The Downside to Expat Life

My family came to visit this week.

My cousin got married yesterday in the Riviera Maya, so my parents and oldest sister have been staying in Playa del Carmen. We spent the whole weekend together, and I’ve been making the 1-hour bus ride from Cancun to Playa every night to have dinner with them. Yesterday at my cousin’s wedding, we got to spend the whole day at a luxury resort with many of my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. It has been a tiring but amazing week! (Yes, I will have lots of pictures and stories for you over the next few days!)

An unbelievably good-looking family! (minus the red-eye)

But yesterday I had to say goodbye. My parents return home today, and yesterday was the last chance I’d get to see the rest of the family before they head home later in the week. (I will still get to see my sister and a few cousins over the next week, though.)

Expat life is thrilling in so many ways… the cultural exchange, overcoming personal challenges, exploring a new country, transforming into a stronger person than you ever knew you could be.

But I miss my family.

Since I began working almost 3 years ago, I only get to see my family once or twice a year. I call my parents regularly and text a lot with my sisters, but it’s never quite the same as in person.

When I’m in Mexico, I miss my family. When I’m in the US, I miss my husband and my friends.

No matter where I am, I’m always missing somebody.

And that is the biggest downside to expat life.


17 thoughts on “The Downside to Expat Life

    • Thanks! They’d seen my pictures already, but they were still happy and impressed to see me looking better. My mom brought me down some new “skinny” clothes. My dad has also lost 30 pounds since December, so I was excited to see him, too!

  1. Laura, I feel your pain, I feel like no soy de aquí, ni soy de allá, kind of thing, when I´m at home in California, I miss my family, food, friends, traditions, language, when I´m visiting México I miss my home and my American Family and friends. I try to take it one day at the time.


  2. This post was so sweet it made me cry! I miss you too, and I wish so badly that I could have been there. But I’m glad you got to see the rest of the family.

  3. Sending big hugs your way. Having major parts of your life in two separate countries is tough, but you do a really good job of keeping them balanced.

    Always here if you want to chat!


  4. Hey Laura,

    I know exactly how you feel! Whether I’m in Mexico or in New York, my family is always far away in Australia. I sometimes feel guilty for not being there. You’re right about all the great things about being an expat but it can be hard sometimes too. Thank goodness for modern technology. Skype < in person, but its something.

    Glad you were able to have a fab time with your family 🙂

  5. Since my mom left with my brother back to Guadalajara, I started to feel really lonely. I see moms and daughters hugging each other, having an awesome Mother’s Day and… It hurts. I see my brother growing and making some hard desitions of his life, and I’d like to be there to help him. I can’t wait to see them again, even if is for a brief time…will make me cherish those moments even more.

    Be happy you got to see them before time, and wait with a smile on your face for the next reunion 🙂

  6. That must be hard… I’ve wanted to move away many times, but my family has always kept me here – we are close and we’re a big group… I don’t know what I’d do without them! I feel bad for you, but at least you have your hubs and friends for the times you miss the family. Much better than being alone. Smile!

  7. I so agree with you. It was so bittersweet leaving Mx for the states on my last visit and even more so coming back and leaving family and friends behind. Technology is such a big help with staying in touch better it is just not the same being able to drive over to you parents house whenever you want or pick up the phone when you need some family time.

  8. I totally agree! I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and I miss my family when I am here and when I am in the US I miss my Mexico and my friends here! I wish there was a happy medium!! 🙂

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