Expat Life: Saying Goodbyes

20:00 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

I might have lamented recently over the pros and cons of expat life, but one of the worst parts of it was recently refreshed in my mind.

While some expats become more like locals as their new home becomes a permanent place, for many, time as an expat is a fleeting assignment with an end in sight.

During our time overseas, we have met some fantastic locals in Istanbul and London, but many of our friends are fellow expats. We speak the same language, we bring a similar perspective to our new lives, we come from a similar background and we have the same sense of adventure that we're looking for in life.

So, with all our expat friends overseas, we often find ourselves saying goodbyes. In Turkey, we said a lot of goodbyes before we said our own. In our 18 months in London, we've been lucky to have a stable set of friends around us. So, recently when a friend moved back to Alaska after 3 years in London, it was a tough one to take. It is also a reminder to people about how more often than not, it's out of your control whether to stay or go.

Our trip to Scotland last year
To make it less sad, we decided to go out with a bang and try to do as many London-y things we could in his last weekend here.

First was indulging in the best ethnic food London has to offer - Indian. While it's not my cup of tea, it's a staple for many Londoners and we found a place that was just hole-in-the-wall enough above the Strand to settle in and stuff ourselves full of bajiis, naan and whatever else they put in front of us.

Saturday, with 24 hours to go, was the big adventure part. I've done some scavenger hunts in London before so we decided to try one of Hidden City's hunts again. From Trafalgar Square to the Strand, to Regents Street and Carnaby, we followed clues around the city that eventually led us to bars (of course). We found some interesting finds around the city, including a tikki bar and a bar with drinks they set on fire. To finish the evening off, we grabbed a bit of true British cuisine at Mother Mash for some pies and bangers and mash.

Our hunt started off inside the National Gallery

On Sunday, the last hoorah before the flight, we went to Tom's Kitchen in Somerset House. It wasn't particularly British fare, but we enjoyed the sunshine, a parting gift from London.

While it's sad to see our friends go, in a lot of instances, they are happy to be back closer to family and friends. Plus, it just means more people around the globe for us to go visit!

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