Expat Diaries: The Feelings of Missing Out

I love being an expat. If you’ve been considering making a big move to a new country then go for it! A friend of mine recently moved to the US after getting her visa and she’s already loving her life over there. She’s just applied for a credit card with no credit history (after all, she’s only just moved there) and will be starting her new job soon. I love hearing success stories like that, especially as I consider myself one too!

While I love my life over here in London, there are times I feel like I am missing out on a lot back home in the US. There are a lot of aspects of expat life that are wonderful and exciting and I am so appreciative for the experiences I have had, but there are times when you really want to be there, for the big occasions, family trips, holidays or just because you miss your family.

Last weekend, my mom and sisters were all together in New York City for my mom’s birthday. She really wanted me to be there and we had several phone conversations that ended in “I just so wish you could be there. Is there any way?” and it killed me to have to say no. I couldn’t make it work because Ciaran and I had to renew my Visa, among other reasons – wedding planning, money, work – life just has it’s way of rearing it’s ugly head and getting in the way and it is hard to accept sometimes.

It all just reminded me of when I first came over to the UK as an expat from the US and felt so confused about how to sort out my finances and catch up on tax returns – all those tricky financial things no one really explains. I suppose what I’ve discovered since then is that life can often seem expensive but, nonetheless, it is very important to stay on top of your money and get organised.

That fear of missing out feeling came creeping in and I spent most of Thursday (my mom’s actual birthday) in a sad daze thinking, if only I could be there and searching Sky Scanner for last minute tickets in the desperate hope that a miraculous cheap flight would pop up on my screen. A friend of mine even suggested that if I used a site like FlyingHomes, I’d be able to sell my property really quickly and use the money to move back to the US. But this didn’t happen and I just had to accept that I’m over here for now.

The feelings of missing out on something really fun with your family back home can be really hard. I have written about some hardships to living abroad before and whilst I wish there was an easier solution, there isn’t. Skyping and FaceTime have been saving graces for when I am feeling really down and homesick. I Skyped with my entire family – Dad, Sisters and Mom – last weekend and while I was sad to not be there, it brightened my day just to speak with them and made me happy to see that they were all having fun.

I am really happy that my mom had such a fantastic birthday and am now just counting down the days until they are in London for my wedding… three more months, I keep telling myself, is going to fly by.

Any expats out there that have felt the feelings of missing out before?