|On our Sunday walk to Vaulen Beach|
There are several different theories that propose stages of a new expatriation. Looking back on our time in Gabon, I feel like the stages were quite pronounced and occasionally extreme. We were adjusting our way of life in almost every aspect. Our move to Norway was a little different. Instead of being so focused on the contrasts to Canada, we were revelling in the similarities; things we had so missed in Port Gentil.
In both cases, we experienced a honeymoon period, typical to almost every expatriation. In Gabon, I'm certain our honeymoon period began when it started to snow and dip below 0 in Canada and we were laughing it up on the beach. In Norway, the honeymoon started the minute we landed as we dined on Thai, drove on paved roads, browsed the shops and planned weekends away all over Europe. The honeymoon is all about the excitement of a new home.
I realised this past week that I think we're over the honeymoon in Stavanger. This isn't to say we've come crashing down and are fraught with problems but we're settled. We have normal day to day routines, we generally know what to expect and how things work and we're sleeping in on weekends instead of rushing out the door to explore. While we're still smitten with our home, it's not new anymore. We're comfortable, happy and settled.
That's the thing with expat life; we have adventures and travels but it's also just plain, old life.