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My Expat Life: Becoming an Expat Kid (Guest Post)

Today I’m happy to be featuring my favorite expat kid, my 7 year old Amelia.  She has a lot of thoughts about expat life, and I have to say that I love her advice!

Amelia has spent almost half of her life in Europe, including 7 months in Germany, where she attended German kindergarten and began speaking Deutsch.  Now she has lived in England for almost three years, and attended two different schools (and has the wardrobe to prove it.)

In the last four years, she has visited 11 different countries, and made many new friends.  She struggles with missing people she has met all over the world and especially relatives in the USA. She is gifted in connecting with nearly everyone she meets.

IMG_8745 Amelia was treated like a princess in Turkey, has been an ambassador of American culture through her lemonade stand, and is an ardent fan of Father Chirstmas and Queen ElizabethShe is a fantastic traveler and foodie (recently did her first cookbook review,) is a bit of a pack-rat, has a funny story about meeting the Queen of England, and is very honest about the expat experience.

What’s it like to be an expat?  Well, it can be sad, and on the other hand, it can be happy or exciting because you lose a country and miss all of your friends and relatives, but on the other hand it can be happy because it can be so exciting for you to see a new country and discover it with your own eyes.

What to do when you miss people:

  • Skype
  • Visit people or have them visit you
  • Meet new people (like through couchsurfing)
  • Focus on the good things around you

Amelia’s #1 Best Tip: Just soak it all in and really enjoy what you are doing, because you are traveling and exploring, and you should be noticing and looking at everything around you!

IMG_8870 I hope you enjoyed hearing from my third culture kid!  If you have any questions for Amelia about her experience, I’m sure she’d be happy to answer them in the comments!

You can read more posts on expat life, and you will also enjoy our other expat guest posts.

P.S. Do you have an expat story to share?  I’d love to feature you, so just send me a note!

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16 Responses to My Expat Life: Becoming an Expat Kid (Guest Post)

  1. Jennifer May 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    That video is so cute! Did she say that couchsurfing is “discreet”? LOL.

    Totally love her #1 tip – sounds like great advice for life, expat or not 🙂

    • ariana May 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Thanks Jennifer! And she said, “It’s just great,” but that discreet comment made me laugh!

  2. americanlola May 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Very nice, amelia, and very informative! I think a lot of kids will be helped by this video! I would love to Skype with you sometime! 🙂

  3. Courtney May 10, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    She is adorable! She is also very well spoken, and I am sure all that traveling will help you grow into a very well-rounded adult. I could not have imagined doing so much traveling when I was a kid. I never traveled outside of my birth country until I was 21!

    • ariana May 20, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      Hi Courtney, it is still crazy to me that she has been so many places. I did travel as a kid– but only to the Philippines and back, and starting when I was 8 years old. She has been to all of these sites I’ve longed to go as an adult– her first time as a child, and mine as an adult. I know we tell her she’s pretty lucky, but of course it’s just *life* to her.

  4. Susan May 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Dear Amelia- Thank you so much for the excellent video filled with so many ideas and suggestions! You are absolutely precious and you are definitely one of the reasons I enjoy your mom’s blog so much. I know there are great things ahead of you in life, so keep taking every experience in, and enjoying all the sights, smells and tastes that your parents are exposing you to, and I feel certain you will become an amazing woman. Many blessings to you, Sweet Girl!

  5. Joanna May 11, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    Some great advice there Amelia and I hope you continue to enjoy soaking in those experiences

  6. RadkaH. May 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    So cute! Great job Amelia, you’re definetaly “expat at heart’ now. Keep exploring…

  7. Dana May 12, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    While it is a life blessed with unbelievable opportunities, it certainly has it’s challenges as well. Kudos to Amelia for being a very brave girl and embracing this expat life.

    We spent a very lovely weekend in Rome with Italian friends; we were all there for an event for the schools with the Pope. We travel quite frequently and enjoy it immensely, and this weekend was just a very good one for us — from my daughter’s love of the Vatican Museum to sharing an apartment in the city with Italian friends to being blessed by Papa Francesco to meeting new friends on the train on the way home to the wonderful lunch outside on the piazza Sunday. My 10 year old and my husband and I had a very good experience. When we got home we did a Facetime Mother’s Day call with my family back in the States, who by then had all gathered at my sister’s house. We laughed, we joked, we chatted with 88-year-old Maw Maw; my girl even gave a piano performance. As you might imagine, it ended in big sloppy sad tears for her.

    “I just miss them so much Mamma. So much it hurts.”
    Sigh….

    She has spent her entire life in Italy.

    We ask a lot of these kiddos that we take on this fantastic journey with us. They are the bravest ones, the strongest ones.

    d

    • ariana May 20, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Hi Dana. I couldn’t agree with you more– that we ask a lot of our kids when we choose this lifestyle. I grew up as an expat kid, and saw my relatives even less frequently than Amelia does. It’s hard. And often heartbreaking. And we adults get to make all of the choices– which is also tough! But we believe that this is the best life we can give Amelia, so we go for it.

      Thank you for sharing– and hugs from another expat mama.

  8. carolyn tait May 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    This little girl is so adorable. I’ve been a big fan of her’s ever since she scolded the Queen for picking her nails. That still makes me laugh! Yay Amelia!

    • ariana May 20, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Thank you Carolyn! We did cover that when I was making the videos, but it didn’t “work” to put it in there. She abashedly said that one time she met the queen and told her she shouldn’t have been picking her nails. Then she looked up at me and said, “that was kind of rude– sorry!” and we both got the giggles. She is giving us lots of great memories!

  9. sherry May 15, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    A born ambassador! Amelia is amazing — and cute as a button.

    • ariana May 20, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      Thank you Sherry!

  10. Kim Bentley April 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    Amelia is such a little darling. I can definitely see her enchanting everyone she meets.

    Amelia, you have wonderful advice and tips for all us. Truly loved your video!!!! 😉

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