Family and Friends
The response from our family and friends has been interesting. We are definitely getting mixed responses. Most of our friends are excited for us. A common phrase has been, “Well, if anyone can do it, you guys can!”. I’ve also gotten a lot of comments about how excited they are for us, since they know how much we love to travel. There has also been some lighthearted jealousy.
Some of my friends have been openly saddened by us leaving. It is difficult. I have tons of people that I like and call friends, but really only a handful that are really close, so I am really attached to those friends. It takes a while for me to develop close friends. I try to stay in contact with people I truly care about, and I’m pretty good about the random text or phone call, but sometimes time gets away from you when life is busy. Social media has made it easier, but it’s not quite the same. I just keep reassuring them that we will be back, and that there is an open invitation to come visit wherever we are. Having friends that can just pick up where you left off is pretty special.
It’s a funny thing about inviting people to come visit. I think in general you don’t really expect them too. I wish for it, but don’t get my hopes up too high. I’ve learned to be cautious about throwing out invitations as well. We’ve had some interesting experiences from not being careful enough with that. I don’t know if my husband being born in South America accounts for some of his actions in this regard, but it might. Maybe it’s just him, but it seems characteristic for him to say yes to everything, throw out random invitations to everyone, but generally have no plan to follow through on any of it. It may sound bad, but I don’t mean it in a bad way. I think he gets caught up in the moment and has such a zest for life that he truly wants to extend the invitation. It’s so rare that someone would take him up on it that he’s gotten way with it without much repercussion. However, when called on to follow through, I will say this about my husband… he does deliver.
One time he extended an invitation to a very large family to join us on our European family vacation. It was over wine, of course, and I think it just popped out of his mouth without much thought. We didn’t know them that well, so had no idea what was going to happen. As it happened, they took him up on the offer and, while I won’t go into details, it was a learning experience. Since then, I think he’s learned to be a little more cautious, but not by much. I’ve also learned to jump in when necessary with appropriate caveats and disclaimers.
As regards my family’s response…. they haven’t been fazed at all by our decision to throw caution to the wind. I think they expected it to happen sooner or later, and they preemptively all moved to South America several years ago. Their biggest concern centers around how are they going to come visit for extended periods of time now? Also what to do with their mail and the miscellaneous other items that they left behind expecting us to be the caretakers of? These are all things we’ve been working through. I keep in contact with them pretty regularly as it is, so that won’t change much. In fact, I’m hoping that this move will allow me and the kids to head down to South America and visit them all there. I really like the idea of us planning to all get together somewhere exotic where the focus can be on us being together and having fun. The way it’s been, they stay with us when they need to come to the States for something else… whether that be work or doctors, etc. In general, I don’t mind this, but it lends itself to extended visits, of which my husband isn’t the hugest fan. Maybe this move will force our family reunions to be focused on just us doing things as a family. That would be nice.