Day 7 & 8: Wedding Bells/ Family Ties

The last two days have been great.  We have been able to see lots of family who we haven't seen for 1-2 years.  We were able to attend my cousin's wedding and celebrate the start of their new life together.

I will not comment on the conversations I had with them, since I don't want people to be afraid of becoming part of my blog.  But, I thought I would share a little about living far away from family.  For almost all of my adult life I have lived at least seven hours away from my family.  Currently, we live about 18 hours from my family and 16 hours from my husband's family.  That is one of the reasons we travel.

Though I always knew I was willing to live away from family, the distance seems to get harder and harder as our children grow up.  Being so far removed from cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. means we miss out on a lot of family gatherings.  Our kids have such limited time with cousins, so they don't have the close friendships and bonds that I wish they could have.

It's hard to live away from family when many of them live within a few hours of at least some of their extended family.  It's also hard to always be the ones to travel to see people.  I realize that it usually makes sense for us to travel instead of expecting everyone else to do it, but it means sacrificing time and money to go to where everyone else lives.  That's one of the main reasons we are on this journey this summer.

I will admit that it hurts to live so far away.  It's not that we don't love our families and wouldn't love to see them more.  But, we have been called to different parts of the United States and we can't ignore that calling.  It's also hard because I really dislike talking on the phone.  I am a face-to-face person and I am not an auditory learner, so that combination means that I find it hard to focus when I can't see the person on the other end of the line and I find it hard to read them to get the full conversation, verbal and non-verbal.  Facebook has been a blessing to me because I can get more from pictures and writing than I can on the phone.  But, I also know some family and friends probably think I don't care as much since I don't call.

This is a more personal post than I normally make on this blog.  But, I have a feeling there are others who live away from family and/or friends and find it hard as well.  I want you to know you are not alone.  I also want family and friends to understand that living far away is not personal and that it is hard for us to miss out on things. 

I am so thankful for every time we are able to visit family and far-away friends.  I am thankful for each family event we are able to attend and I feel bad that we can't attend them all.  I am thankful for the opportunity we will have on this trip to connect with more family and friends.  I am thankful that they have saved a spot for me in their lives.  I am also thankful that I have friends to return to in TX in a few weeks.  Relationships are important and they can make our travels that much more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Do you live away from family?  What do you miss most about not being near them?  How do you manage the distance?

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