Step 26 – Decide to stay in touch

I was done with Facebook before people who are now done with Facebook, were done with Facebook.  If that makes me a pripster, then so be it. (A pre-hipster).

Just kidding.

I haven’t had Facebook for a long time and part of me misses it.

Frankly, I’m thinking of backsliding – to facilitate keeping in touch, of course. I’m not sure if it will be a good idea that allows easier access to my beloved family and friends, or if it will be a trap that stops me from ever going outside and helps me quietly creep distant acquaintances’ twice removed profiles in my Australian basement.  That’s the real danger.

We have a lot of friends our age who have moved away from everything they’ve known. They’ve picked up and left friends and family and moved to another continent.  Sam and Rob have come here from the UK and think this [frozen hinterland] is the place for them. (I added the bit about the frozen hinterland – they think of Canada as an adventurer’s playground).  Lowri moved here from Wales for school and hasn’t left – and she’s as tight with her family as anyone I know! Chloe moved here from Ireland and loves the snow, the ice and the hypothermia in lieu of the rain.

(It is worth noting that the people who’ve come here from Morocco, Mexico and Lebanon that we’ve talked to FULLY UNDERSTAND and support our move to warmer climes).

So, thankfully we do have some trailblazing friends who’ve been a wealth of encouragement, information and insight.

There have also been friends whose experience has been more negative and they offer honest caution to Dan and I about our impending move. Trudy’s husband moved here from New Zealand and the separation from his family for so many years has been very trying. Amina moved from Pakistan and travels back every chance she gets and feels homesick pretty much constantly.

So we hope we’re in the first camp – the people who have a great time having moved abroad.

Some things to think about:

1. We haven’t really discussed with anyone how permanent this move is with ourselves or our family/friends. My friend Deborah (who moved from the UK to Mexico, and then Mexico to Canada) says to treat the early weeks as if you’re on vacation. it changes your psychological attitude from “I’m so out of my element and scared and lonely with this huge change” to an adventurous one “I can’t wait to see what other new things we can experience”. Then before long, these new things are familiar and comfortable too!

2. I think we are good candidates for being able to keep in touch efficiently. I have FaceTime on my computer. We both have Skype on our computers and I have it on my unlocked cell phone. We’re both familiar with apps like What’sApp and Viber. We’re no stranger to phone cards either if push comes to shove. Plus I’ve got this blog, and Dan has Facebook. Neither of us do Twitter or Instagram but that’s probably for the best. You’d end up with tweets like: #hashtagIdontgethowtousehashtagscorrectlysAmIdoingthisrightThisisgettingcomplicatedIssomeonefollowingmeHowmanycharactersdoIgetbeforeitcutsme

So I think that we probably won’t just vanish into thin air.

3. We fervently hope that our friends and family will come visit us – but we’ll still go, even if no one visits. Mehreen’s already looking at tickets. Andrea’s looking at booking time off.  And their impending visits encourage me so much as I think about us setting up our new lives out in Australia.

That said, I did just read a bobinoz blog post where he said there are four criteria for knowing whether or not your friends and family will come visit you so far away in Australia, and I must admit, the list does worry me a bit.  It sounds likely to be true. Here is the list:

  • They need to have a history of travelling.
  • They need to be able to financially afford it.
  • They need to be able to find the time to come.
  • They probably should have a strong desire to visit Australia.

His experience (and the experience of the people who commented) was all consistent.  He did say in the post the week following that “In all likelihood, close family, irrespective of their past history with those four criteria, will come to see you. If they didn’t travel much before, they will now. They will find the time and they will find the money. Because ultimately they do have a strong desire to see you again.”

So that is good news, but I guess we do need to be realistic and recognize that for most of our friends and family, Australia is simply a bridge too far.

That said, I hope you come.

You, yes you. Specifically you.

[Do you get the significance of the image at the top of this post?]

5 thoughts on “Step 26 – Decide to stay in touch”

    1. Very surprised that you guys are moving. I feel bad that we didn’t spend more time together when you first moved out here (hard to believe that was four years ago or so), but then again we all have lives, and for one reason or another they get in the way. At least we got to hang out a few times when you were here. That said, we hope to come visit you guys at some point in the future–all four of us (Kell and I are expecting twins). I’ve always wanted to visit Australia anyway. If I don’t see either one of you before you leave, which is also hard to believe that it’s in a few weeks, that it was great having you here, we wish you all the best and hope that the move is smooth and your transition to Australia comes with ease and satisfaction.

      Dan, try to avoid getting kicked in the bum for saying something offensive; it doesn’t matter which way the water flows in the toilet.

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