Let’s talk about friends

Years ago, when I was still a teenager dreaming about a fairy tale future, I decided I could never go and live abroad. It would be too hard to leave my friends behind, and I would not have the heart to do it.

Last November, after I’d been living abroad for about two months, I wrote the following after a desperately needed walk;

“…while I was out on my walk I was overcome with a feeling of deep love for this city and how it has welcomed me with many wonderful new experiences, opportunities and friends. At the same time I felt completely heartbroken that I wasn’t able to share this newfound love with my best friends from home. And that’s what being homesick is like for me.”

I seemed to have been temporarily struck by a rather sensitive and fragile mood, yet this little entry that I wrote describes a recurring feeling. In my last post I briefly mentioned that it was making new friends that made the whole moving abroad experience more bearable. Now, I have found that it is also friendships that make it more of struggle.

My homesickness is entirely based upon missing my friends from home. I wish I could just pick them all up and put them back on English grounds right here, so I could safely rely on them any time of the day. Or perhaps we could put in a suggestion to merge our countries – get all the best British and Dutch stuff, mix it all together. Maybe we could even hold a referendum? (Just kidding.)

Unfortunately, I can’t do that. I am here, and a large group of my friends are not. And since it was revealed that we were going to be without each other for a while, they have been the kindest human beings on earth. I swear my friends are the best. I am talking hugs, postcards, the most thoughtful gifts, and plenty I love yous. I would almost recommend moving abroad, as it seems to make people very sweet and honest about their appreciation for you.

Except that it can also be an emotional nightmare, especially when you or your friends aren’t doing well, and you feel there is nothing you can do because you are miles apart. Or how you are constantly aware of how much your friend would’ve enjoyed taking part in the plans you had for the day.

Worst of all, it pains me to tell them that I am not going to be away for just a year. I have grown very fond of my life here, and I wish to prolong my stay. The current plan is to build up some good work experience in England, and then hopefully one day go back to my home country. But who knows what’s really going to happen? I can’t make any predictions, so I can’t make any promises. All I know now, is that as it turns out, I actually do have the heart to live abroad. And I feel kind of sorry about that. So I hereby sincerely apologise to my dearest Dutch friends, and I also thank them for their amazing support. You have been wonderful.

Love,

Laura

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