Today’s post is written with a heavy heart indeed, as it’s my last day at home before returning to London :(. I don’t say this to deter anyone, of course, from relocating to London, but I’ll be honest—moving here was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Some people are rootless, able and willing to venture wherever the wind blows, but me, I’m a rooted gal and in deep adoration of my family. Even when I lived nearby, I never took them for granted, and a move here has only enhanced that. It’s a massive blessing that I count every night before falling asleep and that brings new meaning December after December to the song, “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”
Coming home for Christmas was almost thwarted this month, however, for my husband, who got to sit on his British Airways plane for about 5 hours before actually taking off thanks to the uncharacteristically cold and snowy London weather. Heathrow only had two de-icers with which to service almost 30 aircraft before they got to my husband’s…ah well, at least BA provides free alcohol. Yet we continue to count our blessings, as he arrived in Chicago mere hours before hundreds of flights out of Heathrow were cancelled the following morning.
So time will tell how well we fare flying out tomorrow. Such is the risk an expat takes when distance between loved ones is extended so far. To combat the sadness over already missing the dear people who are still only a couple rooms (as opposed to an ocean) away from me, though, I’m trying to remind myself of the regular groove I’ll soon reenter once back home. After the goodbyes are ripped off like a Band-Aid (or a “plaster,” as the Brits would say), I actually enjoy the long flight left to do nothing more than sleep, eat, read, and/or watch movies, and though still a little weepy for a couple days upon reentering our flat, it gradually begins to feel like home again…the wee one I share with my husband, who is also my family and for whom I crossed that ocean to begin with. I resume contact with my London friends and delight in many local sights again. I get back in the groove of my work and frolic and play again. And thus is how I fall back in love with my life again.
If you’re relocating soon, that will certainly be the hardest part of it all. Having a head spinning with uncertainty and unfamiliarity is overwhelming, and having to bid loved ones farewell is heart-breaking. It’s not a time to feel proud and as if you know it all—you only learn when you’ve been pushed beyond your comfort zone and acknowledge you do need to depend on others; expanding geographical boundaries means expanding mental and emotional ones as well. Whether it’s a personable service like us that helps you literally discover your new home or your friend-and-family network that assures you that you still have a figurative place in your old one, it’s the people in our lives that make this one world go round and designate “home” to truly be wherever your heart is, even if it’s in more than one place. (Modern communication and transportation have made that ever more possible for us expats, after all!)
So forge ahead on your exciting new path…just don’t forget to look behind you now and then :).