Last week I wrote about my children and their goodbyes. This week it is far more about me, the mother, the social centre of our lives here that needs to say farewell to those who have welcomed me with big smiles and open arms.
I will take with me many precious memories of the fun times and special occasions we have shared together.
In every location I have lived I have met a bevy of amazing women who I have had the privilege to share part of my story with. No more so than this latest posting.
We come from all ends of the earth and meet to discuss, argue, laugh, rejoice, and cry over the moments that life throws at us. And a unique aspect of expat life is the fast bonding that can happen when you meet someone else with whom you have that magical click moment. Sadly sometimes these moments occur right near the end of a posting and you have little 'together' time. But it doesn't matter as you know this is one friend that will continue forward.
I learnt long ago that when I felt that "click", no time should be wasted, and we must arrange to meet again, soon. Life is too short as an expat in a foreign land to take years to develop a friendship. Often it will be only hours. Sometimes weeks. But these friendships are the replacement family and core support network that you need to be emotionally strong when settling in at a new location. Especially when you have a family of your own and their needs seem to constantly push back your personal needs.
And I must say the expat network is one of the strongest friendship circles you will find. If I have a family emergency, I know that I can trust this network 100% to rally around and help.
In this last week I will get emotional, maybe not in front of my friends, as after all I am British and meant to preserve that stiff upper lip… but behind a closed door or driving my car, having turned away that last time, a tear or two will fall. As no matter how many times I leave a place, it never gets easier.
What keeps me going is the thought that I know the world really is a small place and those that matter I will see again. Maybe we will live in the same city again as well. As once a traveller always a traveller it seems.
So I much prefer to say I will see you again soon, maybe in so many months, maybe that will be years…
So it's time to channel Doris:
Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.
Que sera sera, whatever will be.. saying goodbye from the current posting. As an adult, as a seasoned expat this doesn’t get easier.