I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the toughest part about being an expat is the juggling.
In particular, juggling visits to family and in-laws on different continents, trying to keep up with old friends at home and newer friends scattered around the globe. Add in the necessary long-haul flights and this inevitably means that precious holiday days are spent not on actual lazy vacations but rather on cramming in time with as many people as possible when we do get to go home.
No-one is ever satisfied by this. Family members feel slighted that we didn’t spend enough time together and we have the awful, delicate, process of trying to work out who we would most like to see because there is never enough time to see everyone we want to see and our friends have their own demanding lives to deal with. This means Mr B and I just end up exhausted and irritable with each other. And to top it all, we’ve found ourselves back in the throes of some miserable culture-shock upon our return.
Skype and other wonders of modern technology blah, blah, blah, mean that we’re in regular contact with a core group of family and friends but it never feels like enough. Never!
Perhaps underlying this frantic effort is an unconscious desire to maintain a social safety net in case everything goes pear-shaped and we find ourselves camped out with my in-laws (our current “just in case this Recession gets even worse and expat employees are next to go” exit strategy). Perhaps it is just part of the modern condition. Perhaps this is a plea to everyone we know to bear with us, not take anything personally, and most of all to think about coming out East instead.
You know you love me! xoxo