Expat Magazine

Cloggie Queries: How Do Expats Get Through the Holidays?

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips

Welcome to Cloggie Queries! In this new feature, I will be taking questions on expatriatism, the Netherlands, and expatriating to the Netherlands. Got a question? Email it to me at [email protected] and I will answer it here on the blog.

Dear Cloggie Queries, Cloggie Queries: How do expats get through the holidays?
I had all these thoughts about missing home, which is New York for me, throughout the Sinterklaas and Christmas holidays. I'm curious to know what other expat readers think, so I thought I would shoot you an email.
Sometimes I feel guilty for living so far from my parents. Not really homesick for America or having my family close, but just guilty for 'putting them through' this distance.
Just curious to know what you think or if you have a blog post about this that I have missed somewhere. Thanks for all your info!
-Elena Pardo

Dear Elena,
About three months ago I celebrated 2 years in the Netherlands and, to be honest, I'm experiencing the things you just described for the first time.
I've been dwelling not only on missing my family during the holidays (the time of year when you're SUPPOSED to be with family), but missing out on their lives in general - thinking about my parents getting older and the fact that I only see them a few times a year, thinking about my little brother and the man he's becoming and the fact that I'm not there to see it and help him along the way.
And, yes, guilt is something I've been feeling a lot of since this summer.
Unfortunately I have no "answer" other than that it's a part of expat life. Of growing up in general, too, I think. And there's no denying that these feelings are more prevelant during the holidays.
I'm also curious to see what others think, as Clogs and Tulips readers have a tendancy toward brilliant responses! So let's open the floor up to them...
Cloggie Queries
Do you ever feel guilty for living away from your family and friends? How do you get through the holidays when you can't be with them? Have you had or are you having issues with homesickness? How are you getting through it?

Photo: Chris Ryan, Getty Images

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