There is something synonymous about the hearts of expats, third culture kids, and world travelers alike. Every place you live, every trip you take, each culture you encounter, and the lives that touch your own find their own special place in your heart. In turn pieces of yourself, like pieces of your heart, are left scattered across the many places your footsteps once touched. From all corners of the world they are calling for you to return once more.
I was born and grew up moving and traveling across Europe until I was seventeen years old. Nearly an adult and thinking I knew everything as a teenager shall. My parents moved us ‘back home’ to their home culture of America. Over the next decade I would try to fit myself into that culture which should have been easy to do with my American passport, looks, and accent. I graduated high school, went off to University, married my university sweetheart, started having kids, and following my vocational pursuits. All the while my heart was being called across the seas and more specifically across the pond.
To be fair I was not apart of the world view in America and it was like trying to fit myself into a puzzle where I did not belong. I married my husband knowing that we would move abroad. We just did not realize it would take us so long to move me back home. Over that time we celebrated milestones in life, faced tragedies, and met the obstacles that would tear us apart. Fortunately what broke us did not defeat us. My heart had shattered in 2008 with the sudden loss of my father and the the start to what we thought was the end of our marriage. Broken hearts can be mended and even shattered ones can again be made whole. My heart slowly was pieced together and our love story continued as we moved across the pond. The pieces of my heart that have been scattered through out Europe have reconnected.
Our life in Europe is much different from our life in America as we have begun making our home here for our family. I am not the girl struggling to fit in to an American life, but girl of many cultures just enjoying all the facets life has to offer. My husband is not the same boy from Illinois that I met at University. He is a wanderlust expat who seems to fit better in England then back ‘home’. He adjusted more seamlessly into another country than many tourists I’ve encountered abroad.
I went from being a girl who forced a smile and said ‘I’m fine’ to being a girl who smiles and swoons over her husband even when he corrects my own pronunciation. For example when I say ‘Bay-sill’ instead of ‘Baz-ill’. I love all the cute things he does and the way he thinks as an expat living across the pond. Here we are abroad with hearts made whole and made stronger through all the challenges we have faced. I look forward to all that life has to offer in the years to come and knowing my heart is safe.
* All words and photographs are property of Bonnie Rose © 2013