With my time in Malaysia winding down and my departure date drawing nearer, I find myself thinking about a particular little mountain city with its beautiful pine trees and its wonderfully cool weather, and a part of me longs to be there. It may be because I haven’t been home in close to a year and I know that in less than a week, I will be in a completely foreign city on my own and it’s slightly terrifying, which is probably why I’m yearning for something familiar before I go off.
The life of an expat is an interesting one, as I’ve come to discover. Living abroad is something I’ve enjoyed — after the headache of sorting out all the necessary paperwork to legally reside and work, that is. Experiencing a different country and a different culture is rewarding in so many ways especially when it coincides with a job that one enjoys. However, on the other side of it is the homesickness.
I grew up in a close-knit family and I have a great relationship with my parents and siblings. Whenever I travel and see something beautiful or interesting, my first thought is almost always how I wish that my family were with me to see it. Likewise, they send me photos and tell me stories of things that I’m missing out on back home. Many times I wish to have been there with them to share in those moments, but I chose this life — I chose a career that would take me away from my home and my family because it isn’t possible to do what I do back home and make a decent living. If it were, maybe I wouldn’t have left. That’s not my reality, though.
I love my job. I honestly enjoy teaching and I know how rare it is to actually enjoy what you do for a living, so I know that I’m lucky. I love that my job enables me to travel and have experiences that I could never have back home. But sometimes, I miss my family.
On the upside, though, staying in the same region means that visits are always possible, albeit expensive. Keeping in touch nowadays is easy to do as well with all the technology, as long as you have mobile data or an Internet connection.
So it has its ups and downs, as with all things in life, but as long as the ups outweigh the downs, I know I can’t complain. Christmas is just a few months away, and if I’m lucky, I may be able to make a trip back home to see everyone I miss. Until then, a new adventure awaits.