All of our extended family live within a 30-minute driving radius. We are the only ones who moved outside of the family “bubble.” Throughout each of our countless moves, we have had to explain and re-explain the why factor.
- Why this is a good move for our family.
- Why we choose to move and enjoy this lifestyle.
- Why we will remain close in our relationship, despite our distance.
- Why the kids will NOT suffer as a result of our move.
To be quite honest, this common song and dance may be a bit redundant on both sides, but I can empathize with their thought process. I don’t fault them, really, even if their reaction is oftentimes less than encouraging at first.
Anyone who has moved out of the “bubble” knows this scenario well. As a result, I have decided to compile a thorough and fair list of positives and negatives to moving abroad.
Please keep in mind that this list has been thoroughly compiled, researched, discussed, and finalized by a biased group of four kids with my last name. Ah-hem…
- Yes, we are happy about the move. Thankfully, this was our choice and not out of hardship. We are proud to provide the kids with global exposure.
- Even though relocating may require some cramming into temporary quarters with a family of 6 plus a big furry dog, moving again into permanent housing, managing language barriers, and living out of a suitcase for a while, we are adaptable. Each journey also serves as a great lesson for the children to experience assimilating into a new environment, not to mention learning to temporarily live without every toy from their playroom until the containers arrive.
- No, the kids will not suffer. They will miss their close friends, but they will also make new ones and grow. They will be proud to have close relationships with previous teachers and peers from all over the world, and will keep in touch.
- The children will soak up new languages like a sponge, learn to appreciate new cuisine, and visit new parts of the world they may not have typically experienced. They will gain a unique open-mindedness about different cultures, learn geography beyond their home country, and gain a personal understanding of religions and traditions from around the world.
- Adjusting to a new school will allow the kids to figure out who they are, test out emerging parts of their personality, learn adaptability, and foster positive social skills.
- Yes, we will all miss special family events, and that will be hard. But we promise to document everything in pictures and visit when we can, even if its once or twice a year. Feel free to visit as often as you’d like, we promise to spoil you with our typical gourmet breakfast (and probably overfeed you).
- No, we are NOT escaping the “bubble.” We are proud to see the world from a more personal perspective by living amongst it, rather than the kids learning about it in school. We are truly excited about the opportunities that living abroad offer and wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Mentally, the kids are not hindered by moving every handful of years. They gain so much more than they lose. They are smarter, wiser, braver, more confident, adaptable, and worldly. They do not crave leaving every few years; and we don’t plan on being transient forever. As the kids get older, the move will be harder. We realize that.
- We do not know where we will move next. We don’t plan so far ahead and truly don’t know. That’s the beauty of fantasizing about our next location. The world is in our hands, and we love to figure it out when the time comes.
- Our family is not sad or down about these choices. On the contrary, we feel privileged to have this opportunity, and our family unit is solid as we rely on each other.
This is our absolute reality. Our moving is not personal and does not mean we love you any less. We are proud to be where we are, and we are confident that our relationship with extended family will remain as strong, if not stronger. What will tomorrow bring? We have no idea, time will tell. When we know, you will be the first to find out.
Please don’t gauge your happiness on the amount of hours you will need to travel by airplane. A flight is just a flight, especially when you’re not traveling with little ones.
In meantime, consider us your personal bed and breakfast hotel. Allow us to guide you through different countries and experiences.
Remember, true closeness knows no distance.