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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Expat Love

My beautiful running trail today.
Oh yeah, I am going to go there...

Expats are unique.  I think that in order to leave everything familiar behind, you are making a conscious decision to do so - and that there is some motivation for that.  Perhaps a broken heart, a desire to leave a previously cultivated identity behind - or just a change.  
Look at the elephant I found in
the middle of no where.

And, for the purpose of this blog I am writing about the single expat.  Not the ones that move abroad with their family.

So here we are.  A bunch of foreigners in a foreign land.  How long we are here, where we are going - no one knows.  It is a rather transient lifestyle.  However as human beings we crave intimacy - and no I am not talking about sex, I am referring to intimacy in all of its forms.  Talking, sharing, snuggling up, laughing - knowing that someone is is always there.  

As I was saying, expats, like all humans long for intimacy.  However the transient lifestyle dictates a certain behaviour pattern.  We (and yes I am including myself in this equation) avoid getting close to other people - particularly romantically.  When things start getting close - I hit the road.  Or create a drama that results in the termination of that particular relationship.  It is a recipe that works well for me - and as far as I can see, many others expats as well. 

Kind of sad huh?  

This past week I ran into someone from my past.  Someone had I walked away from. I am not sure how it happened, but we started talking.  Something that I had avoided previously.  Conversations that speak of the future, feelings and commitment make me stressed.  They are in direct conflict with my live-in-the-moment approach to life.  But it got me to thinking.  In those few moments of open honest conversation, I got to know him better than I had in all the time we previously spent together.  As did he, I.  But that (and he) is in the past and not a part of my future.  It is sometimes easier to speak openly when there is nothing to lose.

The other evening at a dinner party one fellow was sharing how he wanted to settle down and have a family.  One other fellow laughed at him and he remarked at how odd expats were when it came to relationships and their view of them. That got me thinking too.

Today I went for a challenging run with a friend.  It felt wonderful.  The spectacular autumn foliage only added to my appreciation of it all.  My thoughts wandered to the past, the present and of course what lay ahead.  Uncertainty or no uncertainty - it time to plant roots and settle in to my place here in the world - and, maybe, just maybe take a chance on love...

And now I am sending this song out to my running friend...  

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