Do I Feel More Or Less American Living Overseas?
Sept. 14, 2014, Panama City, Panama: How does living overseas affect one’s “American-ness”
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
At our Retire Overseas Conference in Nashville last month, an attendee asked:
"Do you feel more or less American as an American overseas?"
I've been living outside the States for 17 years, and, to answer the question of the gentleman in the audience in Nashville a few weeks ago, I've never felt more like an American than I do today.
Living in the States (I lived in Baltimore, Maryland, for my first 35 years), we Americans take being American for granted. Every year since I left Baltimore, I've been more aware of my American-ness.
Thinking superficially, this is easy to understand. We lived in Ireland for seven years, long enough to acquire Irish passports even. But we're not Irish...not really.
We were in Paris for four years, and both our children think of that city as home. It's where our blended family bonded, where Jackson started school, and from where Kaitlin left our nest to start college. We still have the apartment where we four lived together. In storage there are plastic tubs containing old school report cards and gifts the kids made for me for Mother's Days. We love Paris and look forward to returning, but we're surely not French.