Guest Post: Starting Over, Again by Jamie Searle Romanelli

Today I’m sharing an honest and courageous guest post by my good friend and fellow expat, Jamie, about her experience with culture shock upon moving from England to Brazil. I admire her transparency about the challenges she has faced, and I’m sure anyone who has lived abroad will be able to relate. I know you will enjoy this beautifully written essay.


A photo I took of Jamie last year for her translating business.

“There are no foreign lands, it is the traveller only who is foreign.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

Two years and three months ago, I made the decision to move to Brasil. It was a decision which was quickly made, recklessly even, for I gave very little thought to the true magnitude of the immense transition which lay before me. As is often the case when life-changing decisions are made so swiftly, mine was motivated by love. I fell hard and fast, in a way I hadn’t known before, and for once (being a cautious, studious type who usually researches everything to infinity before acting) I decided to trust my gut. I remember my now-husband asking me back then whether I felt I could live long-term in a country which wasn’t my native one. At that time, I had been ‘on the road’ with my translation work for the majority of the preceding year, in London, Berlin, then Buenos Aires. I had been flirting with the location independent lifestyle, which certainly has many benefits, but after a year of moving from one housesit to the next almost every couple of weeks, I was already longing to feel a little more settled. Having always loved the idea of living abroad, and feeling a swift connection to Brasil, I assured him that it would be (and I quote): ”No problem at all.” I knew I would miss people; my family, my friends. But I felt sure I wouldn’t feel homesick for England.

Oh, how naive I was.

Read the rest of Jamie’s amazing post here on her blog, Portuguese and Papagaios

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3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Starting Over, Again by Jamie Searle Romanelli

  1. eldonhay says:

    Thanks very much for sharing this, Lindsay
    I commend Jamie’s path – starting a new life in a new place
    having some real difficulty, then rising up to start anew.
    And you, Lindsay, for your moving to Brazil. Of course, you’d had great experiences in living in different ‘cultures’ Clinton, Sackville, Africa, South America. and et cetera. Still, courageous as a wife and mother to move and live in Brazil
    You are the better for it. Even if (as I hunch there were/are) glitches, difficulties at some junctures.
    Sometimes shaken up. caught off balance, a bit askew. As someone I respect has said
    “If people are unable to live askew for a while, to be set off balance, to wait on the threshold of liminal space, they remain in the same old room all of their life”
    My warmest congratulations and best wishes to and for Jamie.
    And congratulations, blessings and and much love to you, dear Lindsay!


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