Being an expat is AWESOME and has so many advantages.....well, most of the time.
You get to experience new places, new people, new food, new culture.
You really do become a "bigger", more open person because becoming an expat requires you to step out of your own comfortable world and enter someone else's. As an expat you find out how flexible and adaptive and patient you really are. And you get to make the world your "home" rather than a certain address in a certain zip code... So you see, it really is great.
That is, until some type of tragedy enters your world.
Sometimes those tragedies happen TO you, the expat, and you YEARN to have your family there with you.
Sometimes those tragedies happen within your family, and you YEARN to be there with them as they go through whatever it is.
But realistically, there are times that those yearnings just cannot be met with the quick click of a "purchase" button on Expedia.com.
Sometimes they cannot get to you when you need them.
And sometimes you cannot get to them either.
And it is in those times, those crises, that you begin to wonder if all the wonderful advantages of expat life are really worth it. And it is not until you survive the crisis or come through the tragedy that you can once again appreciate what being an expat has ADDED to your life.
And this is where I am. Right now.....
....n the middle of a family emergency, frantically searching for airfare that won't deplete my bank account; feeling guilty that I am not already there with them; trying to send as much love and support as is possible in an electronic format; and second guessing my choice to live in another country.
I know that I will look back on this in days, weeks, months, and realize that none of us can be there with our families every time they need us; whether we live across the globe or across the street. But right now, as my dad lies in a hospital room in north Texas, all I can focus on is getting there.
Even in the midst of this family emergency, another advantage to being an expat has revealed itself to me...... My support and prayer network is now world-wide. Besides the big ol' US of A, I have friends all over Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Germany, France, and Australia sending prayers and positive energy to our family. And for that, I am truly thankful.