The Dilemma of Living Abroad and Missing Family

I’m part of a few nomad groups on Facebook and one of the common discussions is how people deal with missing family and loved ones while living in a completely different country. They seem torn between living in a place they love and feeling guilty not being close to family.

I can completely understand the dilemma even though I’ve never been in the same boat. Not yet anyway.

This struggle that nomads seem to face isn’t just limited to them. So many families live apart. It’s nothing new. Some have no choice but to deal with it. It is what it is for them. They deal. So why are there so many posts about it? People are torn in different directions and it is so difficult to make a decision. I guess its like like being torn between two lovers? But these people are looking for help, for decision making, for comfort. The thing is, there are solutions to this problem. Obvious solutions. Whether or not it’s enough, depends on the person.

Either way, I couldn’t imagine being torn between living in a place I truly love but having family I truly love somewhere so far away. What’s more important? Can you have the best of both worlds? I hope so because it’s what I am looking for.

Family and Friends are Everything to Me.

I love my family. I love my extended family. I love my friends whom I consider as family. I’ve lived in my home city for the most of my life. The majority of my family and friends are all within driving distance.

One of the great advantages of working part time is being able to spend more time with my family. When my brother and his family come to town for a visit (they are a 12hr drive away) I don’t pick up extra shifts.. This makes me so happy as I only get to see them maybe twice a year and I relish in the moment of being surrounded by the people I love. Even just to see their faces makes me happier.

Sure, we get annoyed with each other and we have our little spats but at the end of the day, we are still family and we get over whatever crap we’re dealing with. My friends are just as important to me. My life would be so bored without them. They are my support system and I love hanging out with them.

Opposites Attract

Mitch has lived apart from his family for a long time after her graduated. He was used to seeing family only during Christmas if that even. His friends came and went while he was abroad but he felt his best self and most comfortable on a different continent.

It’s not like he doesn’t love his family. He is just independent.

So, when we started discussing our future plans, talks of where we would move and for how long was a big topic and family was one of the largest determining factor. He knew what friends and family meant to me.

Resolving the Issues

We decided that what would work best for us is living at home for 6 months and living abroad for the other 6 months. Being home would allow me to pick up shifts and earn a bit as well as making time for family. Being away would fulfil Mitch’s passion of being on the beach during the winter. This balance might not work for everyone. May not work for us either, but we are willing to try.

With advanced technology these days, facetime and messaging apps make connecting to one another so much easier.

Air travel is more convenient nowadays and can be affordable if you can catch the right deal. Not seeing family is a choice. If you really want to see each other, you make it work. I think you can have the best of both worlds.

When Bumblebae and I finally decide to leave for the winter, we will definitely be looking for a place where our family and friends can easily visit. This place also needs: excellent internet connection, warm weather, close to the beach and inexpensive cost of living. So please forward any suggestions. Thank you in advance.


What have I learned after this short blog post? I learned that I value family and friendship greatly. I guess I’ve always known this fact. Moving away from them, even for just a few months, may be the hardest thing for me to do. But, I know it’s not going to be forever.

What is one thing you do or would miss the most if you moved away?

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Hey there, I'm Cristine (aka Nomadgirlfriend). I want to quit my job so I can travel more. I just need to figure out the digital world so I can start making money to feed my wanderlust with my digital nomad partner. I welcome you to join my on this journey of self discovery and new adventures!

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