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I am writing this when I should be packing…
As regular readers will know, we have been at home on holiday.
When I say holiday, I mean a mad, frantic ten days of seeing as many friends and family as we can squeeze in.
When I say home, I mean Edinburgh; our old home, as I do think of our new house in the US as home too.
For all the expats out there, how do you manage these breaks (I’m not going to use the term holiday!)?
I had a timetable, a plan. Broken down into morning, afternoon and evening slots. I wanted to see as many people as I could. In a very short space of time. That requires precision planning! You can understand why I don’t call it a holiday :)
It’s a tricky balance though. I can only do so much, so how do I choose? How do I prioritise?
I can’t see everyone.
Family must come first, so those visits are booked in and everything else falls into place around them.
Then come friends.
When I’m in Edinburgh I would love to get through to Glasgow and catch up with friends there. But, that would take best part of a day and when I only have four to play with; I just can’t. So, I stick to Edinburgh. My next dilemma is who I see during the day, who I see in the evening. Evening meet ups mean more dedicated conversation, no interruptions. Daytime means that the children can also meet their friends… And, it’s just as important for the boys to see people as it is me, so I have to balance that too.
When I’m in Dublin, the focus is firmly on my husbands family, as it should be. But, I have friends there who I would love to fit in too.
I end up feeling completely torn, and never feel that I’ve quite managed to get it right.
This trip, I did see everyone that I wanted to see in Edinburgh, but I didn’t get to speak to people as much as I would have liked. And, there are others who it was impossible to see at all. I wish I could somehow clone myself…
We’ve had a wonderful trip; it’s been fun, frenetic, full on. We’ve had coffees and lunches and dinners and drinks!
I’m completely exhausted :)
And, although it has been wonderful, I am left feeling slightly unfinished. I wish that I could chat to people for just a little longer; have one more coffee, one more drink, one more giggle.
I guess that is just an inherent part of the expat existence. Feeling torn. Wishing you could be in two places at once.
I will be fine once I’m back in the US. I am happy there, it will be good to be back in our own house, in our own beds. But, there will also be a part of me that remains tied to, and stretched painfully between, the new and old homes.
And, actually, I don’t want it to be any other way.