|G took this!|
One HUGE benefit of being an expat is the friends you meet along the way.
As people tend to move a lot, and often, you have to make friends very quickly - and establish rapport quickly. You soon learn who to confide in, who to drink with, who to laugh with, who to cry with, who to entrust your kids to and so on.
Making friends as we get older can be daunting, and sometimes nigh on impossible. Plus, as we get older, we've got the friends we want/need and don't actually go searching until we move, or separate from partners (starting over isn't fun at any age, tho depending on circumstances it might be).
Not everyone you meet is a bestie, some are besties for the time you are together, and one leaves and things change - but some friendships are the sticking kind. The kind that no matter what, no matter where you live, you'll always have something to talk about, share, confide, have.
Most of these people you'd have never ever in a million years had a chance to meet had you stayed put in your 'old' life. So the journey an expat takes is something possibly pre-ordained. If you believe that there's no such thing as a coincidence, then .........
We've been really fortunate to have made the bestest of friends with a few expat families, and 'locals'. It's made coming back to Dublin so easy!
When besties invited us to spend mid term with them in Budapest we said YES please! It was touch'n'go for a while if G would join us, but he did, which was great!
Regular Skype sessions, and being friends on FB removes the need for '20 questions' when you met up again, or conversations peppered with pauses where someone is struggling to find the next sentence. You simply continue the conversation.
The husbands clicked, the kids clicked - it was a great few days of conversation, giggles and exploring.
It made midterm so different to those of the past few years when we've opted to stay home because we've had guests, or G's schedule wouldn't allow time off work, or - or - or.
There's something wonderful about packing a suitcase, no matter how small, driving away from the house with the car packed, ready for a new adventure.
The discussions about what do you want to see, will we do this or that, should we prebook tickets here is always fun. And what's more fun is after the holiday what you actually DID (this can be very different to the original plans)
Mr and MrsS and their boys were the best hosts! They have learnt so much about their new home, and it's history. We put ourselves in their capable hands and had a great time, covered most of Buda and Pest, ate soooooo well, walked for miles and really got a feel for this incredibly interesting city.
We've got over 600 photos to remind us of our time together.
We had time as a family to reconnect and chill; we fed our minds with new information and sights; we grew a little bit closer to friends; we compared expat notes; we grew.
MissM and I were very happy for a quiet two days before B&E arrived on Saturday (we're the hosts again) - officially our first guests in Dublin Part 2 (B's been with us first time round, while it's E's first visit)
School started back this morning and getting up at 6.15am in the dark wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Mid term break was good for the soul.
Long may the feeling last.