When I moved back “home” I wrote down my first impressions. I have moved and settled quite a few times and I know that sooner or later many of the first impressions will fade away. What you find astonishing, weird, beautiful or just different might become everyday and taken for granted. I’m not saying all of it will, but first impressions are simply not just called first impressions without a reason.
I moved back to the same little town I had once left. It was all familiar yet quite different. I was looking upon the village with different eyes. The very first thing that struck me was how coastal it all looked. Lots of wooden houses in different pale colors, the older ones with gingerbread work. It was a dark winter evening but yet I felt the presence of the sea without actually seeing it – all due to the building style of the houses. Today I don’t see that anymore. But sometimes when I pass a certain house I think about this first impression I had returning from expat life, and try to get the feeling back. It would have been lost without my notes.
Why saving first repatriation impressions?
I am so happy I saved these first images and thoughts. I have even written on top of the paper that I expected to not find any of it peculiar after a while. Some things I can still see why I wrote down, others are a complete surprise to me today. It is really amusing. It is also something to reflect upon; how quickly do we adapt? Do we ever fully integrate and accept things? When repatriating; do we go back to the same values? It is also a reminder of what we found marvelous in the beginning and that we just take for granted by now; a reminder to still appreciate it.
My advice to you is to write things down if you are in a new place or situation. I did the same thing each time I had a baby. I kept a tiny notebook by the bed and tried to scribble down a few lines about the new life. These memories are golden. Save them!
Pls share or comment! I love to hear from you!
If you wonder why I quoted “home” – find out why 😉