“When will you move back to Denmark?” is a question that Danes abroad often encounter from the outside world. But what do you really answer if you have no plans to return ‘home’, ever?
In an article by Christina Grunwald, originally published in March 2020 in Danes Worldwide’s printed member magazine, two expatriate Danes in Taiwan and Mexico City respectively talk, among other things, about their answer to the question.
For Martin Bjørno, who lives in Taiwan, Denmark and Danish values play a big role in his life, but he stopped a long time ago considering the Nordic country his home. In the article, he talks about how he left Denmark on New Year’s Eve in 2011 and basically never looked back.
He was 40 years old and single and had just quit his permanent job. The next morning, the first day of the new year, he landed at Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan.
“I knew this was for life. I had bought a one-way ticket and did not expect to return. I wanted to try myself out in something wildly foreign. A place where people have a different skin color and a completely different culture,” Martin says.
Taiwan, however, was not entirely foreign to Martin. For 10 years he had traveled back and forth to China and Taiwan as a dealer of auto parts for the European market.
“I had a Taiwanese friend who had a trading company. One day he called and asked me why don’t you just move out here and become my partner? Yes… why don’t I do that, I thought. And then I quit my job.”
Read Martin’s story about how he is in Taiwan because of the people there, his new life abroad, and what he truly cherish about the place he now calls home here