To those with loved ones who have moved away.
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
First of all, let's just acknowledge that it's not you, it's us. Something deep inside of us sparked our curiosity one day and inspired us to travel, or try life out elsewhere. And when we did, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities. We found the courage to spread our wings, and it's pretty addictive.
Maybe we were raised to think outside the box, encouraged by examples set by our siblings, or supported by our friends during many evenings spent putting the world to rights together. And here we are.
We only get one shot at this crazy life - how can we know what we want to do with it if we don’t try different things?
It's not that we don't love and miss you, we do! But we're just where we're supposed to be right now, trying each day to live our truths. It’s different, and we like that.
We've discovered so much about ourselves since leaving and we feel like we're living our lives for "us". The future doesn't feel predictable and that gets us fired up to feel like we can achieve great things and live out our dreams, or at least give it a bloody good shot.
Perhaps we moved away for what we feel is a better quality of life, and our new place allows us to do more of what we love and really be ourselves. But we think of you a lot, and deep down it often feels like there's something missing. Maybe we don't truly fit in here, and we feel out of place there too. We're kind of in between.
We realise it's hard for you too, the ones we "left behind". After waving us off at the airport, you head home to life as you know it and are just expected to carry on as usual, without us. Only everything's changed. You feel a strong sense of loss and wonder how you'll cope without us being physically present in each other's lives. It's a huge adjustment that you've had little choice in, so it's understandable if you feel powerless and resentful at first. It must be a lot like going through the grieving process. This breaks our hearts, and we feel torn between wanting you in our daily lives too, and living our truths. We know that deep down you want us to be happy and to do what's best for us, and we appreciate that beyond words. We'll do our best to stay as connected as possible and share all of our updates. Just know that we love you and are truly grateful to have you.
We thank you for supporting us on our personal journey, and we will always be here for you too.
We'd love for you to visit us and to welcome you into our world. But we know that it was our choice to relocate, and so we don't expect you to. We know that finding the time and money can be tricky, or health may be an issue. But if you can put us on the map at some point in the future, we'd really like that. We promise to show you everything we love about our new home and make your stay really special. Forgive us if we don't seem all that eager to visit you in our old stomping ground. It's not that we don't want to see you (far from it!), it's just that we feel like we're stepping back in time a little bit when we do. It can also be stressful as we feel stretched to see everyone and "do all the things", and guilty if we don't. Plus, we've spent so many years there already. Maybe our time together is more valuable spent elsewhere.
We've changed, you say? Damn right we have. Haven't we all? It would be pretty scary if we hadn't, and we hope you've changed too. Life is all about personal growth and becoming the best version of yourself, and that's partly what motivates us to keep going and to experience the hell out of it! It doesn't mean we don't miss spending time around the friends who really know us, sharing our silly humour, old memories, and making references to things that no one else would understand. Friends that just "get you" are priceless, and they can be hard to come by.
To the friends we don’t speak to every day but feel like nothing’s changed when we do – we really appreciate you.
It's not necessarily that any place is better, or worse - just different. I've met people from Sydney, New York, and other iconic places; and they too were eager to get out of their hometowns and discover life for themselves. They speak of how boring things are "back home". And so it can have little to do with the place, and more to do with the person.
We’ve discovered our zest for life and we think it’s really cool that you can just take off and make a life for yourself anywhere you decide to lay your hat. We love to explore new places, meet people from different cultures, and learn about different ways of life. Our minds have been truly opened. We’re determined not to let life just “happen” to us and we worry that we’ll lose a bit of that zest if we return.
We often have moments in our new home when we pause to look around and think, "Wow, this is amazing. I'm so glad I made this happen for myself." Our lifestyles just work for us here and we're so grateful for this experience.
We often think back and can’t believe how much has changed for us since we left. Our lives have taken so many twists and turns, and we’ve experienced things we never thought possible from the mindset of our “old” lives. It’s hard to explain, but if we could bottle that feeling up and send it back to you, we would!
Change doesn’t scare us – we’ve learned to embrace it. Variety is the spice of life!
We’re sometimes guilty of making the majority of our friends from our home countries. It brings a sense of familiarity and makes us feel at home. Speaking of which, what does "home" even mean? Is it where you physically live, where your parents or family live, where you grew up, or where your partner/kids are? I think the word "home" has a unique meaning to each of us. For me, I have one home that I share with my boyfriend, and of course, “home” will always be where my mum is.
2020 has made the distance between us seem much smaller in some ways, and much larger in others. Friends and family living close by have spent much of the year apart and have learned to connect in different ways. So suddenly, we don’t feel all that far away, and we’ve probably even had more time for each other. But if we had plans to see each other, we're so sad they've been screwed up, and we really hope we can figure something out next year. When you move away, you just assume you’ll be able to fly here and there to see each other, whenever you want. No one expected this.
Life is what you make it and we’re just doing it our way. We don’t think our way is the only way, or even the best way, but it just works for us. If it comes across that way sometimes, we’re just excited to share it with you! We're constantly learning and we don't have it all figured out.
We realise that you can create a life you love wherever you are, and we hope you're doing the same.
Maybe one day we’ll be back for good, but we can’t promise anything. In the meantime, let’s plan a trip! And we’ll always be on the end of the phone and hope you’ll call if you need us, or even if you just want to talk rubbish. We’re still here.
To those who’ve travelled or moved away, I hope you can relate.