|Nice, France google images|
Who am I?
What am I? Expat? Refugee? Immigrant (certainly felt that way living on the weak and erratic dollar for the past 8 years)? Artist? Gringo? Defector? Adventurer? Long time resident of the French Riviera? An American who enjoys living France?
Below are two definitions of Expatriate that I found interesting:
*one who lives outside one’s own country; One who has been banished from one’s own country; To banish; to drive or force (a person) from his own country; to make an exile of; To withdraw from one’s native country; To renounce the rights and liabilities of citizenship where one is born … en.wiktionary.org/wiki/expatriate
*ex patriate – A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country. http://www.irishclaims/
Most of the Americans I have met, proudly call themselves Expats! The word itself has come to represent glamour, exotic choices, worldly intellegencia, café life… But you see, my problem is with the prefix!
When I think of “ex”-something…I think of EX-husbands, EX-friends, EX-boyfriends, EX-roommates…EX-change…uhh …oh…never mind… but I think you get the point.
In the mid eighties, I took a vacation to visit the beaches of the French Riviera. I fell in love….no… not with a Frenchman, I was already happily and firmly married…with the light and colors of the Mediterranean. From Monaco to Saint Tropez. I was captivated by the foods of the region, the markets, boutiques, the souk of Nice (the Old Town), the laid back pleasures of the South. The politesse of the population. I kept coming back to the area until my husband and I were able to move here in 1999. I sold my business, published my first novel, my husband retired, and we left Dodge City (New York City) to move to the sunny Côte d’Azur.
Am I an Expat?
I am an American.
An eighth generation American, female of African, Irish, Native American ancestry, who lives in France with my American spouse of Russian, Scottish, English ancestry, because we love the food, rocky beaches, cheaper travel options…and the National Healthcare System.