Here and there

This week, five years ago, I was setting off for England, leaving my family behind again. We had a send-off breakfast down in the town, the Black Sea and Caucasus mountains behind us. It was one of those emotional meals, everyone subdued.

Soon afterwards, I’d catch the service bus for the tiresome three-hour journey to Trabzon airport, to begin the long journey home. As I made my way aboard, my beloved’s face crumpled, tears flooding her eyes. I’d spend fifty days alone in England then, before my return, flying late on Christmas eve.

View from the window of my coach en route to Trabzon.

I don’t know why we lived like that for that year and a half, subjecting one another to such strains. It’s true that while we were together, we were living the high life. We appreciated the space of our nice large apartment, furnished to our tastes.

The children loved their freedom, walking to school alone, and returning home for lunch. They still remember those days fondly, wishing they could return, always complaining about the dull grey skies over here. But of course, that way of life had to be paid for. That was my role.

So it was that I took up the lifestyle of the migrant worker, coming and going, sending money back to my family. From a technical perspective, I could do my job from anywhere in the world. Unfortunately we are impeded not by technical constraints, but by legal realities, here and there.

In the end, due to health and educational reasons, we had to bring that adventure to an end, exchanging the high life for a return to our humble abode, for the sake of our family and togetherness. I suppose we were fortunate that we could make that choice; a choice not available to most who migrate for the sake of opportunities worldwide.

I don’t begrudge anyone who travels far from home in pursuit of a better life. But sometimes it’s best to follow your heart.

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