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The trouble with living abroad

I'm more or less on the other end of the world from where I call home, South Africa. I'm being paid fairly well and exploring a culture that's completely different from my own. I have a good group of friends and I'm realising more and more that I want to see the whole world.

Despite my own better judgement though I'm starting to think a bit further ahead than the next year. I'm thinking about what I'll be doing, where I want to travel and ultimately where I want to end up living.

And there, in that last question, worry and sadness start to worm their way in and grab hold. While I'm enjoying seeing the world, I'm feeling more and more worried that I'm missing out on the lives of my friends. Despite being able to speak to them, I'm not around to experience the ups and downs of their lives with them like I used to. While I learn the struggles of teaching and learning new languages, they're struggling through freelancing, getting first apartments, seeing each other make poor decisions at parties and living together.

My friends at parties.

My favorite parts of university were the independence (which studying away from home afforded me) and my friends. The latter so much so that my final two years were spent living in the same house as my eight of my best friends. The home we "built" together and the freedom we had was absolute bliss. A world free of adults we had to report to and listen to. We were free to make our own choices and our own mistakes. for the first time in many of our lives, what we did with our days was entirely up to us. It's ironic now that I'm even further from home and have more independence, yet I'm not quite as happy. I'm pretty sure it's what you call homesickness.

Although to be fair, having the voices of home just a phone call away has helped.

My mind drifts back to warm afternoons sitting in a car sharing cigarettes, cold nights around the fire in our garden with beers and friends, warm summer evenings without electricity when we would open the doors an sit on our couches listening to the thunder crack and the rain pattering down on our garden.

It's nostalgia for a time and a place, but more than that it's nostalgia for everyone being in the same place. This of course goes directly against my aforementioned longing to see the whole world.

There's a disconnect between my longing to travel and see the world full time and my longing to live with my friends.

It's frustrating.

Anyway here's Stats, a nostalgic video from awhile ago that makes me pretty happy and kinda sad.


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