Expat guilt?

As an expat I often feel guilty over not doing more in my new home city. Shouldn’t I be watching a show, listening to authors recite their work, visiting museums, going to talks, meeting friends for after work (theirs, not mine) drinks, like every week? I mean, isn’t that the main reason we moved here, to be city people?

I often enjoy planning what to do that I often forget about the now. I love to daydream about all the activities I will do and soon enough time goes by and most of the things I want to do are forgotten or not available to see anymore.

So I am often left feeling guilty that I am not doing more more more. When I lived in NYC, Roanoke and Austin I would go stir crazy. I find the exact opposite here. I love staying in my flat with the fire on and wasting the day away reading, baking or chatting online with my husband while he’s at work. Maybe it’s the short days? I feel as though I was more active, more involved in doing Londonish things when I arrived in the spring. The sun would set hella late in the night and that made doing things more fun. Sunlight breathes so much life into you. I love grey days but I’m starting to become a hermit. Luckily I have managed to get out a bit last week and will continue to do so come rain or more rain.

Anyhow, I wonder if anyone else suffers from expat guilt? Feeling as though they just don’t come close to taking advantage of all London, or whichever your expat city has to offer? Can’t just be me, right?

This entry was published on 05/01/2011 at 12:07 AM. It’s filed under life, London and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

13 thoughts on “Expat guilt?

  1. Greg on said:

    I think the weather/short days might have a lot to do with it. The sun was out this morning, and I automatically felt more awake than I have in a long time. We’ve been living without it for so long that we just don’t have any energy, ever.

  2. Always. It’s my constant refrain. The Irishman hates it when I say “WE DON’T DO ENOUGH!!!” because in reality, we do A LOT. It just happens to be centered around our apartment, or our neighborhood, or our friends – rather than in the city. I think it’s part of English culture, to be honest. Don’t beat yourself up!

  3. I have felt this way in many of our locations. Particularly when we had visitors and they seemed to discover more in a week than I had in 6 months! Winter does make it tough though! Kirsty

    4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

  4. RHCD on said:

    Have you ever thought about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) aka Seasonal Depression? Being from the PNW and living with the grey sky it can get over whelming. I have one of those natural sun light lamps (aka death ray) to help combat it. Of course I work in a windowless bldg so its the only light I get.

    Just a thought.

    • I may have to consider this lamp. Greg and I toyed with the idea ages ago but it was still summer and bright and we forgot all about getting one. I might be suffering from SAD. I haven’t left the apartment in ages and didn’t feel the need to leave. How sad is that? Must be remedied.

  5. Hello! Yup, I absolutely agree with you. I certainly don’t do enough in London and I tend to hibernate for most of winter. I’m going to try do something touristy or Londonish at least once a month this year!

  6. I’ve definitely felt expat guilt. I figure I’ve just transitioned to becoming more of a Londoner. I still try to go out and do things but it’s not with the same wide eyed wonderment as before. Now I’m focusing on going farther afield in my travels. Oh and it’s winter, trust me we all hibernate a bit. London is the best in summer anyways.

    About SAD, it could be. I know I experienced it my first winter here. This is my 3rd winter and I cope much better that it doesn’t bother me as much but it takes getting used to. I may dodge Canadian snowfalls but at least it’s bright and sunny in the winter.

    • I’ve lived through quite a snowy winters in NY and VA but the sun was always run. Crazy how the lack of vitamin D can get you down.

      But the sun is rumored to be making an appearance tomorrow and I shall be out enjoying it!

  7. Pingback: Expat guilt: Parte Dos « Sifting Through…Expat Edition

  8. Pingback: Hopes for 2012, Baby! « Lazy Stitching

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