Sunday, 9 February 2014
Being an expat is an incredible experience. Getting to live in another country and soak up another culture is without doubt one of the best things I've ever done. There are just so many positives to the whole experience and we pinch ourselves almost daily that we get to do this.
Of course, nothing good comes without some form of sacrifice. In order to have this incredible experience we have to give up things - the main one being close to family and friends. This means that we also miss out on lots of milestones and big events. Living so far away means that quick trips home are out, no weekends here or there or visits every couple of months. It's Facebook and Skype to keep in touch and share moments with our Aussie friends and family.
I have to admit I don't really suffer from much homesickness though. I don't pine for Australia, like some other expats I know. Most of the time I'm happy where I am. Of course there are moments when I wish I could drop in on a friend or catch up with family. There are times when I look at Skip and know that what he needs more than anything at that moment is an afternoon at the pub filled with laughs with his best mates. Otherwise, life goes on happily and there are days when I think I'll never feel ready to return to Australia.
Then there are those times when it really hits just how far away we are. When I look at the kids and see how much they're growing up and how people are missing that. Last year, it was my Dad's 70th birthday and logistically and financially it was too hard to go back for the party. In the lead up I thought I was fine about missing it, but come the day and I see my Facebook feed fill up with photos and anecdotes and I start to feel sad. Forgotten and left out and just so far away. It's the sacrifice we make for all the other good stuff.
Over the weekend some good friends, in fact they're more like family, got engaged. Skip and I were beaming, we were just so happy and excited for them. We knew beforehand it was going to happen and we waited excitedly for the call. We laughed with them over Skype, oohed over the ring and talked about the what lies ahead. Then we clicked the hang up button. I think if someone had said right then, "Pack your bags, you're going home!" we would have jumped at the chance.
It's those moments that make you think: "Why are we doing this?" Sometimes it just seems crazy to be apart from friends and family and missing out on all this good stuff. It's part of the expat roller-coaster. Everyone I know who lives far from their homeland has those 'Why are we doing this?' moments. Then you shake them off and move on with your day.
I know without a doubt that we're right where we're meant to be. Hopefully it will make all those moments when we do catch up with our loved ones all the more special.
Posted by Corinne (aka Rinny of Arabia) at 19:49