Being an expat, an immigrant, a visa-holder, being away from a land that you used to call home.
Having to leave from the land that you were born on because of lack of opportunities, or because your country was bombed or invaded, or natural disasters happened.
We’re a certain type: we’ve probably left families, maybe even children for that desire to do better for ourselves and our families. For a desire to get our family out of debt and out of that daily struggle for an extra penny.
And we thought that we will be away for a couple of years, five years max maybe, and then days become months and months become years and things happen and we never get to go back. Home becomes a different place.
We deal with racism, prejudices and people looking down on us from time to time. But we don’t let that get us down, we just keep pushing through it.
When things get bad, we don’t turn the other cheek, no sir. Where I come from, I was raised to stand up for myself. I was raised to speak up and go through fire if need be. We sort our problems, we look after our own and tomorrow we try again.
And every time we visit our ‘first home’, that moment in the airport with your parents, with your children. The picking up of that customs’ tray, and looking back smiling, asking your mum/children not to cry because you’ll be back in no time.
That hurts, man. Believe me. It breaks my heart into million pieces every time I have to do it. It’s such a heaviness in the weeks that follow, such a longing that sometimes I feel it suffocates me.
There’s days when all I want is to be able to get in a car and be with my mum in 20 minutes. All I want is to be close, to have my little family close. To spend half a day in the garden doing all those mundane jobs and having a laugh and a good lunch after.
It’s hard some days. Because I feel so sad not being able to do all these things. It’s a wound that will never heal, something I think most of us expats have to learn how to live with.
And it’s not all bad, we built something for ourselves here, we have friends and partners and nice houses to live in perhaps. And I am grateful. So, so grateful.
But some days, I just wish I was back in the motherland and just be.
And this one’s for all of you that feel like that from time to time. It gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t.
But all we can do is make the best with what we have been given and hope that one day it will all work out. And remember, Home is always where the heart is.
Peace, love and light,