Living away from home in another country changes you. Your opinions, perspectives, habits and things that you find superficial versus essential will no longer be the same. You evolve into someone that is more embracing of racial differences and people’s personalities. It’s a new you on a new home.
Living away gives you the thrills of adventure and self-discovery. It is liberating to become someone you wanted to be. To live the person you can’t be because back home, people caged you into someone they expect you to be. It makes you feel proud that you’re capable of living alone and relying to no one but yourself.
You start building bridges and letting new faces crawl into your life and carve their own marks. You start to have new favorites – places, desserts and hobbies. You are settling and the longer you stay, the harder to break free.
Yet, you still miss home. You think of the things that you are missing out – birthdays, holidays or just a simple coffee time on a humid afternoon on the courtyard. So many things have happened that things have changed you and the people you left behind. You think you’ve become a better person and start calling yourself mature and independent.
You wanted the freedom, change, money and things your new place gives you. But, it comes with a sacrifice of not being part of your family’s happy moments or not being able to hold their hands at difficult times. You look into their photos and you’re always the one missing. It dampens your spirit and forms a small void in your aching heart.
Still, your family will never love you less just because you choose to live on a different time zone. And this, for me, is comforting. I can always go back home and join that coffee time we always do every afternoon and have missed for the longest time.