Entering the Expat Limbo

Today marks the one week count-down to my departure from Barcelona. Aside from a week exploring Costa Brava and another week back home in Tenerife, I have no further travel plans. Nor life plans, as a matter of fact. I am moving out of Barcelona and into some kind of expat limbo.

It feels wrong, but also right – for the first time, I don’t have a plan (a major accomplishment for someone who tends to pre-plan everything up to her free time).

Swing dancers in Vila de Gracia, Barcelona

Barcelona has been an unforgettable and highly rewarding experience. I fell in love with the City the first day I arrived and have never felt any other way. I know I could live here for the rest of my life.

So then, why leave?

There are still many places I want to explore and many experiences I want to live before returning to Spain. I want to spend time indulging in outdoor sports and nature, learn a new language and be inspired by other cultures. I want to continue to evolve and be challenged by the World – adopting new skills, interacting with new people and adjusting to new cultures.

Certainly one of the traits (or possibly drawbacks) of being a Gen Y – seeking for constant newness.

What next?” is a question that has been popping up for the past month at least once a day. The truth is: I have no idea what I’m doing next. My Excel Planner – a financial manager’s alternative to an old-fashioned notebook – is overflowing with tabs, color codes, lists and calculations. My calendar shows a wedding in India late November that I can’t yet RSVP to due to not knowing which country or even continent I’ll be flying from. This is what Barry Schwartz must have meant with The Paradox of Choice.

September 25th, the deadline I’ve set to make a decision, is quickly approaching. In the meantime… any suggestions?

14 thoughts on “Entering the Expat Limbo

  1. Kate, I am in love with your blog! You seem to embrace everything I’ve been thinking and experiencing for the last year…I am so happy to see that someone can have a lifestyle I’ve ben always dreaming about! Good luck on your adventures and type to you soon =))

  2. Come to Helsinki, is nice! Even do it is not the best time to come (autumn sucks), but winter is nice and different! Plus there is work 🙂

  3. How beautiful a decision you have. I envy you. I feel slaved and trained by my corporate world paycheck. Although getting laid off in December opened up my eyes to LIVING. I backpacked across 8 countries in Europe and loved exploring, learning and SEEING. Now that I’m back working, the adjustment has been hard. I’ve debated quitting my corporate gig and teaching English in Thailand. Or just moving somehwere, getting some job and seeing what happens. But doing it alone saddens me…

    I wish you the best of luck in your decision. Seems like your heart and soul will lead you in the right direction. 🙂

  4. Wedding in India? Go!

    In the meantime, there’s Wales, Ecuador, Italy…. No problem whatever you choose. Draw from a hat! Pick. Tarot card! Ask your dreams! But most of all, enjoy your Gen Y self.

    A Gen-Xer

  5. Ahhhh, I’m about to be in a similar phase! In the next month or two I’ll have to decide if I want to renew my contract in Korea or not but I’m leaning toward not because I’m not loving it here and there are so many other places I want to visit. But I’m having trouble deciding where to go next… well, my bank account is the main thing making me indecisive. :p Have you done the southeast Asia route yet? Or how about WOOFing? My friend worked on an olive farm in Italy and loved it, I’ve always wanted to try that. With so many places in the world it’s hard to make a decision–I feel you girl!

  6. My suggestion? Enjoy the limbo and downtime! Be a tourist, treat yourself and slow down. Enjoy the moment. Sounds like corny advice but trust me… do it!

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