NRIs: Living abroad and the long distance relations with families/friends
The long distance relations, the long distance friendships, the relatives far away and the families scattered around the globe – welcome to the NRIs club! It is part of living abroad. ‘The distance’ is a part of the journey for most of the NRIs. The distance may be one of the variables depending on where and how far you live; but actually, it is a constant – it is always there. When it comes to the overseas’ life, the distance is what identifies the lifestyle of majority of the NRIs.
Most of the Indians living abroad have what you may call ‘an international family’. The parents may live in one country, the kids in another place, and some of the siblings yet somewhere else. Most of us travel to the faraway places for opportunities – the financial opportunities, the chances for career growth, better jobs and so on…. We explore all around the globe looking for something better – better schools, better jobs, the better places to raise kids….
Along the way, while searching for a better life, come the compromises and the sacrifices. One of the obvious results of all these relocations is the distance.
At the heart of all this running around, at the bottom of all this hunting all over the globe is the search for a better life. The whole thing – the living abroad – revolves around the idea of finding a better life. But, is it?
Is it really a better life though – a better quality of life? Perhaps yes, perhaps no; the answer depends on you, how you define living or a life. It depends what is more important to you in your life. I don’t think you can compare the compromises and sacrifices against the opportunities and the financial gains; these are apples and oranges – hard to compare.
Most of the NRIs, even though they talk about returning home, never go back to India permanently. So, most of us must be more satisfied with the life abroad. We complain about it – the life abroad and the compromises, and yet prefer to stay put.
Over the years, over the generations, the reason to stay abroad may change – from personal preference to the family’s choice. Over the years, we may end up having a bigger and better social life in our adopted country, so it may not make much sense to go back anymore. Whatever the case may be, whatever the reasoning could be, we get used to the new place. or perhaps, as in many cases, we get used to the distance.
The distance is a part of NRI lifestyle, and we have found ways to deal with it. The internet, computers and other modern technologies have made the distance look ‘less distant’. People can video chat, talk more often at lower phone rates, or even fly around the globe more easily now-a-days.
While some of us depend on the internet, emails and phones, others get used to living far away. And, yet others have their own ways of justification. However, by end of the day, the distance is there, you are still far away. It is not the same in spite of all the new technology and the internet age.
They say ‘time is a great healer’; over the years, we end up adapting to the new life and the new place. We get used to the new society, the new culture. We don’t forget the old friends and family back home; the past and the life that we leave behind is still there; it is still a part of us. However, we get used to the new way of living. We get used to the distance. And if not, just like with everything else over time, we come to learn how to deal with it – the distance.
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