I had big plans after my first year of blogging. Afterward, the doubt and the writer’s block slowly crept in. Life’s responsibilities took over. Blogging time moved further down the to do list. Then coronavirus happened and life as we knew it ceased. Being stuck at home was an opportunity to tap into creativity and buried passions – if you could overcome all the paralyzing negative energy.

On top of that, my country of origin (America) began a sharp descent into chaos. It has been wild watching events unfold at home and engaging with it from the other side of the world. It has also been a unique experience to be in Thailand at a time like this, and it has forced me to examine the collection of choices that brought us here. In a lot of ways, navigating 2020 as an expat has tested how I want to engage with the real and virtual worlds.

Approaching Year 2

It’s time to get back into the swing of things, sorting out the stories along the way. Knowing what to share is never easy and crazy things are happening faster than it can be processed. At least we had SGN for a little bit…

So many people have boldly expressed the thoughts I wrestle with on my own and these perspectives paint such a brilliant picture of how this year is affecting all of us. The events I have watched unfold in the U.S. this year have given me a lot of time to reflect on living overseas and what ultimately brought us here. I am reading many stories in which people are expressing what made them leave that feel strangely familiar, even if I wasn’t aware of those feelings at the time.

I certainly don’t have the answers, but I hope other people who are also far from home at a difficult time can relate to the questions I will be asking. Navigating 2020 as an expat is bringing up loads of questions and realities to accept about how we move through the world. Exposing people to different experiences can hopefully show people what makes us similar.

2 Responses

  1. Great post! I’ve been pondering moving abroad a lot recently due to the state of our nation. Unfortunately, as an Afro-Latina I am aware of the long standing issues of systemic racism in other countries as well. In recent race conversations I found that many African Americans are unaware of the issues of race outside of the US. In particular, where the Trans-Atlantic slave trade created the largest Black communities in the Caribbean and South America, larger than the US, there are many Latin countries under siege right now too and they have been for years. Colorism in particular is a toxic form of discrimination. In conversation with a white colleague recently, she had never even heard the word “colorism”. This can be one of the most damaging forms of discrimination to the human psyche in many cultures and ethnic groups and I find it just as dangerous as the blatant racism we are facing in the US. I can’t help but ask myself, is there truly a place in the world where dark skinned people can feel safe? Do I trade one prejudice for another?

    1. Thanks! I feel what you’re saying so much. Even within our families we face colorism. I think one of the nuances I am discovering is that the trade-off is never apples to apples. Prejudice here is rooted in different things than in the US, for instance. I find that I have the space here to move through the world differently and explore being my authentic self in ways that I have realized would not have been possible had I not left the US. I hope you consider giving the expat life a try!

What’s your perspective?Cancel reply