One of the first questions I was asked when I began telling people my plan to retire overseas was “Won’t it be hard to leave your family and friends behind?” I had already thought this through and was able to answer no.
Here’s why. My mother I see about once a month. My sisters who live locally I manage to visit with about six times a year. My sister who lives in Montana I rarely get to see. I have two grown children; a son in the Los Angeles area and a daughter in Phoenix. If I’m lucky I get to see each of them for a couple of days twice a year or so. My dearest friends I can usually get together with for coffee or a meal every couple of months. This isn’t much time to spend with those you care about.
Logically, by visiting the States for a month or more every year, I’ll be able to see everyone for the approximate same amount or more of time I currently spend with them, except my friends. My daughter plans on visiting me wherever I am once a year as well, so for her I will actually see her for far longer (and in more exciting circumstances) than I currently do. I’m trying to work on my friends a bit to see if I can’t get them to join me on my adventures as well. Having a girlfriend to see Machu Picchu with would be wonderful. We’ll see if I can manage it.
My children, especially, I plan on using Skype to communicate with regularly and therefore will “see” them much more frequently since currently only my daughter and I use Skype, and only then on special occasions.
Communicating will be better, I believe, when I’m sending out pictures and emails regularly. The only one who I have special needs with is my mother, who doesn’t have the Internet. I’ve already given my sister a stack of pre-addressed and stamped envelopes so she can just print out an email from me for my mom and mail it to her.
And the most interesting thing I’ve run into is the information that WiFi is apparently everywhere in the developing countries; far more available than in the States. I’m counting on that!
BTW - the picture above is available on Etsy