Expat Life, Travel Lit, Travel Photos

12 More Quotes about Being an Expat and Living Abroad

I’ve been looking through my photos of my time spent living in Central America lately and have been missing my expat life something fierce.

And since my last collection of expat quotes was so popular (Google search results love it, apparently), I’ve decided to put together another list of some of my fave quotes about the joys and hardships of life abroad.


1. “The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.”
– Italo Calvino

2. “Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt

quote about living abroad
Photo of Antigua, Guatemala. Photo taken by Reannon Muth 


3. “You know what else is nice about being a foreigner? Whatever you do takes place in a capsule that need not be discovered and opened by someone back home. Nothing really counts–it was the life that falls in the forest. That’s how I looked at it. I felt free to…oh, I don’t know.”
— Patricia Marx

4. “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

5. “Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.”
— Bill Bryson

6.  “I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” – Bill Bryson


expat quote
Photo by Reannon Muth


7. “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”
— Judith Thurman

8. “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 (Handle With Care)

9. “I’m homesick all the time,” she said, still not looking at him “I just don’t know where home is. There’s this promise of happiness out there. I know it. I even feel it sometimes. But it’s like chasing the moon – just when I think I have it, it disappears into the horizon. I grieve and try to move on, but then the damn thing comes back the next night, giving me hope of catching it all over again.”
— Sarah Addison Allen (The Girl Who Chased the Moon)

10. “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)

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

12. “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

quote about living abroad
Photo and quote by Reannon Muth. Photo taken in Montego Bay, Jamaica.


Recognize the person who said that last quote? Haha. I couldn’t help it…

One day when I’m famous, that quote will be worth something. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “12 More Quotes about Being an Expat and Living Abroad

  1. “One day when I’m famous, that quote will be worth something.”

    I dare say it’s already “worth something”, my dear. Indeed, I liked it so well, I added to my “Blurbs That Inspire” box on Travelnlass.com – check it out!

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