Anyone who has travelled at some point has had to miss a major event for family or friends. Whether it be a birth, death, or marriage, life continues when you move away from home. It can be frustrating to miss out on seeing your best friend walk down the aisle or seeing a new niece come into the world, but it is an inevitability. However, I know deep down that the people involved are ok with us not being there and know that when we return we will fully celebrate their new lives with a drink or two!
It’s not just happy occasions either, you feel guilty for not being there in times of need. Not being able pop around the corner and comfort a loved one is a down side to being away from home.
Things change over time, some only slightly and some beyond recognition, I’d thought I’d share my experiences with you:
- When we left the UK, my beautiful nephew was only 7 months old. He had just mastered the art of rolling over (although he was reluctant to show me this!) and was getting to the fun stage. I was going to miss out on seeing him develop over the next two years and for that I felt quite guilty. I missed his first Christmas and birthday, missed him walking and talking for the first time. But the wonders of technology have come to my rescue. Kids these days are amazing with technology and me and the little man love playing with different filters and talking gibberish to each other over facetime. I can’t wait to get back and introduce him to my fave Disney films whilst we do arts and crafts!
- There has also been an addition to the family as my sister had another baby in December. Not only did I miss her entire pregnancy, but I also missed the birth of my new niece. This was the most emotional time on our trip. I am very close with my sister and would loved to have helped her more during this time (not that she needed it, she is amazing!). The news of baby’s arrival came through just as I was getting to work so I frantically got to the nearest coffee shop with WIFI to try and get hold of someone, a few teary messages were left on various social media platforms, but everyone was occupied! I had to wait until the next day to get a glimpse of my wonderful new niece. I’ll have to wait even longer to get to hold her as we won’t be returning to the UK until November when she’ll be nearly one year old.
- Relationships change massively in a two-year span. When we left the UK quite a few of our close friends were in relationships, but now they are engaged or married. Unfortunately, we have had to miss not one but two weddings already. The first being just six months into our trip and for one of Matt’s oldest friends. The other more recently and again for a close friend of Matt. He deals with the missing out well (sorry guys he’s not a huge fan of weddings!) and knows that we can celebrate soon with the new Mr and Mrs. I however, love a good wedding and a boogie on the dance floor!
- I am also in fact missing my own graduation. Having completed my Master’s degree last summer I am due to graduate in July. It would have been great to be able to complete the process with a picture of me in my cap and gown but logistically its just not possible. I confirmed my graduation by absentia a few weeks ago and my certificate will be arriving un-ceremonially at my parent’s house soon.
Luckily, we haven’t had to deal with any family deaths and I don’t know what I’d do if it did happen. The grieving process affects us all in differently ways and coping with such an event thousands of miles from home would be difficult to say the least. All I can say is keep safe and healthy guys!
Missing out on these events does teach you a few things. It makes you let go of the ‘fear of missing out’, sometimes its just not meant to be. Moreover, it makes you appreciate the moments in life you do have. Matt and I will never forget this trip and all the amazing things we’ve done along the way. I look forward to returning home and seeing all the changes. Its going to be a whole new adventure.
Have you ever had to miss a major event due to travelling? How do you cope in these situations?