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The concept of time and space for expats

In a few weeks I’m heading back to Europe to attend my brother’s wedding and catch up with family. Every time I travel back to connect with people, I’m amazed how time seems to fly (it’s more than a year now since I last saw my family) and at the same time stand still.

There is also that strange feeling that being on the other side of the world is so far away, yet we can still connect and share something within a matter of seconds via pictures, video, text message or a phone call.

That’s why I often feel that the concept of time (fast and slow) get’s blended up with how far away we really are from many of the people that we care about. A few things remain constant though:

  1. Look after your team. However you connect with them and wherever they are, make sure they know how special they are.  When we are far away we need our team more than ever. Don’t take them for granted and don’t let them take you for granted either. Life is too short to hold silly grudges over old stuff. Choose to be there for each other instead.
  2. Focus on quality, not quantity. As humans we often tend to get greedy, but the key thing is still quality, isn’t it? If you could choose between 1 great/tasty meal and 10 rushed/tasteless ones, you’d probably remember (and prefer) the great one, am I right? The same goes for connecting and spending time with people we love. Even if you can only see them for a day or two, choose to have quality time and be fully present with them while you are there.
  3. Sometimes we treasure something more when we have less of it. Connected to point 1 and 2, but more about your own awareness. Reflect on how your relationship with some people back home might have changed. Are you closer? Do you speak as often as you used to? Do you feel as connected? Sometimes we grow apart from some people over the years, and it’s important to remember that’s ok too. Just make sure to have awareness of and express gratitude to the people that are most important in your life.
  4. Live your life fully in the moments you choose. How often do you say “I don’t know where the past month/year went!“. I certainly can’t believe it’s been a year since I hugged my family. That my little nephew was born 8 months ago and I still have not met him in person. He’s so big already! So choose to live here and now, make the most of it and don’t let time trick you. We all have the same amount of time available, it’s all about how we spend it.
  5. Have fun! Time is going to pass anyway. Distance will still be there, especially if you choose to live far away. But it does not mean that you can’t have fun. So laugh and share some great quality time with people you hold dear. Life is meant to be lived an enjoyed not spent dreaming and wishing ourselves away. Enjoy!

If you need a bit of help on your way I’d strongly recommend to download a free copy of my e-book.