The Daily Prompt asks what’s the most time I’ve ever spent apart from my favorite person.
The first thing that came to my mind was my family. It has been four years since I last saw them. Since moving to Denmark in 2009, I never had the chance to go home. I have been so occupied integrating to the new culture, studying in the university and starting a new life here with the husband, that spending money on a trip home had not been a top priority.
Four years of being so far away from family isn’t all that easy especially during birthdays and Christmas season. I guess every foreigner living away from home can relate to experiencing homesickness especially during the holidays. My past Christmases and birthdays here in Denmark had been pleasant but it can never fill an empty void in my heart. It’s a longing for family traditions that I grew up with – it’s missing the faces that knew me really well – it’s a yearning for the familiar and comfort.
On my last birthday, I had to fight back my tears as I sat with my Danish family for coffee and cake. I listened sadly because I barely understood their fast spoken Danish. They were all laughing except me. I sat and observed how everyone on the table looked so blonde and extremely different from me. The differences felt so pronounced having been surrounded by them. At that moment, I felt like the odd one out. As I ate my traditional Danish cake, my thoughts have wandered far away. My mind was filled with thoughts of home. I thought how my mom would have prepared an elaborate feast if I was home celebrating my big birthday; a buffet party spread of my favorite cake and assortment of Filipino party food. I imagined our house in Manila blaring with music, friends breaking into impromptu silly dance moves and the karaokephiles singing their hearts’ out at the other end of the room. I would have been around with my family and friends who talks like me and looks like me. Needless to say, I was aching for home.
But with all credit due to my husband and his family, they really took me in with open arms and have been very welcoming and supportive from Day 1. I guess it’s a challenge that every person who chose to settle away from home had to face and endure. Thankfully, the tech gods made face-to-face communication possible despite being thousands of miles apart.
With most of our commitments settled and school being finished by spring of next year, we are finally going home to spend the next Christmas in Philippines (-: I am really excited to show Lars how holiday season is spent in the tropics :) I am sure he is just as excited to be sunbathing and laying on white sand in December, LOL.