Being an Expat: What Changed In Me


It’s been a while since I wrote a post about my experiences as an expat, not because I forgot or didn’t want to, but because I’m back in Italy now, for the summer break. Because I thought that I would only have those kind of ideas just when actually being abroad, I didn’t include any of those kind of articles on my post schedule.

Well, I was wrong.
As I told you previously inΒ thisΒ post, since I spend most of my time outside of Italy now, the feelings I have of home have definitely changed. What I realised during this period is that not just that kind of feeling are different, but many others:


It’s as though my head is constantly focused on two things at the same time: on one side I am here, thinking about my daily activities and things to do at home, on the other side I am making lists about what I will need for my next relocation, what to bring with me, wondering how will my last year of college be, how my flat will look like…

There are times when I say to myself ” Lisa, stop and live in the moment”, but then, in such a spontaneous and normal way, my concerns and excitements about this new start pop into my mind and I can’t really focus anymore.


I actually realised that since I moved abroad by myself, I am way less shy and closed off in situations where I do not know many people. Maybe because in an environment where most of the people are international students, nearly everyone is looking forward to meeting new people. I kind of have this same feeling here when I go out with my friends, and I have to admit that it’s quite weird sometimes because it’s like I am showing a side of myself which I never thought I had (quite good though.. πŸ™‚ )


I have noticed that, for certain aspects, it takes me a while to realise I’m back in Italy. For example, while waiting for the train or bus, since living in the UK or Denmark they are practically always on time (or even earlier sometimes), I get annoyed here if they’re not. But it’s actually normal!! I didn’t mind before moving abroad if the bus was 5-10 min late, so I guess I just need time to get used to this πŸ™‚


My sister makes jokes of me saying that I’m not able to state a complete sentence in Italian without including at least one English word… I mean it’ not true…I don’t always do that…but when I don’t say an English word out loud I am still thinking about it haha πŸ™‚
No really, I realise that sometimes the first term that pops into my mind is in English rather than in Italian or that I translate English ways of saying things, which in Italian make no sense (or vice versa), and people just look at me like if I’m drunk!


What about you? What changed in you since you’ve moved abroad? Or have you ever felt different after coming back from a special trip? I would love to hear your experience! πŸ™‚




Share on
Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Mara

    Love your post! πŸ’› I totally relate. I went on a trip last year to Puerto Rico, where I’m originally from, with my friend and it was a really great experience. I didn’t feel like the same me when I came back and I missed it a lot; the people, the food, the slow pace of everything. It took time to readjust lol

    12/07/2016 at 15:36
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thank you Mara! I’m glad you could relate! Oh wow, I’ve seen so many pics of Puerto Rico it must have definitely been a memorable trip! πŸ˜‰

      12/07/2016 at 20:29
  • Reply Olaf

    great blogging site you have , Good Morning and thanks to follow my blogging

    12/07/2016 at 16:43
  • Reply Angie

    I’ve seen some changes in me since I’ve left Seattle. I used to miss home a lot and think about moving back, but when I visited last January, the place has changed as well. I still see the oldness in it, what I love about the city and place, but I can’t see myself living there anymore. I guess I’ve changed a lot and what I want in a place has also changed. All of my good friends have also moved away from there, so I feel like I don’t have my same connections there anymore. Ever since being nomads, I am more open to new friendships and meeting new people — and it doesn’t even matter about age.
    Btw, when you get to London in September, we should meet up! πŸ˜‰

    12/07/2016 at 20:32
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thank you for sharing your experience Angie, I can totally feel you!
      Oh yes sure, that would be great!! πŸ™‚

      12/07/2016 at 21:07
  • Reply Debbie Roth

    Thank you, Lisa! I really appreciate this and am sending you blessings of home in your heart. πŸ™‚
    I particularly relate to the short- and long-term thoughts. I’m currently living in NY & don’t see myself here forever. So I’m doing my best to be present and also to be open to what’s next (without being controlling). It’s an interesting balance!

