Monday, January 04, 2010

Saying those Good-byes

One of the hardest parts of being an expat is saying good-bye to family each time you visit them or they visit you. No matter how long you've lived abroad, or how many times you've said "goodbye," doing it is something that never gets easier with practice (because if it did, I'd be a professional by now).

Sometimes I don't know how much longer I can live with being 5,000 miles away from friends and family. But at the same time, I love the adventure of living abroad. I love that I can be shopping in another country in 25 minutes. I love the stories that come from being a "foreigner". And I even love the challenge of learning another language (on most days).

It's a hard balance. On one hand, some of my friends have 2.5 kids and minivans while I have a laptop and a Swiss train pass. I still feel like a kid sometimes, traveling the globe without putting down roots that so many of my peers have at this point in their 30s. But at the same time, I wouldn't trade my experience living abroad for anything. I just wish I didn't always have to deal with those good-byes.

What about you? How do you balance being far away from friends and family? How do you deal with those good-byes?


Teresa said...

Hello There!
Well I just moved to Seattle...
2600 miles away from all that I have ever known and loved!
I like you adore the adventure of it all...
and my family is so happy and supportive...but it is heartwretching at times!
Switzeralnd would be one of those dreamy places it would be worth being apart for!
Live it up girl!
My blog has really helped me to stay connected and feel close!
Hope to get SKYPE soon.
Do you SKYPE with your family?

Emily said...

You speak of the eternal expat dilemma. Though I wonder if as much fun is to be had by staying close to home. (Welcome back to CH!)

Chantal said...

Teresa, I think blogging helps and I do all my calling to the USA on Skype. You can sign up for free calls to a certain country for a year for around $30. Good luck with your adventure!

Emily, yes, I suppose this is the eternal expat dilemma. And you're right, I don't know if people that never stray far from home can have the fun we expats do!

Mandy said...

Hi Chantal - I just got back from 2 months in the States and it was SO HARD to say good bye to my family and friends:( However, once I got back to my apartment in Zurich I realized how much I had missed my Swiss home!

Chantal said...

Hi Mandy,

Yeah, I find the same thing happens to me. It's so hard to say good-bye, but then after about a week of being back here, I'm happy to be back.


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