Far from Family

On the theme of things to consider when planning a move to another country – how will you manage your family relationships? Will you be OK being physically far from the people you care about?

Today we are waiting. My daughter is in the early stages of labor. Neither of us slept much and though I am not worried, of course I am concerned. She has a very supportive husband and a good circle of friends. The other grandparents are there with her and she has excellent medical care, so all that can be done is being done. There is nothing more I could add, or should add. But of course at moments like this you feel the distance.

Almost all of us expats have family and friends back where we came from – children, grandchildren, parents, and other close family and friends. How will the move change your relationships, and methods and frequency of communication?

My daughter and I remarked recently that we actually communicate more now. We lived on opposite sides of the US before so we are used to being physically distant, and keeping in touch by phone calls. But, now I am retired I have more free time, and I also have an iPad that I can take anywhere. We take advantage of Facebook messages and Facetime video chats as well as phone calls and emails.

What did people do before technology? People left their homes for new lands, sometimes losing all contact. I don’t think I could do that. I really appreciate being able to keep in touch as often as we wish, and being able to get on a plane and visit. I will be traveling soon to meet this new granddaughter and I expect to be present for the birth of my other granddaughter next month.

There are times though when you feel the distance, and you are happy for the other people who are supporting your loved ones when they need it. When considering living in another country, this is definitely something to think about.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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5 Responses to Far from Family

  1. Rona True says:

    I know how excited and concerned you are for your daughter and baby to be. Can’t wait to hear you’re a new grandma…again. I had a great time hanging with you yesterday. Hasta pronto, Amiga.


    • I am a new grandma… again! So excited! I will share news soon, after I get a night’s sleep. All is well, went wonderfully, she’s beautiful. Thank you for yesterday and look forward to the next time.


  2. ME BE in Panama says:

    Absolutely true Kris. For people who frequently visit and socialize with their family a move to a different country would likely cause more anxiety than it would be worth. If they still believe they would be okay moving out of the country, they need to snowbird (stay at their desired location over the winter) before permanently relocating. When we moved to Hawaii many years ago I was stunned at the negative comments I received from people who didn’t have any skin in the game. My immediate family was okay with us moving — actually excited because they’d get to visit, but other people were just rude about how I could ‘desert’ them.
    Another consideration is geriatric parents. I purchased an iPad for my 85 y.o. mom and helped her learn how to FaceTime with me. She was so thrilled the first time I talked her through connecting with me. She saw my face and her eyes lit up!
    Being far away during such important events tugs at the heartstrings though. You’re a great mom Kris, she knows how much you support her from afar.


    • Family is one reason people move back, missing kids and grandkids, and needing to take care of parents. How cool you connected with your mom on Facetime.
      Baby is here, all is well, she’s wonderful. I’ll be posting more soon.


  3. Pingback: The Baby is Here! | The Panama Adventure

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