Saying Goodbye to Expat Friends

One of the saddest part of living abroad as an expat is saying goodbye to friends.  New friends that we have met here and have forged friendships with over the years, eventually becoming close as family. 


They're the ones we share good times with and whom we run to when we face dilemmas. Mostly situations they sometimes understand more than our friends and family back home, because they go through  the same problems we do, living in the same environment. 

As for me, not having parents or family in Dubai to give guidance and help as a new parent, I seek advice from expat friends in raising my baby.  They offer answers to questions after a quick phone call or text. They even help to look after her sometimes, since I don't have a nanny, during those times I need to run an emergency errand where I can't take her with me. 

Sadly, as of late, three friends left Dubai consecutively for good. One of them moved back to Shanghai for work closer to her hometown, the second relocated to Atlanta, Georgia for a job opportunity and another, bidding Dubai farewell this weekend to go back to the Philippines to start a business.  

These are really close friends that I definitely miss.  I realize there's no foolproof against parting ways when expat friends move on. Seeing them leave is much harder than the other way around. Keeping in touch through email, social media, skype and even snail mail for updates is in my agenda. Hopefully, we could plan trips where they are so I could  see them again someday. 

The only way is to learn how to cope with the change and accept that the time comes we all have to separate. No matter how fleeting it may seem, we will always be friends wherever we are in the world. 

Do you remember any goodbye memory with a dear friend?
How was it? How did you keep in touch?
Wishing you a great weekend!
Love & light,
Arni


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12 comments

  1. and how long do you plan to live in Dubai? Do you plan to leave someday?

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    1. Yes, we were supposed to have left for good this year but due to the baby we decided to stick around for a bit. Maybe we will give ourselves another year or two.

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  2. Hi Arni, saying goodbye is always hard, but even harder it is to be the one part "left behind". When I was living abroad and planning to stay in the Netherlands for good (you know its life what happens while you are busy making other plans - I moved back to my home country after two years) I tried to avoid this by looking for friends who are not necessary expats, so that eventually I would not have to wave goodbye after 6 months or so. How are you? Hope you and baby are settling in ok. Big hug, Svenja

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    1. How are you doing Svenja? We are both doing ok. Feeling anxious about going back to work. Good point..friends who reside there are less likely to leave.

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  3. hope you can keep your relationship going through other means. i am apart from all my close girlfriends and family. so we're kinda of alone here. for me making new friends has been tough but i'm branching out. :) it's lovely when i meet someone i click with and become close right away. sharing of knowledge and being their for each other is also a great gift that comes with good friendships. have a good weekend, arni~

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  4. New to your site I can agree it is hard for those you get close to to leave but hopefully you will meet new people. It always allows for you to have new experiences when things change. If the friendship is true, and they are so hard to come by, you will stay in touch. Have a good weekend!!

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  5. Awwww, that is really sad. Hopefully they haven't left your life and y'all can keep in touch via email / snail mail / skype / etc.

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  6. Although it's always sad to have friends leave, I think that your view on it is so positive! Your last paragraph really stuck to me, since I'm dealing with leaving friends behind as I move.

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  7. It's amazing how deep expat friendships can become in such a short time, the power of shared experiences I guess. Saying goodbye is definitely one of the hardest parts of expat life.

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  8. hi Arni!!!
    it's so nice reading your blog again.. i know i've missed alot but hopefully i can continue writing again. i know how it feel saying goodbye.. i just moved to germany from 7 years living in italy, now i'm making friends and trying my best to enjoy the new life and new place.. and i don't think leaving behind your friends or families is just easy as you go away.

    take care and hope you're having a lovely week!!!
    xoxo,Meg of Sweet Gala's



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  9. saying farewell is so hard, but that just speaks to the amazing relationships you've been able to foster. hoping the transition is a smooth one, especially since we're so privileged to have so many forms of mass communication. :)

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  10. What a lovely quote! I can imagine how hard it is to say goodbye to friends that are more like family. Friends are even more important when you are away from home. Hopefully you will stay in touch.

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