    13/07/2016 at 2:01
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      I totally agree with your thought, it’s strange but interesting at the same time!
      Thank you Debbie for reading and for your nice comment ❀️

      13/07/2016 at 8:50
  • Reply Audrey

    Amazing post! I truly enjoy your blog and would like to nominate you for the Liebster Award! More info here:

    14/07/2016 at 6:19
  • Reply Charlotte

    Great post. Definitely relatable. Whenever I come home from travels no matter how short or long I realise that everything is the same, the world was still ticking by without me, the neighbours are still as chatty, the friends are still doing what they were before and part of me ALWAYS thinks, ‘what am I doing here?!’ Then I start planning my next trip πŸ˜› I need to remind myself of this fact when I go away long term next year and miss home. It will always be there but the adventures are calling me! X

    14/07/2016 at 12:00
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      So true! I can totally feel you!
      Thank you for reading and commenting Charoltte πŸ™‚ Glad we connected!

      14/07/2016 at 12:15
  • Reply Jenny

    So true! Even though this is my first experience living overseas, simply going home after travelling gives me the same feelings. I’m definitely more open to meeting new people now and it definitely takes time getting used to old ways – even simple things, like which way to look for traffic when crossing the road! Great post πŸ™‚

    15/07/2016 at 11:41
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thanks Jenny! Glad you could relate πŸ™‚
      Oh I can totally feel you about where to look when crossing the road!! πŸ˜€

      15/07/2016 at 19:14
  • Reply Christina Tin

    This is a kind of post that I could relate into.
    There is an idyllic way of saying that there is no place like Home..and yet once you become an Expat, no matter where you are, you always take something from the places you’ve been to even though you’re finally settled in your “home country”.
    What changed in me as an Expat is that I took a part of the culture that I’ve lived through into myself and so myself was a different one in a sense that I have evolved through the changes around me.
    Now I loved shawerma, kebabs,and arabic foods, but at the same time I speak Arabic mixed with English & German..Lol..and I didn’t know how wonderful the public transports are eversince I came to Europe πŸ™‚
    There’s so much changes, I know there will be more suitcases to be packed but I’m all into it!

    15/07/2016 at 15:19
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thank you Christina for reading and sharing this! It’s always so interesting hearing other expats experiences! I’m glad we connected πŸ™‚

      15/07/2016 at 19:13
  • Reply Kaiesha Stewart

    Love this blog post, it’s so funny how being thrown in to a new environment changes you as a person and you realise you have better people skills than you thought you did! I had this when I went to university – a bit different to living abroad…

    ps. I am incredibly envious of you living in Italy! Love your blog!

    15/07/2016 at 17:35
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thank you so much for your kind comment!
      Yes, I totally agree with your thought, there are experiences in life (any kind!) which really make you realise many things!!
      Thank you again for reading and commenting ❀️

      15/07/2016 at 19:09
  • Reply bishan

    Great blog and great blog post! πŸ™‚

    16/07/2016 at 7:59
  • Reply Elien

    Well I definitely like your blog too! Love everything about it, the lay out, the content…
    And I will keep reading your posts!
    X Elien

    16/07/2016 at 9:48
  • Reply Roberta

    I agree with every single word! The best part about being an expat is breaking your comfort zone and challenging yourself everyday πŸ™‚

    16/07/2016 at 22:58
  • Reply Jennifer Juneau

    Lisa, what an amazing experience to be an expat and studying abroad! You are so lucky, I would have loved to do that. Enjoy your time back in Italy this summer and keep blogging about all your experiences! πŸ˜€ Lots of love to you! <3

    18/07/2016 at 23:05
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thank you very much Jennifer ❀️ It is indeed an amazing experience and I feel so lucky to have this opportunity!
      Thank you for reading and for your nice words, always really appreciated ❀️

      19/07/2016 at 9:20
  • Reply Isabel

    Lovely blog! I just read your “about me” post and I feel like we opened our blogs for the same reasons. I hope you’re enjoying Europe and I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

    21/08/2016 at 0:22
  • Leave a Reply