Living abroad to most probably seems glamorous. Many people view it as they would a fairy tale. Everything appears romantic, better, cooler happier. And while that is true part of the time, living abroad can also be difficult in the sense that it's not home or even in the vicinity of home. And so of course we expats (and I think I can speak for the majority of us) love to return home for visits. However, this can be dangerous.
After living abroad for 15 years, going home is something I always look forward to. In fact, for me it's necessary in order to keep my frame of mind healthy and my sanity intact. But as I just recently told David, as much as I love going home, sometimes I don't think it's always good. I know that seems like an oxymoron but it's a real battle that I deal with and my husband as well, when we return to his home country of Malaysia.
As you fly in, over the desert, you cross over the Interstate 10 and the memories of drives along the freeway begin. It's a feeling of exhilaration, old familiarities, home. And once you start your drive to your hometown across that desert, despite the changes and growth of the city you see places that you spent time at, riding dirt bikes with your cousins and the mountains where you hiked with your dad searching for special stones. The mall is still standing (even though ran down) that you spent countless hours with your mom shopping for the perfect dress for Easter Sunday. And not too far away is the roller-skating rink that you frequented practically every weekend when you were a young teen.
The memories flood your mind and the visuals, tastes and smells play havoc with you mind and your emotions. This is home! And although you've been away for many years, there's still an appeal that is captivating and alluring, pulling you back to the place of familiarity that you know so well.
For me, the desire of remaining in my home during our visits was due to the fact that I spent many years in a country that I was not happy in. A place that was completely different in every aspect than everything I ever knew. Therefore, I was in a constant escape mode allowing the comforts of home to tear at my soul.
Just last year, I put my foot down. I demanded a change that would place our family back at my roots. It was a difficult decision for my husband, the main provider of the family being that his job is in Europe with no ability to transfer to the states. However, happy wife means happy life, right?!
However, things took an unexpected turn. Within a few months of the decision another option was set before us. An option that would take us to a place that we both love and that possessed many attributes of my home and David's home . This alternative was so perfect that it still allows David to continue working for the same company and keeps us close to our daughter and granddaughter in Germany.
I'm not saying that Mallorca, Spain will be our forever home but it is a great alternative to the original plan that was set to take place. And it has surprisingly made going home this time a little less painful... a little!
"For this world is not our permanent home;
we are looking forward to a home yet to come."~Romans 13:14
With Love and Blessings,
Robin and David
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