One the greatest perks to expat life is getting the chance to meet a flood of new people. Although a lot of the relationships formed along the way tend to be deeply superficial there are those few that break the surface and weasel their way into your heart. Even though these relationships may be short in duration, they can be a burst of everything you needed at that moment in your life; jam-packed into one wonderful human being. I suppose they feel more meaningful because as expats we are stripped bare of our family and friends, we are left to fend for our own. We have made the decision to live the life we truly want, leaving loved ones behind and starting from scratch. Then we meet others walking not only in the same direction, but on the same path. We finally get to the feel the comfort and company of another person to share the journey with. We get to walk side by side knowing our exits are off in the distance but we try to not let it invade our time together, we try to enjoy the moment until our exits comes up. Then our exits come up and we stand there, trying to find the right words to say goodbye. And then we are on our own again, awaiting the next person who will step into our life.
It’s the great conundrum of expat life, to constantly ask yourself whether it’s all worth it. Is it worth meeting all these new people, knowing you will fall in love with some and knowing that you will have to say goodbye? Is it worth the heartbreak? Is it worth living a life of absolute instability and unpredictability for adventure and excitement? Even if it causes extreme anxiety?
It’s hard to find the happy medium, the best of both worlds; stability but also adventure. Does it even exist?
Maybe this isn’t about being an expat. Maybe this is how life is anywhere, just intensified. Maybe it’s about letting go of fear of regret and taking the jump, believing it will all work out in the end.