The double perception of expat life

All good things must come to an end – this is our last Clew edition. We will end the Clew story with some encouragement along your expat way. Silvia encourages you to view time in different ways, to connect and to watch out for unexpected encounters.

Living as an expat, you start perceiving the world both as a bigger and a smaller reality at the same time, enhancing your senses and your need for discovery.

And then, there is a more intimate facet in the art of arranging a life as an expat – the inner life and how it dialogues with your inner self.

Most of all, time reveals itself in an unaccustomed double dimension. This is the time you cannot grab, the time that you realise you don’t have: When you experience expat life, time is suspended – until the next call, the next e-mail, or the next visit. But it is in every single one of those moments that you comprehend that time is still going on and on, maybe too fast. And, under the filter of your notebook, towards the fibre of the ether, everything can appear heavier or milder than it is.  And here it comes – the double perception of an expat mind.

It is similar to the resume of your favourite soap; narrated by someone else and not broadcast live. You say to yourself “I knew it! I knew that it was happening!”, all proud of your intuition But this it’s not the same as watching it live, while it’s happening, it’s like missing the commas of a discourse, or putting some shades on, not the original ones.

© Szymanskim |

© Szymanskim |

However, the other side of expat life could be brilliant, fascinating, and living far from your homeland could be a treasure of point of views and encounters, from small to huge – thing, places, people –  that will always be your life heritage. And it’s beautiful beyond any doubt.

During expat life, you learn the strength of the word “connection” (and not only Internet connection!). Probably, the word “connection” is one of the most powerful words for expats, because it opens up to something unexpected, or something you hadn’t thought about. It connects to the other, to a different sight and a different point of view. It connects yourself to a new reality and a bigger family.

Thinking about connections, I found myself smiling thinking about the widespread presence of Italian people living far from their place, in Internet groups and communities, and I’m sure the same could be said for many other countries and expat communities. The reality of communities, those developed for example through Facebook, perfectly matches with the word “connection”: People from every part of the world, living abroad, connecting to other expats in a country thanks to the possibilities offered by the Internet to create a community and help each other in the integration process when you live abroad.

But it’s not just about talking about or sharing problems and ideas, it’s also about meeting people and living some moments together – and for an evening it’s like being in Italy, and even if Italy is quite big and we are from all over Italy, a great pizza puts everyone in agreement!

And finally there are some special, unexpected encounters where you get to belong to a multicultural world, linking everyone together, like in one of those songs of peace and joy and happiness. Such was my encounter with Clew. The strength and passion that arise from the need to communicate and share with others is incredible. So thank you Clew crew for being part of my expat family for a while. I’m grateful for having added another tile in my life heritage mosaic.


Ciao Clew!


By Silvia La Rosa, February 2016 will stay open for old and new readers – many clever words to read and re-read.

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