Living away from your family

Living away from your family can be hard. Whether it’s a different city, a different country or a different continent, the thousands of kilometres between us and our families can make them feel very unreachable.

Being able to get to your siblings’, parents’ and grandparents’ homes in less than an hour really does seem like a luxury now that you can’t just pop in for an hour or so because the journey wouldn’t even be worth it.

FaceTime is great but it’s just not the same as physically being in each other’s presence.

So there’s that. And then you also start to realise how much you rely on certain family members for certain things. I’ve sent my mum plenty of measurements and photos and done numerous video calls whilst trying to sort out my new curtains. I know for a fact that if she lived round the corner then they would have been up ages ago.

There’s also the worrying. I worry about members of my family. Wishing I could visit them more, keep them company and bring them things that they need. What if something goes wrong and I’m not there?

I used to feel really alone in this sense because it’s not something that people talk about all the time, especially as it’s hardly the most positive topic. Until I spoke to a friend who moved to Frankfurt from another German city. She started talking about the above and it turned out she feels exactly the same. It made me realise that it’s not just about being in another country. I know plenty of people in the UK, including my sister, who live in different cities to their families and they must have had the exact same thoughts at some point or another.

But it was comforting. Comforting to know that I’m not the only one who feels like this. People relocate all the time and whilst the pros are amazing the cons can be pretty rubbish, but I guess that’s life.

However, what I’ve learnt is that if you’re ever feeling lonely or like you need a helping hand, don’t be afraid to ask those around you for help. They’ll probably understand how you’re feeling more than you’d ever imagined and you’ll get things done twice as quickly!

Here’s how I’ve dealt with being away from my family:

– Speak to friends about it

– Plan family time, whether it’s getting them over to visit you or for the next time you’re back home

– Call and text regularly

– Send post, whether it be a post card with a few updates or a local chocolate bar 🙂

My last piece of advice is actually not mine. I spoke to a friend when I was feeling down about being away from my family and she said

“Well, I like to think that throughout the years I’ve made a little family here. Even though they’re my friends, they’re the people I have to count on. So it kind of makes it easier.”

Best advice ever. Since putting this mindset into practice I’ve realised it’s not just about having family around you, rather people who you can count on.

Reunited with my mum and sister at Christmas!

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