7:12 PM Jmo 1 Comments

It's not even 9am yet, but I'm already sitting at my computer screen with watery eyes. No it's not because of the screen itself, it's because the time has come for me to say goodbye to some of the most lovely and interesting people I've ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with. Today is last day of school for all of my friends who did not renew their contract. Most of them are flying out tomorrow or sometime this weekend. This weekend is going to be a rough one for sure...

Expat relationships are one of a kind. Be it personal, professional, or intimate; there's something about the community and lifestyle here that affects relationships in a different way aside from the normal ups and downs of a domestic relationship. You realize you are all in this together and you form instant and close connections. You connect over the trivial. You connect over your birthplace. You connect over a bad joke. Whatever it is. You find something and connect fairly instantaneously. I believe that this happens because everyone that finds themselves working/living abroad has a certain personality trait in common. I haven't quite pinned down what that is yet (I can't go as far as to say extrovertedness, because we all know that's not the case with me!), but I believe it's a cross between flexibility, acceptance, and a little voice in the back of your head that whispers "You only have one life. Make the most of it."

I've truly been inspired by these people. Being a part of an international community has helped me grow in ways that I could never imagine. I've opened up. (As if this blog wasn't any indication of that! haha) I've gained confidence. I've learned to accept myself. I've been inspired to do things that I only ever thought I'd read about. I've learned from these people that, yeah, you can climb to Everest base camp if you want to. Yeah, you might get stranded in a Chinese airport and get Shanghaied-to-Shanghai but wasn't it worth it going to Nepal? And yeah, you have work in the morning, but there's always time for one more song in the norebox.

There's no doubt in my mind that we will keep in touch. I can't wait to meet up with some of these crazies on an island in the South China Sea, or on the top of a mountain in Peru, or maybe some scuzzy diner in Jersey. Wherever. I know it will be fun and worth the mileage.

As one of my well travelled friends has said: It's not "Goodbye." It's "See ya later."

1 comment:

  1. Very beautifully written. It's very hard saying "see ya later" to your Korean family when you're unsure when you'll see them again. You know it will be someday but just not soon. It's hard to realize that you are no longer a bus or subway ride away but now thousands of miles. I was in your shoes last year and know how you're feeling. This year has been slightly easier because I've gone through it all once. Just keep your head up and make the most of the moments you have left!


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