Dear expat friend, what can I say? You came out of nowhere and have now left so suddenly! But before you leave, I wanted to say….
Dear expat friend, thank you for adding me to that Facebook mother’s group, before I set sail on my new expat posting. You were a friend of a friend, and we hadn’t even met. That little gesture eased my nerves and ensured that I had an immediate network of support. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, or how much I would need this group of women, but you knew.
Dear expat friend, thank you for answering my ad in that Mother’s group forum. I was pregnant with my first baby and so scared that I would go through this experience alone. Well, because you were brave to put yourself out there like I had, we found our tribe and shared our magical moments of pregnancy, birth and motherhood together. We raised our new babies side by side, and formed a bond that still continues after so many more relocations and countries apart.
Dear expat friend, thank you for saying ‘hi’ to me at the playground that day. You could see that I was new here and was struggling to introduce myself, while my toddler and newborn both demanded my attention. You didn’t know me, but you knew what I was feeling and kindly took me under your wing. So you invited me to that lunch and then the girls night out. You helped me to find a nanny, and I quickly settled into this new city because of you.
Dear expat friend, thank you for your daily chatter and conversations in my lonely, daily life. Our constant WhatsApp messaging helps me to get through this monotonous stage of early childhood and keeps me sane! At my lowest points, you are always my rock. You kept my spirit alive and showed me endless support. You are here for my daily challenges and help me to resolve my crazy, expat problems.
Dear expat friend, thank you for coming over for the cups of tea, getting drunk with me on my birthday and jumping in the pool, fully clothed! You remind me that I haven’t lost myself after all, and that there really are soul sisters out there.
Dear expat friend, so many of you, and all equally important in my life. From acquaintances that answer my questions of where to buy things in this city, to sleep deprived mummies that turn up on our play dates. My fried chicken-love of sambal friends; coffee girls, past expats sweethearts; local treasures; friends from cities that I haven’t even heard of! Thank you so much for being a part of my expat life. Please, no more goodbyes….