The Expat's Lament

I can already see the scene from today in a faded photograph style in my mind.

I had brunch with a friend who was visiting for a night from Geneva, where she moved to from Munich back in September. Four of the old crew joined us - two of whom are already in their final week in Munich themselves and the other two who are actively looking to move on by next year.

What can I say? Almost everyone I was friends with a year ago has now moved on from Munich. A table at brunch that was filled with six of us today would have held 25 of us a year ago. I miss those who have left.

Next weekend I will go to Basel for another get together - a reunion of the Basel crew that I spent three years with in Basel and traveling with around the world. Some won't make it as they have moved even farther afield than Europe.

On Thursday, it was another Thanksgiving that I missed my friends and family in the US.

We have Skype, we have email, we have Facebook. Feeling connected to people all over the world is one of the things that makes me happiest in life.

But if you leave your heart in bits and pieces all over the world, can you ever be whole anywhere again?

As I walked down the empty, cold street in Munich, I felt more alone than I have in a long time.

Posted from Munich


Expats Again said...

Oh my...This is such a hard thing to go through. Expats have a way of being in our lives for such a short time. I remember my friends leaving Shanghai when we were expats there in 2005. But the good news is that we have many places to visit our Shanghai friends & we plan a yearly reunion (this year was a Greek Island Cruise). I know this will happen to me again in Munich with my new expat friends since we just decided to live there permanently. It will be hard to do.

Expat Traveler said...

I say it's the weather but I also do think you can bring that feeling back over time. Just remember what you have and how far you have gone and everything you are so thankful to have right where you are now. :)

We finally purchased a car after 12 years of missing long drives!

Megan said...

This resonates. You build a great little community and then it unravels. We're still going through this after our move to Nuremberg. Some times we feel it more than others.

G in Berlin said...

The feeling hits one even in our native countries- before moving to Germany I had built a "perfect" place- now I expect I won't be back. But if you keep even one friendship from each dislocation, that's a wonderful thing to have.

click clack gorilla said...

I like to try to take a positive outlook on this feeling...no matter where I am there will always be someone I am missing, which means that the world is filled with people that I love.

When people ask me when/if I'll ever go back home to the States I often ask them what home they think I have there to go back to. Everyone I know has scattered to the wind and there is no such one place anymore. Better to keep that feeling of home in all the hearts all around the world so I can feel at home everywhere.