Where my expats at? This one’s for everyone who’s studying abroad/doing a gap year/remote working/just plain up and moved–and know the struggle of coordinating visits with your friends and fam while you’re away long-term. Here’s my take on the struggle in 5 succinct stages.
Stage 1: You did it!
You made your move to a fabulous new locale. Everyone is so supportive and happy for you! There is lots of enthusiasm on all sides and all your friends make promises to come visit you.
Stage 2: Where they at tho?
You’ve settled into your new life abroad and things are going great. But like… no one has visited you yet. All the friends with their excitement have “work” and “limited vacation days” and “are broke because of student loans” and you just have to be understanding because you have one or more (or all) of these things too. Still, you remind them that you are here, in a new city, ready for them at any time…
Stage 3: Come thru
It’s happening! Someone has actually committed to coming to see you! You’ve gotten your hopes up before though, so you’re like “screenshots of the flight itinerary or it didn’t happen.” Once they show up in your inbox you immediately start finagling your schedule to maximize your time with them, and dream of all the spots you’ll show them in your city.
Stage 4: They really out here
Yassssss! Your friend arrives and you’re ready to play tour guide. Said friend is v impressed by the two words you’ve managed to pick up in the native language and your navigation skills. You take a million pics for the ‘gram. Screw a food budget! You brunch every day. You cannot believe they are really here and every day is a gift and you are living. it. up.
Stage 5: The hangover
After way too short a time together, your friend leaves you. Possibly with an actual hangover, but definitely with an emotional one. “Is this what homesickness is?” you wonder. You gaze mournfully at all the photos you took together. You are sent back to stage 2 and repeat the steps until you either return home or move to a new location.
Anyone else got experience with the international friendship struggle? Let me know if you have an extra stage.