Expat Survival Guide : The Truth About Saying Farewell to Friends and Family
Expat Survival Guide
The Truth About Saying Farewell to Friends and Family
You are going to miss your family and friends. Literally, you will miss anniversaries, birthdays and weddings, supporting loved ones through illness and sharing the everyday ups and downs with friends.
Moving abroad involves choices. Once you’ve made them, you need to live in the present, not the past.
Feel free to Skype, chat via email, look fondly at old photos and, even, shed tears now and then. However, unless you plan to give up on this new life, you have to make things work here and now. Yes, you can visit – but don’t run home too often; it won’t help you settle.
Vitally, be prepared for a shift in your former relationships. It’s likely that old pals will be in your mind more than you are in theirs, since they are busy coping with the usual grist of living, while you are feeling more sentimental.
While some will be fascinated to hear about your new adventures, others will be (falsely) imagining you on permanent holiday and may feel a little envious. Certainly, most will admire your courage to up sticks and move to another part of the globe. However, it’s most likely that they won’t be able to empathise with your experiences and will simply want you to fit ‘back in your old groove’ when chatting. If those friendships are true, you’ll be able to pick them up again when the time comes; meanwhile, be patient and moderate what you choose to share.
Elderly relatives may be resentful of your departure, even where this goes unvoiced. As for hearing about your new life, it can be extremely hard for them to imagine. They are more likely to want you to support them in theirs. This can be especially wounding when you are feeling the need for personal support but try to see the situation from their side to avoid being hurt.
If you have something to get off your chest, you’re more likely to find an understanding ear among local expats or through an expat forum (take a peek at Expat Women or Inter Nations)
Read More :
Part Four – Relationships on the Rocks
Part Five – Little Beasties – When Not to be a Welcoming Host
Part Six – Dealing with Danger