t have back home mind you):

10 reasons to stay

  1. Paris. It’s not a joke. Come on, hop on the train and you’re there in two hours!
  2. Sitting at a restaurant trying to identify the languages spoken at each table. Oh the joys of Babel and the expat bubble!
  3. Speaking of bubble joy: The omnipresent champagne / local crémant – and it’s cheap!
  4. Speaking of languages; being able to speak several of them every day
  5. Not to mention the people you speak them with; constantly meeting new people from new places
  6. Being smack in the middle of Europe, geographically and politically
  7. The food selection
  8. The favourite picnic spot among the vines.
  9. How nothing is far and life is quite slow (some ambivalence on the slow point) and easy
  10. The people she’d leave behind if she goes…

Now let’s keep up with the downsizing trend and turn these ten points into three:

  1. The good life – travel, food and drinks
  2. An international environment and the subsequent broadening of horizons
  3. And of course and as always and everywhere – people

The list of reasons to go would include other values, but that’s for some other time.

Regardless, «Should I Stay Or Should I Go» is definitely on the Desperate Expat Wife’s playlist:

More from the Desperate Expat Wife about Babel and bubbles here.


Text and photo: Unni Holtedahl, August 2015

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