We’re on the move again, and, just like last time we moved, I’m feeling that urge to blog about. Of course, there’s no telling how long this will last!
It’s been 4 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 6 days (according to my calculator app) since we moved to Southampton. That’s 1580 days. I can’t decide if that sounds like a lot, or no time at all.
We spent about four years in our last home, and I see a pattern forming as I look back over the years. We tend to stay somewhere for around 4 years, then it’s time to move on. It seems like we’re a bit nomadic, really. But this time it’s not just two consenting adults setting off on a new adventure. Or two adults and two small children, young enough to not really understand what’s going on.
This time our daughters are 10 (almost 11) and 9. They’re old enough to have, and express, their own desires for how their lives will be. They’re old enough to remember what it was like last time we moved, and they have faint recollections of friendships which were lost along the way.
Each time we have moved, the leaving has been just that little bit harder. I wonder if it’s because as you grow older, you become more aware of the value of good friends?
Our last move to Southampton meant leaving behind two families who were our extended family here in the UK. Two sets of friends with whom our children grew up; honorary aunts and uncles, best friends. People we had laughed with, holidayed with, eaten lots of cake with, and drunk lots of wine with1. Although we still see them, with varying degrees of frequency, it’s not the same now as it was when we lived 5 minutes apart2. And that’s with a distance of 160 miles between us.
Since coming to Southampton, we’ve made even more amazing friends. More laughter, sleepovers, cake and wine. How will these friendships survive a distance of 11,508 miles?
I know we can email, Skype, What’sApp, call, and even send old fashioned letters. And I can nag people to come and visit for a holiday at some point. And we will make even more amazing friends (because there are amazing people everywhere, we just have to find some nearby). But still. It won’t be the same.
So right now, just over two weeks before we fly off to start our new adventure, I am a bundle of mixed emotions. And it’s difficult to see past the fear of losing what we have now, to see the exciting prospects ahead.
But after 17 years as an ex-pat Kiwi in the UK, it’s time to go home.
1 Seriously. I have never drunk as much anywhere else as I have in Southampton. What is it with you people? Is there something in the air? I worry for the state of my liver, and I’ve just given up trying to keep up with you all.
2 Actually, that’s not strictly true. When we get together, we just slide back into the same comfortable relationship that we’ve always had. Which is great. It just doesn’t happen as often, and it’s more of a faff to arrange those get togethers.