Friday, August 26, 2016

I'm NOT crying...I've just got something in my eye...

So, if you are having a sensitive expat day, don't read this post just now.  It's been a long time coming, and I have been putting it off.  Our adventures in Switzerland have come to an end.  I was in denial for a long time - I avoided telling my students and several other people until the last possible, socially-acceptable moment.  I threw 150% of myself into making it my new home, so when we discovered that we would be leaving (due to Nick's employment change), my heart was broken.

It was getting to the point where it was actually time to come home, at least for a visit.  The last time I actually set foot on American soil was when I went to visit my friend at the army base in Germany in 2014.  Three years that have just flown by.

Technology allowing you to connect with family and friends is great and it can really ease the homesickness, but when a tragedy hits or big milestones are passed, it shakes you. Seeing pictures of nieces, nephews and children of friends who were barely born (or not even yet born) walking and talking tugs at the heartstrings.  Trying not to panic when a family member goes to the hospital, even for routine things, is nearly impossible.

Recently, it was the passing of our family dog that really did me in.  Not being there for my brother, who I actually suspected that the dog considered a fellow canine and the two were nearly inseparable, was even harder.

New friends you meet during your travels become like family.  And the whole process starts again, feeling like you are torn between two or more places...

No one ever really tells you how difficult it is to cope with these things when you are an expat.  And when they happen before you actually get back home, you get a bit nervous.  Home has changed.  I have changed.  And you learn that "home" is a movable concept.  I have so many homes now.

So I'm leaving home and going home at the same time.

Goodbye Switzerland.  I love you.

P.S. I still have tons of stories to tell, so I will continue to write about my experiences.  Just the move and relocation to the USA is a pretty intense experience.  So please keep reading, enjoying and I promise that the posts will not all be tear-jerkers like this one.