I’m just about to hug my dad for the second time after he dropped my husband and myself off at the airport together with our two little dogs.
The final farewell is fast approaching.
That bittersweet time when we hug each other for the last time and have to say goodbye to each other…until the next time we are going to see each other again – if everything goes well.
1000 times I have said bittersweet goodbyes already to my family and friends throughout the past 9 years while living abroad.
That’s 10000 or so tears we have shared together.
And, furthermore, 1000000 or so social media messages and/or emails we have exchanged with each other.
Everyone talks about how awesome it is to live abroad. What an adventure it is supposed to be!
It is true.
I would not want my life to be any other way and am even planning on living in even further countries and places around the world as I dearly love to explore new cultures and meet new people.
Though, rarely, it is talked about the ‘dark side’ of being an expat, the bittersweet farewells you have to go through on a regular basis.
Each farewell breaking your heart just a little bit, one goodbye at a time whenever you visit your family and friends in your home country.
Furthermore, you start becoming different when living in a new country as you adapt to it and most likely, start changing some of your habits and characteristics.
Though I urge you to see this as an advantage as you can bring new perspectives to occurrences – like political, economical, personal, or otherwise – in your home country.
There are more and more expats due to globalization and a more diverse work force nowadays than ever before.
Social media and the internet has luckily made it easier and easier to stay in touch with your loved ones and to stay connected through various medias on an even daily basis.
Though, one thing that I am always reminded of when I visit my family back in Europe is that no social media, no technological communication advancement can ever substitute the kiss of a mother or, the hug of a father or the laughs that you share with your siblings.
This is something that will unfortunately never change and just needs to be accepted when choosing the life of an expat.
If you are like me, already an expat, you are most likely aware of all of this.
To you, I just want to say – be grateful!
Gratitude and love are so important and are the only things that will help sustain your heart throughout all of these 1000s of goodbyes.
Cherish the friends and connections you start making in your new country and stay connected with your friends in your native one.
All of these global relationships form you into who you are and who you will become – an expat: a blend of cultures, mindsets and colors, a product of globalization, a pizza with all sorts of ingredients on it, simply truly unique.