Longings of the Heart




I should have called this blog “Living in (at least) Three Continents”….ALL the time.

That is where my mind constantly goes. All in one day.

I have lived as an expat for the past 17 years. That means I am either “home” – which could be the posting where our family currently reside…. with my mind at my other “home” – my birth country where we still go often and have property to take care of.

Or vice versa. I am visiting our home country – which then means – I am either away from my kids and daily household or if we all went – it means the usual dailies go on where the dog, our stuff and our “life” is.

Later years another dimension was added to the mix….. having family or a spouse or a household member being in a place – other than those 2 mentioned already. My sister lives in another country – that already puts my mind on a different time zone for scheduling phone calls, keeping track of different weather conditions and different vacation times etc. So – the clock keeps on ticking sometimes beyond bedtime to make that call to her or keeping up with them away on holiday while we are in school and just finished a holiday. This is not even to mention the friends you keep up with in all those destinations where they have gone since you all met on this expat journey. That just about adds in every possible continent on this Earth!

But as if that was not quite keeping my mind busy enough – expat life usually is because of a spouse’s job and very, very often that means an extensive travel schedule that goes along with that. My husband comes and goes and as a tight, close-knit family who likes to keep all in the loop, he stays in touch several times during his days while away. Completely different locations each time he goes and that means once again – yet another continent’s time zone, weather, travel departures and arrivals to keep track off while carrying on the usual daily routines.

Going to bed, knowing he is on a plane and should arrive sometime before I awake again…. him leaving some mornings before I am fully awake…. and then sometimes showing up in the middle of the day after a long trip are things that sort of constantly shake up the predictability of any given day.

Kids start to travel alone at a younger age these days and that was also added on top of the keeping track of who’s where and who’s here…. all the things a Mom needs to have in constant check when you count numbers for dinner, have a longing for that time together and always wanting to know that everyone is safe and sound at the end of each day.

Besides keeping track of who is where at any given point, there is your heart to take into account. Sometimes you wish to be somewhere you are not. Like missing a certain person, you can also miss a place.

The smell of our holiday house in wintertime when the fire burns all day….

The sense of being surrounded with your extended family all around one dinner table….

The amazing experience of Zebras out on the lawn at our home in Africa…..

The feelings of gratitude I feel when we visit Cape Town and could sip coffee outside on the balcony with Table Mountain unobscured in view…..

Sometimes I wonder if the simplicity of having everything that you hold near and dear in one place wouldn’t have been easier. If having it all scattered all over the universe is really enriching us or tearing us apart to always be all over the place and impossibly ever in one place at a time. Being extremely grateful for all the blessings of seeing the world, having lived everywhere and having loved ones everywhere…. I know what the answer should be. I know it will be frowned upon if I sound unthankful for these opportunities we got and continue to have.

But my heart longs to be in a different place today. I wish I could just close my eyes and be there when I open them again. To be where you wish to be at that given moment. Wouldn’t that be just the most amazing thing that could ever happen? If your travel schedule could be in sync with your heart’s desires on a given day.

Now, to pull myself together. Focus on what I was doing before I started dreaming….

Back to being a brain that feels like an Octopus head with all the tentacles floating all over to try and catch it all….as it goes on and around with the world clock ticking ahead as if it just doesn’t care that we all try to keep up with what is going on everywhere where a piece of ourselves are.

It is Monday and I am going nowhere. My bags will remain where they are…for a few months more…

Not too long and we will be “home” again. Away from “home”…. and keeping up with all the rest that will be in one or 2 or more continents other than those 2….

A never ending cycle.



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