Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Who Will be my Friends?

This will be my 31st move.

When I moved back to Doha, as I sighed and packed boxes, I took a few minutes to sit down and count them up. 31 moves. A lifetime of changing houses . . .

Until I get to the new location, I am caught up in the crushing details of moving – decisions on what to take, what to leave and to whom, closing accounts, opening accounts, blah blah blah. It can be overwhelming. I always think about that old joke about “how do you eat an elephant?” and the answer is “one bite at a time.” It’s the same with moving. Don’t look at the big picture, just keep moving, one detail at a time, and it all works out.

But when I get there, I wonder who will be my friends? It can be a lonely 6 months to a year while waiting for the right friends to come along. I make friends easily, but the ones who are going to stick, those tried and true friends – it takes a while to figure out who those are going to be.

We are lucky this time, we have family waiting for us. Our son is already educating us on how to pronounce local streets and areas (No, Mom, not “Sehr-vahn’-teys” as the Spanish would say it, but “Sir-van’tees”, not “Tex’-are” but “Te-har”, LOL) and what attitudes and perceptions we might best keep to ourselves if we want to get along.

We want to get along. Ironically, moving back to our own country is more daunting than moving to another expat community. The expat communities are relatively open and fluid, people coming and going all the time, willing to accept new members and welcome them in. This move is going to be to a very different life and a very different community from that in which we have lived the last thirty something years . . . God always sends me good friends. I just wonder who those friends will be?

February 19, 2010 - Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Florida, Humor, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Random Musings


  1. Whoever they end up being, they can count themselves lucky!

    Comment by Ken | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. Good friends will find you b/c you give off “I am a good friend” vibes 🙂

    Comment by grammy | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. your moving again? didn’t you just get to Doha???

    31 moves! wow! what an exciting way to live 😀 beats having to commute to the same workplace for 30 years and trying to get along with one society all your life!!!

    Wherever you may go next… i am sure you are going to be very happy :*

    Comment by danderma | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  4. Ken, you make me feel like crying.

    Grammy, one day I will write about feeling God’s shove the day you came into my life. 🙂

    Danderma, I would love for you and BuTootie to come visit us in Pensacola. 🙂 Yes, we just moved to Doha. Anything over three months was icing on the cake; some of our moves have been shorter. Once I lived almost six years in one place!

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 20, 2010 | Reply

  5. But of course your friend will be the most prominent Floridan Jeb Bush the 45th incoming president of the United states

    Comment by daggero | February 20, 2010 | Reply

  6. LOL, Daggero, we don’t attend the same Party.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 21, 2010 | Reply

  7. My friend, I understand completely, having done the same thing 3 years ago. Don’t be in a rush–let things evolve naturally and cherish your long standing friendships until you make new connections. You have many of the same connecting strategies I have–let them work for you. And above all, call me—a lot!!!!! I may be in FL in November with my daughter. If so, I’ll be coming your way before I head home. Oh, it took me about a year to feel comfortable here and the friend thing is still evolving.

    Comment by momcat | February 21, 2010 | Reply

  8. […] But he sends me messages. As I have ended the old year and started the new year in a frenzy of cleaning out and organizing, I have come across lists from nightmare times in my life, mostly getting ready to move or settling in to a new location. Lists and lists of things to be done, things to be checked on . . . and I am comforted to know that what – at the time – was overwhelming, the details sorted themselves out. Things got done. Little by little, we ate the elephant. […]

    Pingback by Things Get Done « Here There and Everywhere | January 4, 2011 | Reply

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