Family And Internationals

This weekend Lexie came to town. She arrived on Saturday in time for our Thanksgiving dinner and left today, Monday, late morning. It was short and very sweet.

When I moved to Slovenia I left all my friends and family back home in California. Since then, I’ve made friends. I’ve made good friends. Even though I now have great friends here, there is some strange factor that makes it different. I don’t know if you can fully understand it unless you’ve actually moved away from your home and experience this for yourself. It’s difficult to describe. Perhaps it is the cultural difference, the language barrier, the lack of familiarity. It’s not just moving away from home, it’s also moving away from your home country. There’s some lack of ease, lack of flow, some something that just seems to be missing. Probably if you have moved to a foreign country you know what I’m talking about. It’s not an easy transition in life.

That said, when my family has come to visit or when I go back home and visit my close friends, it’s like you just fall back into that mysterious ease. When Lexie came here, it was that goodness all over again and when she left I was left with that feeling of “Man, I really miss that.” We stayed up late last night watching the Raider game. We laughed over things we did in the past. We talked about thoughts on life now. Part of how enjoyable it is has something to do with your history. This is a person who knows you, has known you for a long time, you understand one another, you think similarly. Until that is gone from your life you really don’t know how incredible it really is.

When Luka and I were planning to get married so many people brought up objections like “The cultural difference will be so hard!” and “You two will have a lot of cultural problems to work through.” Honestly, we didn’t. There were a few, of course, but I think that because we were so happy to be together and had really found our soul mate in the other those “problems” were really minor issues that were quickly cleared up with a¬†little communication. I guess that’s love. But friends and siblings, that’s very different. Those things are not found easily.

This is one of the outcomes of an international relationship. There are good things, great things, hard things, different things, and all sorts of other things we face that others don’t. Many of them are unexpected and there’s just no way to prepare for them. Like everything in life, if you don’t do something because of the unexpected, the difficult, or the challenging, you’ll never truly enjoy life.