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Daily Archives: May 17, 2016

Upside Down Expat

Fleeting Feelings: People or place?

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enjoying life, success concept

Are people more important than place? Most would agree that to be the case. So for those of us that live overseas away from our families, it’s a lingering notion that can cultivate uncomfortable emotions.

Before I took a chance opportunity to live overseas, I strongly believed that people were more important than place. That families were meant to stay close together and there was more to life than the weather. I couldn’t understand why people would choose to move far away, particularly if it meant leaving behind family. These beliefs, at surface level, largely remain in-tact. Which means my choice to live overseas is misaligned with many of my core beliefs, creating a jarring juxtaposition in my mind.  I feel overwhelmed at times. Not just because I miss my family, but because my self-assessed selfishness cultivates a conscience about putting my own lifestyle preferences above the love I have for my family. A family I know that misses us desperately.

And so I’ve frequently questioned whether I’m choosing lifestyle over love. Whether, by choosing to live so far away from family, it means I now believe that place is more important than people.

Yet my current lifestyle really suits me. It makes me feel free. I never feel bored anymore. I no longer need to wait impatiently for a few days once a year to bask in the glistening sun, for the grey clouds and rain to subside to feel motivated to go out for a run, or for the annual, two if we’re lucky, holiday overseas to relax and have some fun. I feel inspired, relaxed and energised by nothing more than stepping out of my front door. This lifestyle makes me happy.

And so no, I still don’t believe there’s anything more important in the world than the people that we love. But I’ve realised I am in fact choosing people over place. Because, while I would love and feel I will eventually be closer to my family, I’d forgotten to include one person in that question before; me.

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