What it’s like when your family live abroad

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Those of you who know me well will already be aware that my mum is from Germany and my dad is from Turkey. I was born in England and have lived here my whole life, which has had its drawbacks considering the rest of my family live at least a two hour plane journey away.

You may think this means I’m not very close to my family, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, it is a lot harder than if they lived round the corner, or a short car journey away, (something I have always envied about some of my friends and their families) but we make it work just the same.

The worst part about having family abroad is that you miss out on important parts of their lives. You miss out on being there for people’s birthdays, you don’t get to celebrate their achievements with them, you can’t see their school shows or events, and you don’t get that hug when you need it the most.

The only way to stay involved is to make the effort. Just like a long distance friendship or relationship, if you care about someone enough and are willing to make it work you’ll be fine. Thanks to technology you can see the people you love with the click of a button through Skype, Facetime, Facebook – the options are endless. This I am extremely grateful for. It meant we were able to give my family a virtual tour of our new house when we first moved in. It means my 9 year old cousin can show us what presents she got for her birthday. It means you can see one another smile as they tell you a story rather than be reduced to a lone voice on the end of a phone that seems so, so far away.

The only positive that comes from living far away from your family is the quality time you get when you do see each other. For me, planning a visit and knowing you get to see your loved ones soon is the best, most exciting feeling in the world. As hard as it may be to say goodbye once again, nothing is better than those valuable days you were able to share together.




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