Betwixt and Between

Life is currently a bit too betwixt and between.  We returned home for an extended visit.  Since we are homeless in the Unites States, we borrowed a friend’s house.  During our two years abroad, routine medical visits have floundered.  Most of our first days back were spent in a mad dash between doctors, eye doctors, dentists, blood tests, other tests.  I built-in some buffer in the event we needed still more tests or a root canal or who knows what.  As it turned out, we came through the doctor visits unscathed.  Perhaps I need to reconsider the merit in maintaining our professional relationships 5,000 miles from our current home.      

 Our driver’s licenses had expired so we scurried to figure out how to attach ourselves to a permanent address (our college daughter’s house) and how to demonstrate we had a relationship to that house (fortunately, she receives our bank account statements).  We will return to Budapest with two newly minted Colorado drivers’ licenses which means we have five years to figure this out.  Colorado and I have an implicit deal – I continue to pay them state income tax and they let me pretend I have a home state (I was completely truthful about our current situation).  Life gets complicated once you relinquish your house – and more significantly that all important “permanent address”.       

 At some point we need to consolidate our lives.  Consolidation though implies a much bigger decision – a slide down that already slippery slope towards establishing Budapest as our one and only current home.  When I get back, I plan to move my dental and eye care to Hungary.  It is silly to fly 15 hours for such routine treatments.  I’m not sure I am ready to relinquish my US-based doctor, but perhaps I should and will bite that bullet while I am at it.  In the event we need urgent care, it would be nice to know someone knows us and our health histories.      

Then, of course, we have our storage unit.  I have never seen the inside but I grew a bit concerned when my husband said, “You should come see it.  I bet you’d blog about it.”   Pat has been rummaging around in the unit locating items to bring back; his ski boots, my backpack, some camera equipment.  December he plans to ski the Dolomites with friends – it’s silly to rent boots.  Why not lug back those things we could use and enjoy.  We will return with four big suitcases and tilt the scales yet further.        

 I have written about family and friends in the past.  We will always come back to visit them.  Isn’t that how it should be?  I don’t want our returns consumed with the detritus of daily life: doctor appointments and  teeth cleanings.  I want our returns back to be about family and friends and special dinners.  We will all be together in Budapest for Christmas.  Perhaps I will return in late February to celebrate Taylor’s 22nd birthday.  Then, maybe I can entice her to meet up with me someplace in May.  And so it will go. 

 This visit has made me realize that the core elements of our daily life can’t be strewn around the globe.  So with a bit of sadness and excitement – it is time to consolidate.  That doesn’t mean we won’t return.  Wherever our family is, we shall be also.  But for now, it is more practical to put our life in one place – and for now, that one place is Budapest.

Categories: Ruminations

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4 replies

  1. Yes, giving up medical/dental care is one of the hardest things about moving, I think. When I moved to FLA from Upstate NY, I kept my dentist and eye doctor for the next 4 years! But they were a lot closer than you are once you head back to Europe. Once I moved to the Southwest, I realized I had to get all my medical services locally, and did, but it’s not easy to let go of the trusted ones you’ve had for many years.

  2. I so often feel like you’re just writing my thoughts. We struggle with some of the same things, specifically not letting the trips to the States become “business trips” or “shopping trips.” With our expat friends here, continuing to see a US dentist seems pretty common. The Dutch don’t have much reputation for dentistry. I continue to see a specialist in the US, whom I trust and who treated me for something significant years ago. I can’t replace her, even though if I see her now, we pay out of pocket. I’m guessing (?) that you have American or international insurance. We have a local (Dutch) insurance, which sometimes seems like the helpful end of the stick, and sometimes the frustrating one.

    • Hi Meghan… I was hoping I would get some fellow expat input – as I can’t imagine I am alone in this. I am very fortunate in that I have international insurance provided by my company. It is so hard to break those ties, isn’t it? That said, even though my visits are paid, it does make the trip seem very unfamily….

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