Since I started the Expat life in 2009, I have relocated to three countries so far – Singapore, Australia, and Ireland. Relocating to various countries and continents in the span of 8 years were mostly because for my career advancement. And somehow, I felt that since I became an Expat, I follow where I feel I have job security and relocate there.
I can say that my decision to become an Expat was for the better. I don’t move around as much as I did now. But there times I still ask myself these questions – questions I asked myself when I first became an Expat.
Is this place “the One”?
Moving to one country after another, there are times I ask myself “When will my nomad life stop?”, “Is this the last country?” or “Is this my second home now?” And up to this day (even after having my own family), I am still unsure what my answer is.
The way I progress and prioritize my career changed since starting my family, so that led me not to pursue other career opportunities outside of Ireland for now. But when I have conversations with my husband to talk about focusing our investments in Ireland, we go back to the question whether we are settling here for good or are we considering relocating to a different country soon.
I guess that’s the downside of becoming an Expat – uncertainty of your home base. And I realized that with this uncertainty, it is hard to decide or plan for our future.
Will I ever come back home?
When I told my Mom I was pursuing a career in Singapore, I told her that I will only “try it out” and come back after five years tops. And now that my “promise” of returning five years later lapsed, my Mom can’t help but ask if I have any intention to come back home.
Personally, I would love to come back to the Philippines. I would love to have family members close by so to have a support system when we need it most. Not to mention that I do miss them terribly so! But having tasted the Expat life and the benefits I gain from it, I sometimes fear how I will cope or what’s in store for me when I come back.
Where (or how) will I retire?
I am still far away from retirement (I think) but I don’t want to wait until my 40s before I start planning for it. Sure, I have pension plans as part of my employment contract but apart from the money, I also want to envision where I see myself spending my final years here on earth.
When I have these thoughts, I feel that my answer is to come back to retire in the Philippines. I would love to spend my final days surrounded by family and maybe spend my daily life catching up with them!
It sounds as if I have everything planned out. But I learned that in order for the marriage to work effectively, it is important to discuss and talk about important topics such as these. And whenever I ask my husband about it, he gives me the impression he is not keen to retire in the Philippines. And with that, I still ask myself just where or how I will spend my retirement days?