When “Expats” become “Repats”

(Disclaimer: This post will also serve as an explanation for the lack of posts I have published lately!)

It is here.  The day we feared has arrived, in all of its horror.  It has come to kill hopes, destroy dreams, and redefine our family.  Uh oh, there I go being overly dramatic again, my apologies.  There has been a very dramatic and life altering occurrence in our life though, that is both sad and exciting at the same time.  Are you ready for this?  Brace yourself…….

We are moving to the United States of America!


That’s right, after 7 glorious years in Germany it’s time to go. Unfortunately. But also fortunately. Sad, yet happy. Bad, but good. Are you confused yet? Well so am I! Here’s the deal: my employer has informed me I am moving, which naturally means that we are moving. I mean, I could say no and kiss my job and career good-bye, but that would just be stupid and I really enjoy eating. Moving, though, brings a mountain of mixed emotions. We are putting some distance between us and our German family, but luckily we will be near our American family. Do we want to leave Germany? No. Are we excited to live in America? Yes. Will I miss the German culture? Definitely. Will it be interesting for my wife to experience living in America as opposed to visiting? Of course. Will I miss hearing German everywhere? Check. Will it be comfortable to hear English everywhere? Check, check. Will we miss going to Fussball games? Hell yeah. Will we be disappointed to watch Ducks Football at a regular time. Hell no. (Ok, the last two were for laughs). the list goes on and on.

So to say that we are a household full of mixed emotions and confusion is actually an understatement. One minute we are whining about what we are going to miss, and the next we are excitedly making plans for the move. And speaking of the move, that is a living breathing monster that has taken over our entire lives. When do ship the car? Do we want to take both cars? When do we ship the furniture? What furniture do we keep? What neighborhood do we want to live in? Should we rent or buy? Where are the good schools? Satellite or cable TV. DSL or cable internet? Cell phone provider? Car insurance? Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!! It is all enough to send a sane person to the funny farm.

There is, however, one thing I haven’t mentioned yet. And that one thing just so happens to be the most important part of it all. More important than what I want, or my wife wants, or what our families want. Our son gets to live in his “other” culture. And that one simple, yet not simple, thing is a life experience that has no price, and something that a “single culture” person like me cannot ever fully understand. And every time I feel bad that he doesn’t get to have some of the experiences that I had growing up, I am comforted by the thought that we are giving him an upbringing that only a small part of the world’s population get to experience. This one thing also makes it all worthwhile, no matter what my poor confused brain thinks it thinks!

On another note, what does all of this mean for our little blog here? First and foremost it means that eventually many of the posts will be more about my “Repatriation” and my wife’s culture shock. Second, the move itself will probably provide plenty of inspiration to write about. But third, and most importantly, it will not change the focus on our Germerican-Denglish-Family’s adventures. So stick with us, my few but loyal followers, it’s going to be an interesting ride!

15 thoughts on “When “Expats” become “Repats”

  1. Congratulations on the move! Wish you all the best for it. I look forward to reading all about the relocation and how it goes settling into America. And I really hope your son likes living in his ‘other culture’. (And also, I have ALMOST finished my blogger to blogger awards post).

  2. This is an incredibly exciting period for you all! These mixed feelings, the sadness and joy (saudade;-)) are probably haunting you for the next months. I have written some posts about repatriation, this feeling of saudade, and have a nice list of good reads for Third CultureKids and expats that might be helpful. I can only say: make priority lists, check regularly and for the moving, about what to take and what not, I think I saw good advices on yourexpatchild.com . Please try to share the phases of your move. I’m looking forward to following you virtually. Ich wünsch euch alles Gute in dieser Zeit! Vergesst nicht richtig Abschied zu nehmen! LG Ute

  3. Wow, best of luck on your guys’ journey. It must be one full of emotions. I hope your family enjoys the United States as much as you have enjoyed Germany!

  4. Wow! Congratulations! I know most of us expats know exactly how you’re feeling right now. It’s such a yin and yang bittersweet conundrum. Ha! Can’t wait to read all about it. Good luck with the move!

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