It’s been a stressful week.
Ok, I’m lying.
I’ve managed to ring in the New Year with a wonderful week here in Costa Rica at my dad’s house, mainly passing the time in a hammock overlooking the lush tropical garden with a view of the Turrialba Volcano behind it.
I arrived in Costa Rica from Italy via a stop in London to see my half-brother and a stop in Dallas to stay with my mom for a bit. I know, it’s a tough life.
As I swing back and forth here, I wonder why everyone doesn’t do this. Distribute family around the globe and then hop around visiting them all. Come to think of it, it is strange that I have such a high percentage of expats in my family.
My dad himself is English, lived for a long time in the States, and now resides here in Costa Rica. My step-mom, American, also lives here. My half-brother spent a long time in Japan, and now lives in England with his expat Japanese wife. My half-sister is English, living in Northern Ireland with her expat English husband. My dad’s birth father had relocated to England from Ireland and eventually ended up in Australia, where the rest of my expat English-Australian uncles and aunts are. My other English aunt and uncle live most of the year in Cypress.
And that’s just living family. What about all of the generations before? That’s where the vocabulary gets confusing I suppose. When my mother’s Sicilian grandparents immigrated to America, I hardly think the notion of the “expat” even existed; they were “immigrants”. When her other Scottish-Canadian grandparents arrived in New England, however, were they also considered “immigrants”, even though they were relatively wealthy? Is it just me, or does the word “immigrant” only get used when describing those seeking a better life or escaping some hardship? And an “expatriot” is a snottier version – someone who had the luxury of choice in moving?
I’m just pondering.
I recently starting reading and transcribing the diaries of my 2nd great grandmother, who was born in Nova Scotia and moved to Boston in the late 1800s, so I suppose it’s got me thinking.
What do you think, dear reader?