Plus Coming Home After Living Abroad Quotes

Best Expat Life Quotes

I (Paul Heller) love collecting the Best Expat Life Quotes for my Fifty Plus Nomad blog. I spend hours searching to find quotes that:

  • Reflect how I feel about an issue or a place.
  • Add a new or interesting perspective to a discussion about a place or issue, even if I don`t agree with the author’s viewpoint.
  • Make me laugh, cry, or smile.
  • Perfectly capture a place, emotion, or issue.

I don’t include quotes about unknown places or travel experiences.

My blog posts lead off with quotes relevant to the post’s subject. I frequently post quotes on my Facebook group: Long Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over 50.

In addition, I have added several previously unseen quotes I discovered while putting together this page.

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Let me know if you have any additional quotes to add to this page.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Parroquia. San Miguel de Allende has attracted expats ever since the opening of the Institute Allende and Biblioteca Publica in the 1950s While some people complain about the gringo’s influence, I still love San Miguel de Allende and highly recommend it as a potential choice to settle down for expats. (pxfuel)

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8 Best Inspirational Expat Life Quotes

“The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.”
Adam Gopnik (Paris to the Moon)

“And suddenly you just know…It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.”
Meister Ekhart

“Our homes are not defined by geography or one particular location, but by memories, events, people, and places that span the globe.”
Marilyn Gardner

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.
Seth Godin

“Loving life is easy when you are abroad, where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more a master of yourself than at home.”
Hannah Arendt

“Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially.”
Tom Freston

“Splendid to arrive alone in a foreign country and feel the assault of difference. Here they are all along, busy with living; they don’t talk or look like me. The rhythm of their day is entirely different; I am foreign.”
Frances Mayes

“People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”
Dalai Lama XIV

13 Expat Life Lessons Quotes

“One of the things you learn when you go overseas is how much a lot of the countries overseas really just like to enjoy life.”
Chris Paul

When you move from one country to another you have to accept that there are some things that are better and some things that are worse, and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Bill Bryson

Expats who can only criticize the country in which they choose to live are like a sailor who demands the wind blows only according to his skill.”
Tony Crossley

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life might be difficult for a while, but I would tough it out because living in a foreign country is one of those things that everyone should try at least once. My understanding was that it completed a person, sanding down the rough provincial edges and transforming you into a citizen of the world. What I found appealing in life abroad was the inevitable sense of helplessness it would inspire. Equally exciting would be the work involved in overcoming that helplessness. There would be a goal involved, and I liked having goals.”
David Sedaris

“All you will 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.”
Isabel Allende

“So, here you are. Too foreign for home, too foreign for here. Never enough for both.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable, it is designed to make its own people comfortable.”
Clifton Fadiman 

“It is a bitter-sweet thing, knowing two cultures. Once you leave your birthplace nothing is ever the same.”
Sarah Turnbull

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”¨
Azar Nafisi 

Why did I hope we would be happy abroad? A change of environment is that traditional fallacy upon which doomed loves, and lungs, rely.
Vladimir Nabokov

“What makes expat life so addictive is that every boring or mundane activity you experience at home (like grocery shopping, commuting to work or picking up the dry cleaning) is, when you move to a foreign country, suddenly transformed into an exciting adventure. Try finding peanut butter in a Japanese grocery story or explaining in broken Spanish to the Guatemalan pharmacy that you need cough drops and you’ll understand. When abroad, boredom, routine and ‘normal’ cease to exist. And all that’s left is the thrill and challenge of uncertainty.”
Reannon Muth

“Almost every truly creative being feels alienated & expatriated in his own country.”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed with sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafes.”
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

8 Coming Home After Living Abroad Quotes

“The prospect of going home is very appealing.”
David Ginola

Perhaps home is not a place, but simply an irrevocable condition.”
James Baldwin

  “I am travelling half the year around the world, every year, so coming home is one of the most beautiful things.”
Andre Rieu

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
Miriam Adeney

“The farther you go, however. The harder it is to return.”
Anderson Cooper

“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
Terry Pratchett

“The journey is my home.”
Muriel Rukeyser

“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.”
Jodi Picoult

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Want More of the Best Expat Life Quotes?

Check out these quotes from Migrating Miss and What’s Danny Doing.

Additional Long-Term Travel, Living Abroad, and Language Learning Quotes from Fifty Plus Nomad

Additional Expat Life in Mexico and Worldwide Posts From Fifty Plus Nomad

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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