My latest piece for the Copenhagen Post has been published yesterday, and surprisingly it was featured as a TOP STORY. Many thanks for that @ Ben Hamilton and team.
When I wrote this article, I’d just returned from Brazil, from one of my business trips. Over the past 3years I’ve been growing stronger, though, no matter how many times I travel to my home country, whenever I get back to Denmark, I get thoughtful, slightly confused and with a nostalgic feeling.
Whether you are an expat, you have a foreign spouse, or if you are experiencing life abroad for your very first time I hope this short piece will somehow resonate with you.
Most importantly I look forward to opening up a conversation and listening to your point of view.
“Sometimes I long to forget … It is painful to be conscious of two worlds,” opines Eva Hoffman in ‘Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language’.
Traveling from Denmark to Brazil is a long journey, and unfortunately, there are no direct flights for this route yet. Heathrow Airport, despite all the bad comments I’ve heard, has become part of my travel routine. It doesn’t matter how many times I fly there; whenever I come back “home” ( Denmark) I’m confused.
Past and future important
“all you have is the present. Waste no energy crying over yesterday or dreaming of tomorrow. Nostalgia is fatiguing and destructive; it is the vice of the expatriate-Isabel Allende- Of Love and Shadows
Isabel Allende in ‘Of Love and Shadows’ points out that “all you have is the present. Waste no energy crying over yesterday or dreaming of tomorrow. Nostalgia is fatiguing and destructive; it is the vice of the expatriate. You must put down roots as if they were forever – you must have a sense of permanence.” But I partly disagree with her.
I disagree because I believe although the present is undoubtedly all that we have, the past transformed us into what we are today and dreams are what bring hope and a better future.
Traveling to my Brazil is something I’ve figured I love. Sure, it’s slightly nostalgic, but it is essential to me, as it always allows me to recharge my batteries, to get some real inspiration from the city I was born in, and to be able to see my family and friends who I love so much.
Best of both worlds
Paraphrasing an article I read by Emily Nemchick, a Brit living in America, we expats have always had the opportunity to look on the bright side.
On the one hand we can enjoy the country we live in and learn from another culture and lifestyle. And on the other we can count on the promise that our native country will always be there when we go back – even for a short while. As expats we either have no home, or two – I prefer to stick with the latter option.
How about you? Are you an expat? How do you cope with your feelings? I would be happy to hear from you.
My name is Carlos Monteiro.
I’m a Brazilian citizen living in Denmark.I’m also the founder of Biassa. Biassa is a Sales Acceleration company focused on accelerating sales for tech companies in Brazil, Europe, and LATAM.
Occasionally I write @ The Copenhagen Post about business, my life in Denmark and how I believe foreigners in an alien country.
You are most welcome to get in touch. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message here on Linked In.