Today, my friend Marie is filling in for me while I am away hanging out with my family at the Grand Canyon.
I don’t exactly remember how I met Marie in the endless realms of the Internet, but it’s more important that I did indeed find her.
I feel like she and I, we’re a lot alike – personality-wise, but also when it comes to our living circumstances. We both deal with the joys and pitfalls of being expats in a foreign country; one of the pitfalls being that we’ll always miss our families just a little bit too much. Marie explores what “home” means to her in her post today and I can relate so much.
I always thought the phrase “home is where the heart is” was such a cheesy cliche. But in a way it’s true. Home is where you feel the most loved, safe, and take the most comfort.
For me, that has always been my parents until I met and later married Matt. Let me start with my parents. We moved around a lot as I was growing up (not a military brat), from country to country, different cities, and sometimes just different houses within the same city. Wherever my parents went, I went (of course) and so I have always associated home to be them. Home for me is not a physical location.
In 2002, I left my “home” to come to the U.S. to study for my master’s and I knew that I would never be going back to where my parents are and currently reside (Lebanon, the country, where we are originally from). I was ok with that for a little while, but the older you get, the more you realize that the most important things in life are the people you love. Which leads to wanting to spend more time with them.
While my parents never stopped being home to me, my home grew a little bigger with Matt. I found comfort in that, especially since I could only see my parents infrequently due to the immense physical distance between us.
It’s still difficult, though, and I find myself wanting to be around my parents the older we all get. Life is so very precious and every passing moment is gone right before our very eyes. We can’t get those moments back.
I miss them terribly and I’m only ever able to see them about two weeks or so out of the year, unless they are able to visit (which isn’t always the case).
I worry about them, about who will take care of them as they grow older, and about their safety in a country that has always been in political turmoil.
The age of technology and the internet has allowed us to connect easily, but it doesn’t replace face to face contact. Holidays are missed, quick visits are impossible, even something as simple as sharing a meal is difficult.
Still, I’m grateful for all I have and for Matt. And for all the friends I have made here. Life is made infinitely better with them around.
If only someone could create teleportation technology and allow for instant travel. I’d be the first in line to try it out.
Beam me up Scotty.