“God sets the lonely in families…”
It takes about eight hours to travel back to where my parents live. That’s four hours driving, an hour on the train, another three hours driving. Even flying is not a lot quicker once you add in check in time and the fact that your suitcase will undoubtedly be the last one to come through on the conveyor belt when you’re in a rush to catch the next train. Rasmus’ family are even further away.
And so the roles traditionally taken by family are a little harder to be filled. There’s no calling to borrow my mum’s baking tins when I’m cooking up a storm. I can’t ask my dad to give me a hand installing something this weekend. When I’m having a rubbish day, my sister can’t pop round with freshly baked cake to sit and watch Jane Austen films with me until I feel better (trust me, this works).
Being an expat usually means being far from our families. And that can be hard. And so here’s my advice for you today: start being family to your expat friends.
Lend them your electric drill when they need to fix something. Take them flowers when they lose somebody they love. Make them meals and clean their home when they give birth to their child. Offer to babysit their kids for free so they can get some couple time. Invite them round for dinner and film nights. Be the person they can call no matter what time of day or night.
Yesterday’s post – Expat Communities.
Photo of some of my friends-who-are-family in Brussels