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IMG_20140420_104450It’s been a struggle writing recently. Not because I’ve had nothing to write about but because I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to say that I’ve not known where to start. However, an event happened the other night that made me so happy. It was so simple, yet it brought so many thoughts into my mind. The other night I spoke to two of my best friends from home, in England. Actually, I speak to them the least out of all my friends and family but somehow we are still so close. I’ve never felt the need to speak to them or update them on every exciting or embarrassing thing I have done. But that night we were online at the same time and spoke about the most random of things. It made me so happy that all three of us where talking together, whilst we were miles apart. You see the truth is that we don’t need to keep in contact to stay friends. We know and understand we are all busy and getting on with our own lives and do not think about having to update each other every day, every week or even every month. But when we do finally stop and catch up it’s like we have never spent any time apart.

Ok, so maybe I have been too wrapped up in my life here that I haven’t made as much effort as I could have done. So much so I forgot one of my friends birthdays and I never forget birthdays. I felt, and still feel, guilty for it. To her though it didn’t matter because she knows I am happy and we’re both doing our own things that we enjoy to do. We still know we’ll always be in each other’s hearts. Just because we don’t speak to each other doesn’t mean we don’t always think about each other. I realized this even more when my friends came to visit me. We could all feel our lives were different and maybe some part of us had changed. This affected our time together. It was fun and so great to see the special people in my life but at the same time it wasn’t the same as it used to be. Again, it didn’t matter because you can’t always have the most amazing and perfect time. You just have to know that deep down you still love each other and those unspoken words about what you are thinking does not affect your friendship. You may not know why your friend is doing something but as long as they are happy then you are happy for them. If it goes wrong then you will be there to catch them. You have to let each other make your own choices and know that it if works out you will accept it and if it doesn’t you will be there to hold their hand. Either way, relationships are built on accepting the changes that you both go through, whether you’re apart or together.

So, what does distance do for you? As you have just read, a lot of my close relationships are with people who are miles away from me. I have lived away from home for four years of my life so I hate to think distance separates people. I have so many loved ones living in different countries to me, that if distance did make a bond less strong I would have no family or friends left.

This is one part of being a traveler that you have to adapt to. We have to realize that distance can’t make a relationship any different. My family and friends also have to accept the fact that I am further away from them and we can’t be in contact as much as we used to. I think it’s a great to see who your true friends are. They are the ones that are truly happy for you getting on with your own life and making yourself happy. They know that you still love them and will always be there for them no matter what.

On the other hand, there are some people who don’t quite understand why I am out here and think I am running away from home. They think I am living an easy life, but it isn’t. Of course I miss my friends and family but it gets frustrating when people tell you how “lucky” you are to live abroad, when you know intimately how much tedious paperwork, hard work, and trying in the face of rejection it actually required. You know how little of it actually has to do with luck, especially when you’re actually working in your adopted country. However, knowing that I have people there for me if it all goes wrong makes it easier, even if they are so far away. I would love them all to be reading this now and know how special they are to me. Even if this all turns upside down, as it easily could, I won’t be too upset because I still have those who are in my heart forever. That is the most important thing.

Sometimes, you have shared so many memories and times together it is hard not to have them in your life, especially family. I sometimes worry that I am not speaking to my family as much as I should be. I always think ‘Are we not as close anymore? Are we losing the strong bond we had before?’ But that changes as soon as I speak to my mum, dad or sisters. It puts a big smile on my face. I see in their eyes how much they miss me but it isn’t as strong as that proud look they have for me. They would hate to see me at home miserable. So for this reason they don’t like to hassle me with messages, instead they want to let me enjoy myself. I know now how lucky I am to have my family. Just because we don’t have much contact does not change how much they can brighten up my day when we speak.

Being away from home, I think about my close friends and family so much and I miss them. I have met hundreds of different people and it hasn’t changed how I feel about them. They are still in my heart and that will never change. It’s hard being away from home but I love my life out here. It’s great when you can do what you love without feeling guilty about being away from those who love you.