I was doing a bit of day dreaming earlier on as I looked out of my window onto the view of the Mediterranean (not showing off) and wondered if all of the many thousands, if not, millions of ex-pats across the planet actually live in their own bubble?
I happen to be in Southern Spain and it occurred to me that although I have enough of the language to get around on a daily basis, I don’t really get to practice it as often as I would like. My neighbours are made up of English, Dutch and Belgian all of whom prefer to converse in English. Why, I asked myself do we not practice the native tongue here with each other?
The answer is it’s probably just too much like hard work, but that seems like a bit of a cop out to me. Aside from the language, I have English television (as well as Spanish) but, I bet you can guess which I watch most of!
The point I’m trying to make (and probably not very well) is this: What percentage of ex-pats actually really immerse themselves in the culture and day-to-day living in the country of their choice? I haven’t researched this particular piece of information but I am guessing that the scales tip the balance in favour of people who don’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Fiesta season here, and I often spend my summer evenings drinking the local wine (for my sins), and conversing (as well as I can) with the locals but is that enough? There are so many questions in this article so far in fact; the title even begins with a question.
This is why I turn to you, the reader. I would love to hear what your thoughts are. Have you moved away from your home country and feel you’ve really taken on board the culture in your new home? Are you feeling a bit frustrated because you want to make the most of where you are but don’t know where to start?
Right now, I’m still kind of day dreaming about the whole subject but, for me, its food for thought.
Author: Julie Coburn