You say Goodbye and I say Hello…Hello…Hello

1779306_412717678864074_1323054497_nThe two words you never want to hear an expat say are “I’m leaving” — and regardless of how many times you hear them it never gets easier.

The first time my nine year-old felt the pain of these words was when his sailing buddy, his soccer buddy, his first friend and his best friend said, “I’m leaving.” My heart ached for him as he quietly cried in hidden places and he moped around for weeks before deciding that his life would go on.

At school, we have seen families come and families go. Either back to their home countries or off to new adventures. Favorite teachers leave. And the learning still continues. Companies relieve people. And new companies hire them.

There have been times during this journey when I stopped myself and thought, this is one of the best days of my life. I want to capture it and keep it forever. But life evolves and changes: and while recovering from a loss, we are preparing for a new beginning. The fact that things change is what keeps it interesting and yet emotionally exhausting at the same time. It is a love affair with the unknown. An addiction to the experience. A memory that may never be forgotten.

Constantly saying goodbye and saying hello. An old friend leaves as a new friend walks in the door. Knowing there’s no time for sadness because you need the new person as much as you needed the friend who just left. We hold each other up, and watch out for each other’s best interest; we band together like brothers and sisters. Ready to take on whatever is thrown our way as we try to make sense of the mysterious and the illogical.

The expat life isn’t intended to be enjoyed without good friends. You have to share the experience. You need a sidekick, a buddy — a girl pack in order to navigate the craziness; otherwise you will be lost in the experience. And that would be really sad.

Hello…Hello…Hello. I don’t know why you say goodbye; but I say Hello.

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