What is the difference between travel and living abroad or the expat life? Many expats I know, both abroad and in the US (which is, of course, abroad to them and their folks back home) also love to travel, take the opportunity to explore the region they are living in as well as others, and embrace living in other places not just as a necessity but for the very reasons that many of us travel.
I just lived abroad as a student and only in London, twice. But that's a little like saying we are just friends. Friendship may be the most essential and at times difficult relationship. Being a student may be the most travel like and the most difficult way of living abroad. The student mode of openness and inquiry is very much like that of the traveler. The student budget is very much like that of the backpacker. The foreign student is much less walled off and air conditioned than the banker.
But moving as a student is so much easier, especially since it is temporary, as is everything else during student years (whenever they my fall). I moved both times with two big suitcases. In those two suitcases was my teapot, both times. Bought on a previous trip it was one object both useful and pretty that made me feel at home.
I just lived abroad in London, in the UK, a country famously divided from my own by a common language. Communication changed radically between the two times I lived there. The first time I had my first mobile phone there but still used phone boxes for most international calls and spent a lot of time (and money) on Internet cafes to keep in touch.
What has been your experience with living or movinng abroad? With keeping in touch? What do you do when moving or traveling to make things feel "like home"?