When I first moved overseas, a good friend went on about how incredibly brave I must be to have made such a choice. Since then, through the blog and thanks to Facebook, I’ve had other people write me asking how I found the strength within to move. Questions are asked about my life, the planning that was done and, since I’ve been gone a while now, If I miss home?
Homesickness?!? With Facebook, emails and Skype – seriously?!? I’ve never felt more connected than ever. When I first moved here, I missed the contact with my loved ones. The time difference makes it hard to speak to my nephews. And friends have real jobs, so our schedules never matched up. But to be homesick, is to say that I’d pack up and fly back this minute I miss it so much. Those feeling have never happened.
Sure, when I was going through the visa nonsense, I toiled at the idea that I hadn’t been to the states in months. But that was more because free will had been taken out of my hands. With passport back and the ability to decide where and when I want to go, I have no longing for the states.
An interesting article was published in the New York Times and was sent my way via Smith. The article is pushing some book written by someone you’ve never heard of about being homesick. How no matter how long some people are away from home and no matter what advances in technology are on offer, people always have a deep feeling of homesickness.
Though, obviously, the article has merit, it doesn’t apply to my life. I’m not someone who chose to leave home against my will because of a greater cause. Most of the examples the writer uses are about people leaving, well Mexico, for more money and a better life. Only to discover that they miss the traditions, food, and family back home. I, on the other hand, was bored. Couldn’t see any favorable opportunities coming my way and had simple become bored with my life in the big city. I weighed the lost connection with family and close friends and decided it was a chance that needed to be taken for me to look at life with expectant eyes.
Yes, technology doesn’t take the place of being close (especially since I’ve found so many people are simply either too afraid to figure it out or really can’t be bothered) but it is better than nothing. I lived in the UK back in the late 90s and it was all phone cards and…and, well it was all just phone cards. At that time, the only people I spoke to were my parents and the one friend who worked at an office that allowed international phone calls. Even if I get my close friends on a video call – once every other month – it’s better than being back in the 90s.
Of course, since the choice isn’t a financial one, I’m also not constrained financially. Back when I was a waitress, ever kitchen staff member I worked with had immigrated for the greater good and hadn’t been home in ages because it was costly. But largely because the dishwasher doesn’t get paid leave. They typically had big families that were dependent on the money they sent home. The true nature of it is simple that the majority of the people wouldn’t miss home nearly as much, if they knew when they’d see home again. A week here and there, does a great job of fending off the not at home blues. Not to make a grand generalisation but those who come from Mexico cannot say I’ll return for Christmas and get a taste of home. Which is what I do. Because I can. Though maybe that isn’t the article or the books fault but, rather, the rosy side of my (and every expat I know) lives.