I am sad, melancholic if you will. In the not too distant future, several wonderful families will be finishing their time in Vientiane and leaving for new adventures. Some are returning to their homelands, some heading off on the next expatriate adventure. They are all a little excited. But I am sad because I will miss them. Their departure has made me reflective.
The thing I always miss most about home is my friends. Even as I type that it seems ridiculous, how can I miss my friends from home. I hardly know where home is. It has been so long since I have lived in Australia that I am lucky to see the people I love more than once a year, often for a only for a few hours. There are some people I love and care for who I haven’t actually hugged for almost a decade. Facebook keeps me in touch with some people, but not everyone is hooked in like I am (social media is a necessary evil for most expats). Nonetheless, these relationships, many forged at school and at university, mean a great deal to me. Perhaps because we knew each other when we were all young and idealistic, filled with excitement about the possibilities that life might bring. Perhaps because we shared so many experiences – good, bad and ugly! Perhaps because I love them.
Eighteen years ago, I left my home town and since then I have moved to a new city, often a new country, every three or four years. One of the joys of my nomadic lifestyle is the number of wonderful people I have met, many who I now count amongst my dear friends. But it is always hard to leave. Even harder farewelling the people who move on before you are ready to say goodbye.
When we lived in Bangkok, G and I used to hang out with another Australian couple quite regularly. We shared a love of UFC and Lebanese food! They had children who were a few years older than ours. As a first time mum I valued their advice, which was usually, “stop stressing out”.
They also once told us:
Never regret sharing time with the people you meet in your travels, some will become firm and lasting friends. Other relationships will burn bright and fade when time and distance take their toll. Do not despair or feel guilty, that is just how it works. Your lives will be richer because of these friendships.
We had some great nights together. I haven’t seen or heard from them in years.
So tonight I am sad.
I really like the friends I have made here in Vientiane. They have made this place seem like home. I simply don’t want them to leave. I still want to get to know them better. I am tired of making new friends. I like the ones I have and I just want them to stay here.
Tomorrow, I will be grateful for the having met such wonderful, fun, joyful people;
Tomorrow, I will laugh out loud as I remember the playdates, birthday parties and occasional boozy nights;
Tomorrow, I will remind myself that I still have lots of fabulous, new friends here;
Tomorrow, I will be excited because I am about to go back home and see some of my fabulous, old friends;
Tonight, I am going to be a little bit sad.
Thanks for reading. Stay Fabulous!