For the second time this year I’ve had to say goodbye to a close friend as they left Amsterdam for greener pastures (or in this case, bluer seas). This one was very difficult as the person who left was the one I have spent the most time with and become the closest to during my time here.
As an expat, it’s easy to meet other international people, to make acquaintances and find drinking buddies, but finding a real friend is much more difficult. After a year and a half of weekend brunches, mid-week mint teas, lazy days watching TV or movies at home, sailing trips to Spain and countless other routines, events and memories, the person I was closest to has left to start her next extremely exciting adventure. She’s bought and will run a dive school in Thailand. Who does that, right?
Goodbyes are never easy, especially when they are said to good friends and good people. Unfortunately they are part of expat life here in Amsterdam, surrounded by international people, motivated people, adventurous people. It’s things like this that factor into my current decision process. Can I settle in a place so transient? Am I willing to continue building friendships knowing they won’t be here long? This isn’t to say the world isn’t becoming more mobile, less rooted, that this wouldn’t be the situation anywhere I land, but it seems to happen more here than anywhere I’ve lived before. People come for definite periods of time, especially single people. Food for thought.
On the bright side, it’s a wonderfully warm and sunny summer here in Amsterdam. Oh wait, no it’s not. It’s been raining every day for over a week straight. Seriously though, on the bright side a friend moving to Thailand and owning a dive shop means I know exactly where I am traveling in 2013. Southeast Asia, here I come!