Summer Reflections

13 Aug

Lately I’ve found myself reading many a blog and Buzzfeed article about the experience of moving abroad and living the expat life. This Asian adventure we’re on continues to be amazing, but it also triggers the occasional existential crisis (in me anyway, Orestes is too calm for those). As usual, the summer holiday flew by in a blur of reunions, barbecues, craft beer, and lunch dates. We have many friends and family members who have been absolutely amazing about making time in their busy schedules, and traveling to see us, and for that we’re super grateful. The summer visits are both fabulous and surprisingly draining. I am always insanely excited to see everyone, and then completely burnt out by the end of our visit. No matter how long we stay in one place, or how many days I set aside for each person, it never feels like enough time. It’s simply impossible to try to catch up on a year of life in the space of a three-hour dinner. Memo to self: email more often.

This summer, we had the added task of moving our belongings from one impersonal cubical storage space, to a smaller impersonal cubical storage space. In an effort to consolidate, and recover from what I have deemed “panic packing” (what one does when packing all of life’s belongings in 12 days post-matrimony), we ended up opening and sorting through almost all of our possessions. I’m not going to lie, I got a little emotional during the move. There was something vaguely sad and unsettling about seeing the remnants of our former awesome life in NYC packed into cardboard boxes and just sitting there, waiting for…? Well, we don’t know, and I think that’s part of what made me emotional. I’m a planner, but our future is purposely being left wide open, hence the existential crises that arise from time to time.

With all of this in mind, I intended to compile my own list of pros and cons of living abroad and experiencing these whirlwind summer visits. However, I realize there’s really only one major con: missing people and their important life events sucks in a big way. I love weddings, birthdays, and babies, and it’s sad to not be as actively involved in them as I would like to be. It’s also truly distressing to not be around when someone needs you: illnesses, break-ups, major life changes – I want to be a shoulder to cry on, and the one pouring a glass of wine to drown the sorrows, but for better or worse I’m not. I frequently feel like a delinquent friend/niece/sibling/etc. and pangs of guilt are part of territory. (For another take on the expat situation, check out this article ~ although I haven’t really experienced numbers three or five). I am externally grateful for the wonders of modern technology. I can’t imagine what moving abroad twenty years ago would have been like. Say what you will about social media, but without Facebook, et al. I would feel even more disconnected from loved ones. Second memo to self: email more often.

On the flip side, there are lots of pros to the life we’re leading. The summer holidays are awesome. We feast, we visit, we hug, we (I) photograph, we feast again. It’s a luxury to be able to spend two or three weeks in one place doing nothing but visiting and enjoying, and it was not something we could do while living in NYC. Yes, the quality time only happens once a year, but it’s quality time without work interruptions (on my side anyway). Another big pro to living abroad is VISITORS!! I love playing tour guide and want nothing more than to introduce our friends and family to all the awesome things I love about Thailand. Every summer I do my best to give Southeast Asia a good sell, so… when can I pencil in your visit?! In all seriousness, this country is fabulous. Living abroad has its weird moments, but I don’t for a minute regret moving here. There are many other pros but I’ve rambled enough for one post, so without further ado, some of my fav summer photos for your enjoyment.

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2 Responses to “Summer Reflections”

  1. Brandon & Tonya August 18, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    We missed seeing you. Let us know when would be a good time to visit and we’ll pencil it in!

  2. Elaine McCormick September 25, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    See you in Thailand in 2016!

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