Of course not everything that glitters is gold and so it goes without saying that there are downsides to living abroad or away from home.
You miss out on the local fun and activities and good times with your friends. I haven’t been to a Jollification or international food festival back home in at least 8-9 years.
You miss important life events, the births of my friends’ kids, weddings, funerals. Sometimes it’s just too expensive or you can’t get the time off or whatever, but you miss those moments. That’s hard. I’m a hoarder of little keepsakes: concert ticket stubs, flight tickets, invitations, birthday cards…I like looking back at them from time to time.
So what do you get in exchange for seeming to miss it all? You get the chance to change the trajectory of your life by doing something different, by making the sacrifice. Sacrifices aren’t supposed to be enjoyable; the word itself sounds excruciating.
God puts us where we need to be when we need to be there. That gives me solace. I try not to focus on the things I don’t have or continue to miss and I think about the long term benefits, the positive experiences in the present and future that I’m creating. Maybe I’ll have a positive impact on the lives around me or inspire someone else from home to take the leap…who knows.