A Quick Love Note to My Friends Who Live Abroad

Breathe, my friends. Breathe.

I have been seeing, hearing, feeling, touching a lot of feedback from people returning to “life abroad” this week. And I just want to reach out and say a hale and hearty, GOOD FOR US!

98% of the people I know in Marrakech are from somewhere else. Given the heat, lack of business and opportunities for family and friends to be on holidays in the summer, I think a full 98% of that 98% go away to somewhere else in the summertime. Back home mostly, to reconnect with loved ones and family. Taking time to step back from the chaos and car horns, the different languages, different culture, and just to remain calm for a bit.

Personally, nothing refreshes and replenishes my worn out brain more than peeking out of my basement apartment window at the green grass, or hearing my little friends giggle and play on the trampoline. I love buying fresh strawberries, visiting my family, watching Live with Kelly and Ryan at the right time. It fills every cell of my soul to gaze (ok, more like stare and drool) at the giant Rocky Mountains perched above Canmore that I have looked at (sometimes out my own front window) a million times before. I love driving, in a straight line, with rules, in the company of other rule followers. I love the predictability of it all. I love tapping my debit card for EVERY PURCHASE.

I love gathering things to bring back like a little squirrel. Weighing every item that I touch to assess whether it will tip the scales over my allotted baggage weight. I just love my months spent amongst my own people. I love seeing my Canadian friends and reconnecting. I love the long hugs hello and the longer hugs goodbye.

And this first week back….it’s hard. There is a lot of jet lag. And dust. And some dead plants. And red. No more green now, it’s all red.

The car horns blare once again, the sweat beads at the simple thought of leaving the house and the errands become Herculean feats of adventure rather than a simple stop.

It’s hard living in Marrakech. It’s hard living abroad. It’s hard being on our own without the support of family. It’s hard having to accept the quirks and oddities that make Marrakech what it is.

And it is TOTALLY OK to feel sad. To take some time indoors. To ease back in. To call home more often. To feel overwhelmed by the suitcases full of supplies for the long months ahead. It’s ok to miss home. For some reason, this year has been harder for a lot of people.

BUT WE DID IT. As hard as it is, and as amazing as we know it will be next week, and next month, we did it. We made the choice, we got on the plane, we travelled for miles and miles and ate crappy airplane food. And we came back. We recommitted. Good for us!

Good for us for being brave when we are tired and just want to cry a little. Good for us for having gone home and invested in those beautiful things we get in our own countries. And good for us for coming back. To the adventure, the beautiful Moroccan people, to our businesses and our Moroccan loved ones.

Take a minute. Relax. Breathe in and out. Reflect on how incredibly lucky we are for even having the choice. And for how incredibly brave we have been to making it back here again.

And now let’s just lean on each other a little bit and remember – we are here to support each other. Enjoy the new year my friends. May it be blessed.