I have been thinking a lot lately about the friends that I have made since moving to Dublin. Not surprisingly, a good majority of them are expats. And what I’ve learned during the past year of being friends with expats is that they leave… and that kind of sucks.
The one person that I knew when I moved to Dublin, an expat, left this summer for an amazing job opportunity back in the States. Another friend’s work contract recently ended, so he and his wife are heading back to America as well. Still another took a four month hiatus from her job and Dublin, but I am hoping that she will be back soon. And yet another is looking for new work that could very well take her out of Dublin.
The expat life is by its very nature, transitory. It makes sense. Expats rarely deal in permanence. Heck, as I’ve written previously in this blog, I can’t think more than three years into the future without giving myself a panic attack partly because of the transience of this life I’ve chosen. I have no idea how long I will be in Dublin. I have no idea how long I will want to be in Dublin. Maybe another year, maybe forever. I’m getting worked up right now just writing about it!
So, I’ve had to say goodbye to many friends. Friends I didn’t want to say goodbye to. And I’m sure there will be more unwanted goodbyes in my future. This is an unpleasant part of the expat adventure, but it’s also an unavoidable part. And I certainly wouldn’t trade any of these friendships. I am so glad to have met these people and to have had them in my life. And, though they may no longer live in Dublin, I still count them among my friends.
As one of them reminded me just today – yes, expats leave, which means friends leave. But that just means you have a new place visit – and a nice place to stay when you do!
That’s a comforting thought, though the leaving still sucks.