Welcome to Expat Sat, the culturally kooky, map nonspecific, sometimes bewildering, always fascinating intersection of expat life and writerhead. And where every Saturday, I offer tips for writing, publishing, and thriving to expat writers around the globe.
Today…family talk. Not the spouse you handpicked from the apple bin or the kiddos you either created or adopted into your über-awesome immediate family. But your extended family–moms, dads, grandparents, sisters, brothers, cousins, etc. All those lovely, loving, sometimes-comforting, sometimes-irritating family members who make you laugh, push your buttons, drive you batty, keep you real, and know that you’d do anything to keep that 9th-grade photo from making its way onto the Internet.
And why are we talking family today?
Because living in a country far from all those family members is often both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you don’t have to deal with family crap. A curse because–crazy as it may seem–you sometimes miss dealing with family crap.
Writing assignment: Make some sense of your feelings about being far from family. Write it down. Get real. Get it on the page. Who drives you the nuttiest? Who do you miss the most? The least? Who picks you up at the airport when you travel to your home country? Who sends you care packages? Who do you miss that you didn’t expect to miss? Why? Why? Why? And how do you manage all these loverly emotions while hunkered down in your host country?
#1 Rule: Be honest and don’t pussyfoot around.
Tip: If you have trouble getting started, write this assignment as a letter. To one of those wonderfully kooky family members. Or to a best friend to whom you can say anything. Or even to yourself. Or me. Whatever works.
Image: posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net