There is a magical feeling when you reunite with people who share a piece of your heart. Being an expat inevitably means long separations from loved ones, both family and friends. Of course, being an expat in a desirable destination also inevitably means those loved ones will come visit you – so be sure to have a spare bedroom!
But more realistically, visits will be few and far between on both sides. You cannot fly back and forth for every celebration and gathering, nor can your friends visit multiple times each year. You might go years without actually seeing them face-to-face.
Luckily, the Internet makes distances seem smaller. Time seems to move more quickly between visits when you can stay updated on the daily lives of your friends and family back home. We can stay in constant communication and even “see” each other regularly on video chats. The world is actually smaller.
The fact that we can text and email and Facebook chat and video chat every single day means that the eventual reunion allows us to pick right back up where we left off as if no time had passed at all.
But time has passed. Things have changed.
It’s been two years since I visited my friends in Washington, DC, and in those two years I have missed the births of several friends’ babies; I have missed new home purchases and goodbye dinners; I have missed weddings and showers and everyday gatherings filled with laughter and inside jokes. Expat life means missing moments.
Things have changed. But – very happily – my friends have not changed.
They are still the loving people I let into my life for years, and who still let me into theirs despite my running away from them. They are still the ones who make me laugh so hard my face hurts and who make me feel so very loved when they hug me extra hard because we don’t know when our next hug might be.
Time passes and situations change, but people and relationships are what they always have been. The relationships you invest in will offer incredible rewards, regardless of time passed or distance spanned. And the people you love will still be there for you no matter how long it’s been since you crossed their thresholds. Love might not technically make the world go round, but it sure keeps mine spinning happily along.
Expat life means missing moments back home – that is merely a fact of expat life. But if you also create your own moments, you have more stories to share when you reunite with the people who share your heart. Knowing that pieces of your heart have been scattered to the wind makes your world small and your relationships timeless.
I am eternally grateful for my timeless friends.
Thank you for understanding that I will always run away from you, but only for a little while. The nomadic life just keeps calling me away. But your hearts keep calling me back.
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