Saturday, 26 May 2012

being an expat.

An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex ("out of") and patria ("country, fatherland"). Thanks Wikipedia.

Being an expat is pretty challenging. Emmersing yourself in a new country and embracing a new lifestyle can be hard at the best of times and when occasions arise at home, it makes it all too clear that your life is somewhere else and popping to a wedding or christening, or funeral for that matter is not an option. 

Missing out on these monumental family/friend occasions is something I struggle with the most. While Cyprus is not exactly the other side of the world, it is the other side of Europe and once you account for the 5 hour flight, the 2 hour airport wait pre-flight and the passport control/baggage claim dramas that may or may no ensue, you have spent a whole day travelling. So popping home for the weekend is not feasible unless some wonderful airline wants to sponsor me with free flights for a lifetime. 

Recently I returned home for a funeral, spending a mammoth amount on flights for effectively a 2 day trip. And while the homecoming was a no-brainer (there was no way I was going to miss this occasion) it got me thinking that if we are to continue to live on this side of Europe, we either need to win the lottery or creating a little emergency "I really need to go to England for a few days" savings pot. 

And while I wouldnt change what we have here, knowing that the world ticks by back in England without us and missing out on these events just reminds me how much we sacrificed to start a new life in the mediterranean. 

With everything though, you have to find a silver lining. And the logistical nightmare of being an expat seems somewhat worthwhile when you have beauty like this on your doorstep. 

images: my own

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