We should be fed up of the sight of this lady. And she of us. 3 weeks of anyone is a lot to ask. But it flashed by, we had a blast and now I’m reminded – like a blow to the head – that the goodbyes never get any easier.
I feel so selfish and spoilt for feeling like this!
The 3 weeks that she was here felt like they lasted forever! 2 days with us here acclimatising. 9 days travelling in Jordan. Another 2 days before Uncle Wanderlust and his lovely wife joined us for a week and the thrills of the Qatar Tennis Open for 6 of those days.
We’re so lucky that she’s happy to come with us on our crazy holiday adventures. (Although to be fair this was her bucket list item!) To have someone around who the Things adore (and who she adores back) is brilliant. To share experiences all together is, to quote the MasterCard adverts, priceless. She was the one who brought activities and entertainment to Every Single Meal while Mr Wanderlust and I brought… Well, nothing. It was her that thought of making a trail with the Things in Petra for us to follow so they wouldn’t get bored or tired or both.
We are so lucky that she doesn’t mind the travel and the stress. I know it isn’t easy when your flight gets cancelled at the last minute. Or when the airline clobbers you for excess baggage because your daughter has asked you to bring over the contents of a small shop in Christmas presents. We are lucky that she can travel here. Every time she comes I think about how lucky we are.
Back to reality
Granny Wanderlust is, as I write, about halfway back to London. From there she has 2 trains to catch and a taxi. I try not to think about how far she has to travel just to see us.
Wallowing in self misery is an unattractive trait at the best of times and achieves nothing. It doesn’t make the time go quicker (quite the opposite) and anyway, there’s no point in wishing your life away. I know she will throw herself back into her routine and she has told me to do the same.
I’ve done the school run and I’m writing this post for the second time (I lost it the first time). I’m on my 10th cup of tea (decaf) and I’ve been sorting through my inbox as I go. I’ve promised her that the blog will have earned some money by the next time I see her. No pressure then.
This is where expat life is so hard in a way you couldn’t explain to your former expat self. I’ve written about some of the trials and tribulations (and first world problems) of being an expat wife.
Thing 1 was distraught when he realised she was gone even though we’ve been preparing him for days. Sobbing one minute and raging the next, we were lucky to get him to school. I cried this morning wishing for the time when he innocently didn’t realise the concept of goodbyes or the passage of time. It’s that realisation that he has reached the stage where he can understand the cruelties of expat life.
I want to tell him that it won’t always be this hard and will reduce in a day or so to a dull ache that you can forget about sometimes. It’s important to remember that the good outweighs the bad and that we have to make the most of the good things rather than lamenting the bad. If it wasn’t for our expat life we wouldn’t get a 3 week holiday with Baboo (the Things’ nickname for Granny Wanderlust) and we probably wouldn’t even have gone to Jordan for Christmas.
Onwards and upwards
So we will get on with things and stay busy. We will each count the days until the next visit. We’ll drink cups of tea together over FaceTime and give each other Skype hugs (when it works). We will text on WhatsApp and I’ll upload photos over TinyBeans. How people did this before the internet is beyond me.
I’ll pull myself together. But for now this is rubbish!
The goodbyes never get any easier.
This will be us at the end of next week. It’s always so hard. Beautifully written!
Hope you are ok. It is so so hard. Sending hugs. x
I’m reading this as I’m waiting for my Mum’s plane to arrive. The hardest thing about living away from home is begin away from family. Sending lots of love and hugs your way x
I do hope you are having a lovely time with Granny TravelLynn! xx
I love how real you are in your blog posts. This is also really well written – love your style.
Hands down the worst part of being an expat is being so far away from family. I always feel so guilty when my Mum or Dad travel 24hrs to get to me. Aaah how I miss them! I don’t think it ever gets easier, right? 💙
Thanks Sally. I hadn’t planned to write that post but it just came out. Who knew this little blogging adventure would turn out to be a form of writing therapy for me?! I’m 9 years into being an expat and I can confirm it doesn’t get easier ever 🙁
I feel this every time. Life is not fair sometimes!
It isn’t. Although I felt so selfish for feeling like that when we have such a good life here, we chose to be here, we had an amazing time with mum, lots of people don’t have their mums in their lives or their family can’t travel to see them. But I was definitely having a poor me moment.