Day 171 in Beijing: The Hard Work to be an Expatriate.

One thing that I’ve noticed is how much work it is to stay overseas.

Not for me, but for many of my friends, and possibly for Jill too.

Visas are no joke and cause a lot of anxiety and stress for many people.

This seems to be a no-brainer about getting a visa and returning but it isn’t.

The laws change and the type of visas change.

It is not easy to keep track of it and, sadly, it often causes people to leave.

We are dealing with friends that are having trouble getting their visas and it makes us sad to know that we might not see them again.

A few went back to the USA to get their visa.

Some have gone to Thailand to get their visa.

One of our dear friends is sitting, for a month, in Hong Kong, because he is waiting to see if he can get a visa.

That is a month of hotel charges, eating out, and spending time and money that he never intended or expected.

All to return to a country where he has lived for the past 6 years.

He is a great guy, is gainfully employed and has never had any problems with police or the government.

It is just the way it is for expatriates.

You learn to enjoy the good times and the people that are there because you never know when they will be gone.

This is also true because of the companies expatriates work for in other countries.

If their company, or embassy, or government, needs them elsewhere, they have to go.

Sometime there isn’t time to really say goodbye and pack up.

I think this is why expatriates build such incredible bonds when they meet someone.

We have friends here that seem like we’ve been friends for life and yet we only met them 5 months ago.

The flipside, and I’m hoping I’m wrong, is that when they leave, they are gone.

You don’t have time to keep in contact with everyone you meet as an expatriate because so many of them come and go.

It is an airport kind of existence unless you strive to keep contact and keep in touch.

This is where social media,and places like this blog, come in handy.

I’ll continue this thread tomorrow as it might get too long to be read at one time.


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