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So you’ve made the decision to move to another country…I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision, but whatever the reason is…to pursue your career, for a relationship, or just for an adventure…it won’t always feel like you made the right decision. There will be moments where you will feel alone…and feel extremely vulnerable…and wonder what the hell you are even doing here.

I have felt this often over the many years I have experienced living away from home. And the time when this usually happens is when I’ve gotten sick. I don’t know about you…but although we are usually capable of taking care of ourselves when we are not well…it’s really nice to have someone around…someone you know you can call on…just in case…especially when we are so far from home.

I am motivated to write this blog entry because I spent the weekend quite ill…and I was out for the count. And to top it off…I was out-of-town and not even in my own place. And although I was spending time with friends who have known me for such a short period time (and some who I had just met!)…words cannot express my gratitude for the empathy and compassion they showed me. From checking in on me…going out to get me soup and meds…and just letting me know that they were there. I hated asking for help, but I had to let that go. It has really restored my faith in humanity after feeling alone for so long.

When I think back to all the years I’ve lived away from home and the various places I have worked…I have come to realize just how fortunate I have been to cross paths with such caring and compassionate people in my life. People who saw me as a brave person who moved away from everything that I know…people who could put themselves in my shoes and understand what it must be like for someone to be so far from home…people who made sure that I did not feel alone…either when I was sick, away from my family for the holidays…or just when I was feeling blue. I learned that there are genuine people who care and who will help you if you reach out–and not expect anything in return.

I felt compelled to write this entry almost as an homage to all my friends I have made during my adventures–many whom I still have a close friendship with, and others who have come and gone in my life–who have opened up their arms, with no judgment and showed a kind, human spirit. To all of you—from the bottom of my heart…thank you.

So while there will be days where you question what you are doing here…there will be those days where the people you meet and the experiences you have will make it all so worth it.