Many of you readers have been living away from your homeland. For some of you it has been already so long that you have probably stopped counting. Perhaps for others it is just the beginning of a new adventure abroad.
You may have moved alone and have your own family by now. Maybe you went by yourself looking for a new challenge. It could be that you have relocated for a job opportunity or to accompany your partner.
Regardless of where you fit into there is a common link. You are not at home. Even if you have built a life meantime - one that you relish and are proud of - you are still in a different corner of the world.
At some point along your journey, you will decide to stay or to come back home. This decision happens even before you can rationalize it. It takes place deep within and it is not always ease to explain - to others and sometimes to yourself. There may be a myriad of reasons when you give it a second thought.
In the first scenario you decide to stay. You like your job, or perhaps you do not enjoy it that much though it gives you financial freedom. You have made new friends and you have a full-on social life. You have built a family and your partner and kids feel completely integrated.
On the flip side the story is utterly different, and you decide to go back home. You miss your family and friends, you do not feel integrated in the culture, you have troubles communicating in a language you can't master. You can't find a job, the weather is unbearable, the cuisine makes you nauseous.
In both scenarios there is once more a common denominator. Connection. Either you feel connected to the country you are now living in, or you lack the connection. Connection becomes the reason you stay or the reason you leave.
Connection is an inevitable part of the human condition. When we are connected, we feel like we belong. We feel welcomed and more prone to embrace the change that comes with a new life. And as someone living in a country that is not the one where you were born and raised, you already know what an enormous change that is.
Imagine now how it feels to lack that connection. To live in a country where you constantly feel lonely and dislocated. Almost as a part of you is missing. You are homesick. And being homesick does not mean your homeland is the heaven on earth. I'm sure there is a lot you can complain about! Truth is the connection you feel to your home country is pulling you strongly.
Why am I telling you this? I have lived in different countries and blended in distinct cultures. Being passionate about people and always curious about what change can bring, I felt a roller-coaster of emotions each time. I have experienced great things and others no so bright and shiny, and I keep no regrets. Throughout my journey abroad, I have felt connected to some places more than others. Until the day I realized that being away from home was no longer making me whole.
As I mentioned earlier, I knew it for quite a while, deep inside, more than I was ready to admit to myself. Feeling you wish to come back home and do it are two realities apart. It took me a while to accept that the connection to the country where I was living in had already faded. I have put so much hard work and effort into the life I have built. How could I leave all of it behind for a country where dreams are much harder to come true?
Often coming back home is not about appealing job opportunities or a grandiose lifestyle. The same way that staying abroad is not only about uplifting challenges and more money in the bank account.
CONNECTION. We look for connection everywhere we are. And we will keep looking for it as our life depends on it. Because largely it does.
Change happens all the time. Everywhere. Everyday. It happens right inside of you. As you have experienced yourself, big changes take place when you move abroad or come back home. And connection is always in the middle of it. When something inside you transforms, changes; a new path for connection opens.
When that happens make sure you pay attention and listen carefully to what that connection is trying to tell you. Is it time to come closer or to let go of? It is not as if something terrible and irreversible is going to happen in case you ignore it. Though the doors that will open when you do listen and follow that connection is not something you want to miss out.
Connection makes us more whole and capable to follow our own path and conquer our dreams. Are you ready to give up on that?