As my move starts getting closer, & becoming more real, my life in London seems to be a never ending series of ‘lasts’. This last week I had my last European mini-break* (five days in the Swiss Alps for work), just paid my last rent cheque (hurrah), received my last salary payment (boo), I’ve got two weeks left of work & I’m finally starting to pack my bags (although I need to be better at it because I’m moving out of my flat next week!). & I must admit, that even though I’m three weeks away from getting on that plane, I’m not nervous yet. All I basically have to do is pack & get on the plane. It’s quite exciting (yet also scary that I’ve done so little packing).
However, it is also starting to hit me that I’m not going to be around for the big things that happen in life. For example, my best friend is in hospital right now & I won’t be around for her if (when?) it happens again. My sister just got engaged, & is in the middle of wedding planning, & if the wedding is too soon I may not be able to make it back (there are debates about the date happening right now). Realistically, I’ll be there & have a great time & whatnot, but there will be other things that I’ll no doubt miss out on. My dad is pretty sick with various types of cancer (one of the reasons for the wedding being so soon), & I won’t be around to support my sister & mum for that either. Also- I’ve just started like I’m starting to make a life in London (socially), & now I’m leaving it behind. What if I don’t find new friends in Saudi?
All of the above is part of ex-pat life. I totally get that. Having lived away from my home-country for three years now, I know what it’s like to miss out on things. I’ve yet to miss any big events from back home, but I’ve missed out on giving friends a hug when they’re having a rough time, my parents moving houses (multiple times), cousins having babies, high school reunions**, the long amazing New Zealand summers, & Burger Fuel (can’t beat them moto bites).
I will of course have new adventures. The booze cruise to Bahrain for weekends, drinking grape juice instead of wine (& subsequently- not being hungover), exploring the Middle East, potentially visiting New Zealand, living in a compound, many other things that I’m sure I haven’t thought of.
Over the coming weeks as I have these farewells, I just have to remember that it’s not good-bye, it’s see ya later.
*not sure whether to actually class it as my last break because I’m going to Aberdeen next week with a friend. However, I’ll only be there for a day, so don’t think it counts.
**realistically, I wouldn’t go anyway. I keep in touch with the people I want too. Plus- Facebook. But now I don’t have the option to go either.