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Keeping in Touch

March 6, 2013

There are countless things I love about living abroad.  Experiencing new cultures, learning a new language, being close to so many other amazing destinations (Paris is a meer 3 hours away!).  I even love being pushed out of my comfort zone more often than not.  And having the space to search for and develop who I am and where I’m going has been incredible.  But expat life isn’t all train rides to Paris, trust me.

One of the biggest challenges I’m facing here is balancing the art of “keeping in touch.”  I am an introvert, so my gut instinct is not to be around people too much, even when I live in the same country as them.  So, as you can imagine, I haven’t taken to Skype as well as I would’ve hoped.  Between the scheduling and the planning and the fact that when it’s the afternoon in Colorado, I’m beginning to think about crawling into bed in Holland, I’ll admit I’m not the best at staying in touch.


Photo via Philo-Sofia

And if you want to know my dirty little secret, I am quite bad at sending emails as well.  And there’s really no excuse for this.  I have no “but I’m an introvert” defense, because letter writing ought to be an introvert’s best friend.  The problem here is, I am a procrastinator with a bit of an anxiety problem.  So I put off writing an email, and put it off and put it off, until I’m so anxious about this unwritten email and what the intended recipient must think about their lack of letter that I simply don’t write the email- and the process continues on repeat.  Yes, the paradox is obvious to me too, but this is how I am.  And I’m trying to be better.

So to those of you waiting for an email or Skype date- I’m sorry, I’m working on it, and I promise we’ll talk soon!

And to those expats, or those with lots of friends around the world, or anyone with advice on this subject- please send it my way!  Figuring out how to keep in touch with everyone and not spending all of my free time in Gmail or on Skype has been a goal for the past year.  And while I think I’m getting better at it, I could use all the help I can get.  I would love to hear about your experiences or advice in the comments!


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