After being in Colombia for a week with Santiago and his family, I have started to wonder why we as Americans, or maybe just my family, seem to brag or wear as a badge of honor living far from home.
I find myself saying things like, “My siblings are great. My brother is in LA. My sister in Atlanta. My parents still in South Carolina, doing well, working, traveling often to visit us ‘kids’.”
Sure, I see the importance of leaving home – starting out on your own life journey, making your own decisions, managing your own money, ect. But, what about living so far away from your family?
Since as long as I can remember, my brother, sister and parents would hop on a plane every summer to visit our grandparents and mom’s side of the family for the week of fourth of July. Then, we would often spend thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas or New Years with my dad’s side. We or someone in the family always had to spend a significant amount of time traveling to just be together for sometimes what was just 24 hours.
In Bogota, all of Santiago’s family is here – his aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, brother. So, when we are here it is like having thanksgiving whenever we want, and its always so nice when everyone is together. Often times, we spend the entire day just sitting around eating, catching up, reading magazines and laughing.
Every time I am in Colombia, I always wonder what it would have been like to grow up with my family all in the same city. Everyone getting together for lunch or dinner every few weeks. Meeting an aunt for an afternoon coffee.
I think maybe we put to much pressure to go out in the world and be the best we can be, even if that means “leaving the nest” and moving far away from home. Maybe we have forgotten how wonderful it is to be able to spend time with family, even if its just a lunch over the weekend, when no one is stressed out about traveling to get there.
I know I have written about this topic before (The Hardest Part About Living Abroad). However, this is still one of the most difficult things for me to grasp, being away from my family. I know this is a decision I made a long time ago and is by no means irreversible, but it still weighs heavy on my heart.
Will I ever change my mind and move closer to my family? I don’t know.
I am genuinely very happy with my life, but feel like the time with my family always goes too fast. But, it all seems to go fast these days….